The biggest story out of Athens this morning actually comes to us from Destin, FL, where the SEC meetings open up today. This pales in comparison to the stories coming out of Columbus, OH this morning.
Both Mark Richt and Jim Tressel took over storied and hungry programs in 2001. Both found early success. Both became regulars in BCS games. Both went 9-1 against their most hated rivals. Jim Tressel is filing for unemployment this morning. Mark Richt is preparing for the Chick fil-A Kickoff game against highly ranked Boise State.
Amidst all the rumblings (mostly from opposing fans, mind you) about Mark Richt needing to lose his job, take a moment today to appreciate the person Mark Richt is, and how good he is for the Bulldawg program. The latest story directly relating to Richt involves him selling his multi-million dollar lakehouse on Hartwell to able he and his family to donate to needy charities more frequently. Ask the people of Buckeye Nation if they would like to trade publicity.....
It is unfortunate these days, the way the rabid media paints a picture in which anything less than a National Championship constitutes failure. In turn, it gets in many fan's heads that changes need to be made way before they actually do. In a blog and social media fueled topic such as college football, where every fan can have a heard voice, things can escalate into ugliness all too quickly. Throw in bully-media such as the two evil stepsisters at the horrible, horrible Atlanta Journal Constitution, Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz, and unnecessary changes can become an obsession amongst many. Especially rival fans who cheer for a program in which Mark Richt has absolutely owned..... here's looking at you, North Ave.
bad decisions around the clock, he certainly preaches his values and ethics enough to supply guidance and testimony to any young man willing to listen.
Every UGA fan wants nothing more than a National Championship. But some need to take a moment, look at story lines around the nation, and decide at what costs do we really want to endure to only hopefully accelerate the process. Do we want to have a liar and cheat cover up huge scandals in order to keep his best players on the field? Do we want to be accused of pay-for-play in order to give ourselves an advantage? Do we want to dive into the pathetic over-signing practice being conducted by a few of our neighbors? Do we want to get it done at any cost, or would we rather be patient and get it done with a man who is the true definition of character and dignity?
Take a moment today, Dawg fans, and think how lucky we are to have Mark Richt in Athens. Recognize the fire in Richt's attitude over the last several months and over the upcoming summer as a true desire to win in Athens, while doing it the right way. Let the haters hate. Let the haters tell us how soft Mark Richt is. Let the haters call him "Saint Richt". Then do exactly what you should do, and thank them.
Welcome to Athens, Mark Richt. Make yourself at home, and stay as long as you'd like.
94 days til' kickoff.