It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Dream Team" May Become VERY Annoying in 2011

Whenever I am asked in the summer how I think the Dawgs will do this fall, I have a quick answer: "14-0". But in reality, one thing I am truly NOT excited about for the beautiful southern fall of 2011, is the first time UGA loses a game, and all media and hater's fingers aim directly at the "Dream Team".

For those who do not know, and those who simply forgot, the "Dream Team" in absolutely no way refers to the entire signing class of 2011. At some point in 2009 or 2010, when targets were circled for UGA to go recruit hard, Recruiting Coordinator Rodney Garner dubbed the term "Dream Team", referring to best of the best recruits who already reside in the state of Georgia, whom a sense of locational pride would be attempted to be instilled in them, so that they would want to stay home and represent the people they grew up with and the places they are from by playing for the flagship university which represents the very people and places mentioned. Got that??

So this whole "Dream Team" concept really is only a few of our incoming true freshman.... not the entire class. I am glad we settled this, because media near and far seem to lack the ability to grasp this concept.

The concept wasn't ever intended to get into the media's hands in the first place. I remember an interview early in the recruiting process where Rodney Garner seemed surprised that the media member interviewing him knew what it was. Thanks to facebook, twitter, and other social media, recruits these days have the ability to talk and be heard on a previously unprecedented level. See, this "Dream Team" concept was never intended to fuel the media the way it has.

Now, media has taken the term, misused it, and has it loaded in their negativity gun, salivating at the mouth while ready to pull the trigger in attempts to dangle it in front of Dawg Nation's face in their long attempts to exacerbate the "hot seat" myth surrounding Mark Richt. So the coined term which Rodney Garner decided to use may have gotten us a solid class of in-state talent, but the negative side will come as soon as a game is lost.

And the sad truth is, the "Dream Team" will in all likelihood have very, very little impact on the 2011 season. The crown jewel of the term is believed to be Isaiah Crowell, and ridiculous expectations have been undesirably placed upon his head. I blame this on the successful year that Marcus Lattimore  had over at South Carolina, and every team dreaming of having a true freshman come in with such "impact". But do you think if Isaiah Crowell has a descent year, and UGA goes 9-5, being completely embarrassed in the SEC Championship game and losing to an ACC school in a bowl game (which is what South Carolina did last season), the media won't be ready to declare the "Dream Team" an instant bust? I don't think so. This whole "Dream Team" thing has gotten out of hand, and truly needs to be put on the shelf, and re-assessed sometime around mid-December of 2012.

The incoming freshman class is not going to step in and carry the 2011 Dawgs. There are veteran leaders on this team who I feel are going to do that. The unfortunate souls who look in on Dawg Nation, looking for anything they can to criticize, have their "Dream Team" argument ready. But the good people who represent Dawg Nation know good and darn well that the most we can ask out of the "Dream Team" is to have the right attitudes, listen to their leaders, and truly grasp what it means to be a Dawg, and use it to the best of their abilities in the next 3-5 seasons. Not just this upcoming one.

67 days til' kickoff!!

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