Monday, October 29, 2007

Self-righteous indignation

There's been a lot pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth over what Georgia did or did not do during the game on Saturday and whether the "classless" Gators or "Gayturds" (how's that for classy?) deserve to be spat upon in act of retribution for classless behavior allegedly engaged in while our football team has been doling out a generation's worth of whoop-ass.

Georgia players celebrating after finding the end zone,
apparently they weren't expecting to get there.

I honestly don't know how as a society, we turned into such pussies. One of the reasons I love college football is the rivalries and how they can stir up the most basic of emotions: hate. When you hate your opponent, stomping on their logo seems reasonable. When you hate your opponent, running up the score on them seems reasonable. When you hate your opponent taking shots at their head coach's predilection for donuts or probable incontinence seems reasonable. All is fair in love and war and college football. Strip out the hate and what you have is...well, what you have is pro football.

Besides nothing is more boring than anecdotes about how Team A and their fans are uniformly classless. Really? Is that so? The fact is that most teams have jerks as fans and most teams have people we'd like to have over for dinner as fans, except Miami, they are all jerks...

Just kidding.

So please, college football fans, can we get over the self-righteous indignation already? If you don't want to be disrespected in "your house" then "make plays!" It's football and your logo is painted on grass that the players will be stomping on for the next 3 and half hours. Give it a rest. Life isn't a casting call for an Under Armour commercial. You can tone down the false bravado.

They don't give a trophy out for class, and even if they did it would be a judged event and thus as worthless, in my opinion, as figure skating or perhaps the BCS rankings.


Senator Blutarsky said...

Henry, as we discussed over at my blog, I couldn't agree more with you.

There is a simple solution to the outrage: if you don't like what your opponent is doing, score more points than your opponent. With a win, it's amazing how quickly the sting will go out of the "classless" act.

jimcaserta said...

The reason you don't do unsportsmanlike things on the field is NOT because of the penalty, but because it's UNSPORTSMANLIKE. What bothered me was Danielson praised it for setting the tempo. What if they wanted to set the tempo with a late-hit on Tebow - just another 15 yards? You have to believe FSU's d-line was coached to stay on the wrong side of roughing the passer calls in their heyday. That usually set the tempo.

Tempo didn't determine the outcome of the game - poor defensive play by the Gators did.

I liked Richt as a coach before Saturday, but look at him a little differently now.

Henry Gomez said...

I just can't get myself worked up over 65 guys running on to the field to hoot it up. It's certainly not the same as late hits on the QB. Let the refs ref the game. As I mentioned, I don't think anyone has a monopoly on "class" certainly not us. Things like the Gator Flop live on for years afterward. Look at Miami and how they are perceived years after their true bad boy days. To me it's all window-dressing. It's like we need some reason to hate the opponent even more than we already do.

Anonymous said...

Good points; it seems as though other teams have a right to be rowdy but NOT the Gators for some reason. Hey, it works both ways.

At least our guys didn't stoop to Georgia's low level by running out on the field to celebrate Wondy Pierre-Louis' interception; in spite of his being flagged for celebration his gesture was, in a way, retribution for UGA's nonsense. AND, we got the last laugh as the Dawgs were double-penalized for what they did.

Like Henry says, we've done our share as well; to deny that would be hypocritical. Trash-talking and other rival "taunting" for lack of a better word, will always be a part of sports.

Mark Richt make himself look like a total ass in condoning what his players did, I agree there.

As far as those blowhards Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson go, f**k them. I had the TV on mute; the two of them drive me to the point of wanting to head straight to the bathroom and hurl.

jamie a. said...

i, for one, really enjoy gary and vern. i think they're the best in the college business.

mark richt should be commended for what he did. i knew at that point in the game that we were in deep doo-doo.

as a gator fan, this game just felt different after that moment. it really did work, and i only wish we'd have thought of it back in those games where the canes and noles were stomping our asses.

Anonymous said...

Instead of being offended by classlessness, is it okay if I'm offended by adults acting like junior high kids instead? Because that's the main reason for all these "classless" acts we see more and more of lately.

It certainly isn't entertaining to see stuff like that. And if my football's not entertaining then why am I watching?

Henry Gomez said...

Gary Danielson is for my money the best analyst in the business.

And Verne is a competent and likeable Play by play guy.

I don't think that Georgia won the game with their planned antics but it did set a tone. Richt realized that a sort of institutional malaise had come over his program vis-a-vis the Gator game.

College football, more than any other sport in my opinion, is influenced by emotion. I don't think pep talks from Belichek is what makes tom brady a great pro QB or Mike Lowell the WS MVP. But emotion can win a college football game.

Richt was smart in doing what he did, even if looked goofy. I stand by the caption in the photo. It just seemed an odd time to do it. But obviously it was the right time. If the Gators had scored first I don't think that they would have done it.

Whatever. We lost the game because we coughed the ball up on crucial drives and because our defense played worse than the Maginot Line.

Tommy said...

For years, I've watched Georgia teams wilt the minute momentum turned away from us, such as with a bad call, turnover or a big offensive play for the Gators. So, to me, the appeal of this move was the implied looseness, i.e., "Have the 15 yards -- we don't give a damn."

Doug said...

AND, we got the last laugh as the Dawgs were double-penalized for what they did.

Um, no . . . I believe the last laugh was had by the team that had 42 points on the board at the end of the game, whereas their opponents had 30.

But if we're a point in this rivalry where Florida fans are the ones taking solace in moral victories, that's fine by me.

Anonymous said...

While it had no impact on the outcome of the game, there are distinguishing factors between organized and semi-organized group stunts and individual acts of idiocy.

First, these silly events don't have any impact on the outcome of the game, they have nothing to do with competition.

Second, they are designed to incite brawls, unlike emotional, spontaneous acts of idiocy. Let's face it, dancing on logos running off the sidelines, you are begging the other team to respond en masse. The only reason they don't respond in brawls 100% of the team is when the other team is properly coached and the players are more interested in demonstrating their machismo by winning a 60 minute balls out football game than dancing around like a bunch of 2 bit faggots (my apologies to all the fruits who frequent this blog).

Third, it's pathetic. As a player you're not good enough to be on the field then you're not good enough to absorb the fan's adulation and exultation with the starters who earned the points. Stay on the sideline until you're good enough to get on the field the old fashioned way.

Fourth, there's an element of coaching involvement. Coaches either turn a blind eye to the behavior (a few dozen suicides will cure this sort of thing) thus impliedly approving it or they actually approve it, as Richt seems dangerously close to doing.

It is an aberration when the coach, the person whose job it is to impose a sense of order, discipline and integrity to a program off the field, may suddenly ignore those duties on the field.

It's one thing when a player does something idiotic and gets an unsportsmanlike, costs his team 15, thus giving a competitive advantage to the opponent, the coach is livid b/c something with no relationship to the group goal has interfered with the goal. Internal sanctions result from such things. When that becomes an accepted part of the organization's goal then the organization is tainted.

Why not have an organized plan to late hit the key players for the opposing team or go after their knees? It's no different, and if you'll recall something Andrews and f$u during the Wuerffel era. It's one of the reasons why Bowden's integrity is questioned by many.

Were I a referee, I would throw the entire coaching staff out out of a game and have them escorted out of a stadium. Interesting to see how a coachless team would play.

Henry Gomez said...

As I stated before, There's a big f'ing difference between running on the field or stomping on a logo and hitting a QB late. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. There is no reason for the former to cause a brawl. That's the product of the "We must protect this house!" idiocy we are being fed by the Under Armours and Nike's of the world.

Anonymous said...

And the only reason to do it is to trigger that instinct.

But we are all entitled to our opinions.

But, more interestingly, when you click on the "Ally" picture on the other thread, her full face looks disturbingly like Mergz.

They never post at the same time, always close in time.

Is Ally really Mergz?

Year2 said...

There may be no rational reason for it to cause a brawl, but if Saban tried that against Auburn, you think there wouldn't be a throwdown at the hoedown?

Heath Cline pointed out on his Gainesville radio show today that it was stupid act from a football standpoint too. Moreno barely got the nose of the ball across the plane on that play. However, if he didn't get it in and the call's reversed by replay, suddenly you look like the biggest idiot in the country and you're backed up to the 31 yard line.

There are other ways to motivate your team that don't involve on-field theatrics and potentially losing a third of the field on penalties. There are simply just better ways to do it, and that goes for any team across the board.

Henry Gomez said...

You're not going to get an argument from me that the idea wasn't stupid from a strategic sense but you're also not going to see me harrumphing about "class" and lack thereof. As I said before, it's not like our program doesn't have a few black eyes. I honestly don't give a shit about any of that.

Mergz said...

I utterly disagree with my co-blogger on this one.

Beyond the purely classlessness of the event in question (which Richt seems to acknowledge in an article on ESPN right now), is the precedence and even danger such an act represents.

By danger, I mean what if the Gator defense players had acted in what would have been a reasonable response upon finding themselves surrounded by the whole Georgia team and defended themselves? The Gator bench would have cleared, and we would have had Miami – FIU version two. Sending your entire team on the field is an act of recklessness that ought to at least draw a severe SEC fine.

An act like Richt ordered could have ended in a wholesale riot. This isn’t like a little smack talk – it is sending 80 some fired up adolescent men onto the field. The proper response would have been to evict Richt.

Henry Gomez said...

Let's take it out on them by exhibiting the most "classless" behavior and running up the score on them next year. Anything else sounds like sour grapes and an inability to accept the fact that Georgia is simply a better team this year.

jimcaserta said...

Richt Apologizes Celebration by the 11 that scored is much different than the 49 or other guys that were on the sidelines at the time. Could you imagine Mike Lowell running out to second base to jump up and down with Manny after a home run?

My POV is one of a coach, and I know if my players did that I would be disappointed.

Trader Rick said...

Henry Gomez is way off base on this one. A coach who deliberately coaches his team to break the rules has no place in college football.

There is a reason there is a prohibition about rushing the field, and it has nothing to do with class--it's a safety issue. Georgia's coaching staff put a lot of young men at risk by this dangerous stunt.

Richt should be heavily fined, if not fired. He made a serious error in moral judgment on this one, and the fact that it was premeditated says a lot about his character.

Henry Gomez said...

I may be "way off base" but it doesn't change one simple fact. If we win the game, Richt is a fool. We missed that opportunity. That's whathas me indignant, not some perceived classless behavior. We didn't "make plays!"

DAve said...

"By danger, I mean what if the Gator defense players had acted in what would have been a reasonable response upon finding themselves surrounded by the whole Georgia team and defended themselves?"

There weren't any punches thrown by Georgia players. There wasn't any pushing of Florida players by Georgia players. So I don't know what your idea of a "reasonable response" would be if they were surrounded. Are you saying I'd be justifed in swinging at all the Gator fans that surrounded me, yelling and chomping away, on Duval Street before the game?

And I guess if Trader Rick had his way, a school would have to start looking for a new coach every time a team takes a five-yard delay penalty to give the punter more room.

Tommy said...

"By danger, I mean what if the Gator defense players had acted in what would have been a reasonable response upon finding themselves surrounded by the whole Georgia team and defended themselves?"

That would not have been a reasonable response. For one, they weren't "surrounded" by Georgia players. The replay is readily available on YouTube, where it is very clear that the players gathered in the end zone, adjacent to the Florida team, but separate from them, celebrated for all of 15-20 seconds and then hustled to the bench. Unless you were extremely drunk or extremely paranoid, it should have been readily apparent what was going on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jim Caserta and Trader Rick. Richt was a fool and an asshole in sending his players out to go overboard in celebrating that TD not to mention that it was the wrong thing to do, and then he apologizes for his behavior? That's cowardice on Richt's part if he can't admit error on his part and take a reprimand from the SEC which he deserves. Contrition is just sweeping the issue under the rug.

Mergz said...

Amazing you people can't see the obvious danger of having an entire team leave the bench. Evidently Richt does, hence the apology.

Henry Gomez said...

I think the Gators were more confused than anything else. It looked dumb. Like you said, they celebrated like they had never been there before or didn't expect to get there. In any case the right penalty was enforced and it should have served as motivation for the Gators. I just think we're coming across like whiny bittermen when we make the whole game about that stupid action. Next year we can have our revenge and stomp on their logo when we route them. Until then we should recognize that we got beat. That's all. Every program has its moments where critics can say "look they have no class."

DAve said...

What obvious danger?? Nothing happened. The only thing I can gather from your comment, Mergz, is you're trying to say the Gators are too undisciplined to face something like that without throwing punches or emptying an AK-47 without actually saying it.

I will freely admit that there's a line in cases like this between celebration and intimidation/baiting the other team, and sometimes that line can get blurry. I just don't think what happened Saturday was the latter.

I'll also freely admit that if you flip-flop the two schools in every aspect going back 20 years (record, history, etc), there would be tons of Georgia fans livid at how classless Urban Meyer was. I just wouldn't be one of them. I'd be one of the guys wondering why we didn't do it first.

Both of you guys do a bang-up job with this blog; keep it up.

Tommy said...

If the Gators are incapable of responding to excessive celebration in non-violent fashion, that's Meyer's problem.

Regardless, the outcome you fret over never occurred. Thankfully, we live in a world in which the referees penalized for what DID happen, not for what MIGHT'VE happened.

Henry Gomez said...

Final word from me on the matter. Two things to look at. The first is the "class" issue. Was what happened classy or classless or somehow offensive? To those questions I answer: No, I don't care and no.

The other thing is if safety was somehow compromised. I'll half buy that argument. But my post was about how thin skinned we are as a society and especially as football fans. Why does everything our rival does have to offend us? And why can't we see that sometimes we engage in behavior we wouldn't want other people to engage in.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

Mergz, let me ask you this; if Richt saw the danger in having his entire team leave the bench, then why did he condone it in the first place?

That's why I think his apology is one-piss bullshit. Instead of having the nads to accept the fact that he was wrong and hold himself accountable for his and his team's behavior, he sweeps it under the rug with a "letter of apology" to Slive. That's cowardice if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Since Richt obviously thought it was a good idea at the time, he should still think it was a good idea 3 days later, right? I'd actually have more respect for him if he said something like hell no I'm not sorry for it and if we play Florida and score first again, we'll do the same thing.

But instead we get the patented Lame Ass Apology where the perpetrator tries passing himself off as a victim (I didn't know the whole team would run out, I swear!) and has suddenly figured out what he did was wrong AFTER the fact. Spare me. You endorsed it, now stand by it.

As far as our society being "thin skinned" I don't buy it, I see the opposite in fact. I see a society that worships juvenile behavior and thinks it's cool to be cruel. Americans have never in history been LESS concerned about immature acts.

TruthHurts001 said...

If the Gators had won this would be a GIGANTIC non-issue.