Unequivocally, I think it's downright shitty that every female in the state of Georgia can own a "I'm a Gurley Girl" t-shirt that someone not named Todd Gurley was paid handsomely for and yet the man whose talents begat the shirt's proclamation can't make a buck off his own damn name.
We know Manziel did it, and actually got caught. Everyone knows Cam did it, and got away with it. And we can all pretty much agree that one day (maybe soon), what Todd Gurley is alleged to have done will not be against the rules. Well, maybe. One day.
But, none of that excuses it. Not in the least. I have no doubt that Gurley knew the rules. And if he took some cash for signing memorabilia, he's in the wrong and needs to pay the price. One day, probably in just a few months, we'll talk about what this does for his Georgia legacy. However, today we're stuck with the fact that he's let thousands, perhaps even millions of people down.
And that list starts with his own teammates. This may tarnish Gurley's image, but in the long run it doesn't affect him much, if at all. I'm not saying he's not torn up about this blowing up and having to sit out. I don't know him personally, but from what I've observed, read, and seen I would expect he carries a lot of remorse for the position he's put his team in as they load up for a huge road game. Just think back to the post-game scene in South Carolina. The dude was choked up and pissed off and ready to do more on the field. And now he's not allowed near it.
Gurley's a great guy. He made a bad mistake. Stepping away from being a diehard Georgia fan, I'm sorry he's put himself in that position. I've made mistakes. You have too. They may not have made SportsCenter, but they probably affected people we know and love. And I suspect that is what is hurting Todd Gurley the most right now.
Stepping back into my diehard Bulldog shoes once again, I hurt most for guys like Hutson Mason, Chris Conley, Michael Bennett, and all those big ol' Dawgs up front that were prepared to block and fight and help Gurley get enough yards Saturday to beat Missouri. They're the real victims here. As bad as I feel about this, as embarrassed as I am to face these questions from those around me, as ashamed as I am that my alma mater is in the bad headline column once again, it's those guys that are on their way to suit up tomorrow that I feel the most for in the wake of this news. After all, they're the ones that have invested the most time, energy, sweat, blood, and pain into this season.
Not me. Not you. And definitely not the suits inside Butts-Mehre that don't have the balls to stand up to this nonsense. It's them, the guys that strap on the helmets in the name of Glory, Glory, that have the most to lose and the least amount of time to get over it.
So fans, alumni, Twitterers and BookFacers, gentlemen, and ladies too, let's take a breath. Set aside your shame and anger and frustration. We can't rewrite the headlines. But we can support our team. For its during the good times and the bad that we find out who is willing to stand beside them and yell those two simple words...