First, a little background: I take a lot of ribbing from my friends because I have a policy of refusing to go downtown after a Georgia loss.
I'm sorry, I just don't see any reason to celebrate when we get rolled by the Tide or chomped by the Gators. (Obviously I haven't been going out too much this season.) But then recently, I realized I looked pretty stupid for staying home and moping after a loss. Why?
Because I heard from several people that half the football team was in Flanagan's or Farenheit on Saturday night. And while I was angrily going to sleep, those players were apparently out spitting game as if they'd stomped the Gators instead of getting romped by them. Yeah, I know it probably wasn't the whole team, but there were some big names in those bars.
So because Mark is too ashamed to go out after a Georgia loss, the players should be too? Is that what I'm supposed to get from all this?
I know they're college students too. I know they deserve to have fun like I do. But I haven't been endowed with the responsibility that comes with signing those papers that make me a part of this storied program in need of an update. Those players chose not to live the life of an average student, and they need to start acting like it.
Georgia's football players (and DI-A football players in general) may have chosen "not to live the life of an average student," but I don't think they ever signed a piece of paper saying that their right to eat out or have girlfriends was contingent upon them winning football games. I'll be the first person to admit that SEC football players are not exactly like you or me, but isn't this kind of an arbitrarily applied standard? If I told Marc McAfee that he wouldn't be allowed to date or have a meal at a restaurant if he got a C on a term paper or missed a typo in a headline in the R&B's online edition, do you think he'd go for that?
The worst part of the whole thing is the way McAfee makes dramatic, sweeping assumptions about the character (or lack of same) of our entire roster -- based on having seen half the football team in Flanagan's on a certain Saturday night. No, scratch that: Having "heard from several people" that they were in Flanagan's on a certain Saturday night. Yeah, that's a terrific basis for writing off our entire team as a bunch of irresponsible slackers.
Toward the end of the column, McAfee says that Richt needs to "re-evaluate his recruiting." Guess what, Marc: If your attitude takes hold, he won't need to. No decent high-school player in his right mind would come to a school where he'd have his after-hours activities restricted based on the uninformed judgments of holier-than-thou newspaper columnists. We can wave bye-bye to all the good players as they head off to Florida and Tennessee, and then we can take the leftovers who don't mind being forced to live like the Amish when they have the temerity to lose to someone.
At that point we can probably knock the program down to Division III, and then maybe we can start new rivalries with Sewanee and Birmingham-Southern. Football Saturdays will be quite a bit less exciting then, I grant you. But dammit, at least those football players will know their place.