Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Same Coach, New Era

Coach Richt hasn't changed. But it's a new era in his regime.

Mett plead guilty and got a sweetheart deal. Sure, he paid a hefty price for being a douche in Remerton, as well as playing coy with his coach. Kid lost his seat in Richt's locker room. More on that later. But overall, it seems to me Mett coulda paid a heftier price for acting like the Steelerberger.

In the end, we close the book on the OCHS kid with the Sunday arm...

Meanwhile, Coach Richt has turned a new leaf. For all who thought he jumped the gun on Mett, from my perspective it looks like he played it as well as he could. If he waits until today to kick Mett off the team it would've been the right move. To beat the news to the punch...well, that's even better. Call it preemptive protection. He's protecting his program. The same one he just paid dearly to overhaul.

No coach since the former one who hired Richt has enjoyed the tenure he has. And Dooley spent a quarter century walking the sidelines of Sanford Stadium. Richt is acting as if he wants to match that. After nine seasons he's taken the program we so dearly love to the doorstep of college football's greatest glory. He's reminded us what it's like to be champions. We felt the confetti.

The '09 season was a murderers row for a team designed to be amiable. Instead of spending an off-season spinning that fact into a web of consolation, Richt made some difficult choices. He showed some friends the door. He steadied his ship on a different course. He had felt the confetti too.

And in so doing, Mark Richt has made this program his. It's no longer on loan. The man is fully vested. Donnan hardly got close enough to sniff this rarefied air. Goff was never on the map. Dooley is the only coach in this fan's recollection to have breathed in this deep. And he has the t-shirt circa 1980 to prove it.

Richt could have made the easier decision back in December. He could've done the same with Mett. Instead, Willie Martinez has a new area code and Zach is unfolding a map. In today's world, there are plenty of idiots and a lunatic fringe that will clamor on and on about how Georgia needs a new coach.

For me, I think we may just have one in the same.

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