You know the drill. Some angry fans turn on their coach. The coach goes on an unexpected win streak. Rather than changing their tune, those angry fans downplay, dismiss, caveat, and “yeah, but” the coach’s victories to the point that the wins are viewed as totally insignificant.
Yep, you’ve seen that happen with angry fans (and media members).
But with an athletic director?
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity doesn’t sound like a man who’s willing to buy in to Mark Richt’s turnaround of the Bulldog program just yet:
“What everyone must do at a halfway point — it’s just like the halfway point of a project, the halfway point of anything you do — it’s how you finish that really is the key thing that everyone has to focus on right now. Once you think you might have it figured out, you might rest on your laurels so to speak, that’s when you have problems. The message that we need to have and the message that everyone needs to have is that each week gets bigger and bigger. To get to certain levels, you have to work that much harder. You cannot afford to relax one second and probably have to work twice as hard as you’ve ever worked before not even to maintain, but to keep progressing in the right direction…
Obviously, you’re winning the games that really you need to win. At the same time, those teams (Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee) have really struggled. I don’t know if there’s a (conference) win among them. you’ve got to keep things in perspective because there are some big tests coming up.”
Wow. Not only does McGarity continue to talk about the football program on a weekly basis — when he could just say “We’ll talk about it at the end of the season” — but he just downplayed the significance of Georgia’s three straight SEC wins.
Is that a message to Richt? To his team?
You can bet the Georgia fanbase — especially the anti-Richters — got McGarity’s message: “So what if you beat the duds of the league, you better beat Florida and finish strong.”
That’s a remarkably public — and dumb — misstep by McGarity. Unless of course Richt’s job really does depend more on the last six games of the season than the first.
If Richt loses to Florida or Auburn or Georgia Tech down the stretch and McGarity retains him, you better believe some of the anti-Richt crowd will hit him with their own “yeah, buts.” Like this one: “Yeah, but you said the finish mattered more than all those wins over so-so foes.”
Very surprising comments from Georgia’s athletic director.