Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Lesson From Landers

Let me preface this by saying I'm a big Andy Landers fan. (I know the man has his lunatic detractors, so consider yourself forewarned - If you are a lunatic...this post may not be for you.) Our families are intertwined in various ways from way back. I respect the man as a dad, a coach and a valued community citizen.

Yesterday afternoon Hale teased a lengthy quote by Landers, playing on the desperate hearts of Dawg Tweeters and BulldogsBlog followers. If you haven't read the text, then it serves you right that I just spoiled it for you. Seriously, what are you doing reading my crap before Hale's awesomeness? You might think I'd be honored, but that's just beyond moronic.

Whatever...just go over now and catch up with the rest of us. We'll wait...

For me, the best part hits you right off the bat:
There's three things that are important: Where you've been, where you're at and where you're going. If those three things are ever the same you're in trouble.
I mean, that's just gold for any coach of any team at any level. And in what has to be one of the hardest weeks of Coach Richt's tenure, this would be a good way to evaluate the season. We all agree that there are some tough decisions laying in wait in the near future, mostly in terms of staff. The Bulldog Nation has fervently voiced their opinions over the airwaves, the vents and the message boards.

But that's all down the road...this is now.

Coach Richt has 5th year seniors who've toiled through the hardships of balancing their curriculum, personal lives and playing careers. He also has underclassmen who are looking at him for leadership, now. They signed on the dotted line and trusted their abilities in his hand.

There's a LOT of free speech being excercised among the Dawg followers. It's all well and good, for the most part. But we can all agree it crosses a line. Seriously, thinking Coach Richt is less of a coach because of the faith he practices...? Get a grip and take a look in your own mirror.

My wife once wondered aloud if Coach Richt ever yelled, know, lost a little control. I assured her that he does. You don't hear the testimony from the current players much, but the former ones will tell you that he can peel the paint with his tongue.

So I'm quite confident in saying that Coach Richt knows where we've been, where we're at and he's figuring out where we're going. And he damn sure isn't going to let those meet and mingle. He's too competitive. He loves this program too much.

When it's all said and done, know one knows what the record books will say about the 2009 season. But most of the leaders on this team have a clear frame of reference. Cox for one, feels the team is better suited to deal with this adversity than it was in 2006:
I think our unity is better than 2006, and I think we could end up having a better season than's something we can definitely get turned around and have a successful season.
The last time I got the opportunity to talk with Coach Landers was at the infamous Atlanta Bulldog Club meeting in August 2000 (you know, where Coach Donnan made his guaranDAMNtee). I found Andy wandering around outside the ballroom and we caught up on family news quickly.

Later, Landers was teased in front of the standing room only crowd as being the only Dawg coach in attendance without a National Championship. Donnan chuckled, Harrick smirked and Bauerle just beamed.

Richt has his own National Championships on the resume. It's hard to imagine the football team running the table at this point. But as a fan, I just want to see a team led by a coaching staff that believes it can happen.

And that might just start with Coach Richt knocking on Coach Landers' door.

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