Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why I Just Can't Be Optimistic

The guys played their hearts out, there's no doubt about that.  After previous displays of emotionless, disorganized, and unfocused efforts, they finally came out and played with the passion we've all been looking for.  Murray did some great things, but had a few critical mistakes, including a turnover at the end that was the deciding factor.......surely he'll learn from those mistakes though, right?  And the offensive line showed improvement too, they just broke down on that critical play that caused Murray's last turnover.  The defense finally showed some spunk, unfortunately they just couldn't come through with a couple of key opportunities for turnovers.  But the improved effort and attitude was great to see.  In the end though, the Gators just made one more big play than us, and won the game.

Oh, what, you thought I was talking about our game against the 'Cocks Saturday night?  Nope, I was referring to the game played in Jacksonville 10 months ago.  Sounds pretty familiar, though, huh?

We've been through this rodeo a number of times now the past few years, and it's always the same script.  The team comes out and gives a few disappointing performances, and the fan base starts to become vocal about the the state of the program.  But then they come out and play really hard that one time, and folks start letting themselves get optimistic again.  Prime examples are Saturday night, the aforementioned mention UF game last year, the Auburn game the year before, the Mich St bowl game the year before that, and so on and so forth.  After all of those games, the fan base dusted off their rose-tinted glasses and started convincing themselves that if we can just keep up with that type of effort going forward and make a few tweaks, we're going to get back to where we want to be.  Then ten months later, here we are still sitting in the same spot.  If Saturday night was a step forward, it was only because we had previously taken steps backward.  Because as of right now, there has been no net forward movement since the Florida game last year.  I have been right there with those fans though every time, believing the best was yet to come..............

Until now.

Now don't take what I'm saying as a prediction of utter failure for the rest of the season or a sign of my lack of support for the program.  No matter what, I will be watching every game, cheering for the win.  And it is entirely possible (though not likely) that I could be sitting here typing a couple of months from now, reflecting back on the fantastic 10-2 season we just had, and admiring the way the team was able to overcome two early losses and some pretty major injuries to rally against the odds.  But I refuse to allow myself to even entertain the thought of actually expecting something like that to happen.  Wanting your team to win and expecting your team to win are two very different things........wanting your team to win makes you a fan, but expecting your team to lose doesn't make you any less of a fan, as long as that expectation is accompanied by a desire to be proven completely wrong.  And I would love nothing more than to be wrong, because right now my expectations are that we're going to probably win the next two games, most likely in unimpressive fashion, before coming out and giving another valiant but losing effort against Mississippi State.  And if that happens, who knows what is going to happen from there.  But that's what I've been conditioned to expect now as a UGA fan.

I follow Ally Garner on Twitter, she has her own blog (http://copaceticincarolina.blogspot.com/, a must read for anyone who enjoys cooking or eating high class southern cuisine), is a guest contributor over at Leather Helmet Blog, and is a damn good Dawgette.  I saw one of her recent tweets where she basically said that Richt has earned the right to finish out the season, and be judged based on the season as a whole (this was in response to people who are ready to pass judgement now and go ahead and kick Richt out the door).  I agree 100% with her, I want Richt to have the full opportunity of this entire season to show that he can still get the job done.  There is just no longer any part of me that believes that he will.


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