Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Isaiah Crowell...

This is a completely hypothetical piece. Please read with an open mind, as I've tried to write it with one.


The Bulldog Nation is a very, very fickle bunch. You play well one game - we love you. You miss a block and get the QB injured for four weeks, in which span we play Alabama and Florida, then fumble it away when trying to rush to the middle of the field for a game-winning field goal - you hear the boo birds and everyone starts to doubt you.

Then, on top of some on-the-field misfortune, there are some incidents that get blown out of proportion because the public gets one side of the info and suddenly you feel like the bad guy. As such, you start doing the things that engender that message...

Then there's message board rumblings that you're already considering your options...

And before you know it - POOF! - you're searching for a place to start over. You're looking for a place that's a little more lax, a little less emphasis is placed on what it means to be a student-athlete, a little more is placed on making it to "the league".

Then before you know it, the student-athlete part disappears, then "the league" part. Now you're looking for something that's passed you by - the door is closed.

All of that hogwash is to say, you've probably read some message boards, you heard what I heard Saturday night, the radio is abuzz too. It's what happens when fans "hear rumors" and see what they believe corroborates those rumors on the field. We only get to see someone 60 minutes at a time and, frankly, that's all we can go on, plus the rumors that have been mentioned ad nauseum.

So what's the answer?

Like I said, we only see you (and every other player) in increments of 60. If that 60 is full of jump-cuttin', mad dashin', stiff armin', pass catchin', badassery no one will question the rest of that... well, unless of course you act like a goon.

Case in point, do I know anything about Orson Charles? Is he really a good dude, or do I just surmise that because I don't see his name in the police blotter and he's on the field every week catching passes and running over folks? See...

As fans, the small window that we see through is between the sidelines and endzone of a football field. You show some heart out there and we'll say that you've got it; you don't and it's not going to be pretty. Even though we don't know the guy on the field, that's all we have to go on. Besides, who really believes "my buddy who knows a former GA that's cousin is on the team"?

All you gotta do is make the crowd love you in that sixty minutes and keep low-key. The talking heads will cease their drivel, the fans will stop their "mooing", and the boards will start another rumor about someone else.  They're not ready to write you off, despite saying such, they just see the talent and can't figure what's missing. Don't pay any attention to that.

Take care of your bidness in the classroom and start running over people.

We'll stop. I promise.

16 comments:

  1. Maybe the fans and particuarly bloggers can take some responsibility and not justify the rumors and bs by writing about it the minute they "hear" something. Maybe they can take some journalism credibilty and write about important things and not what they heard or think is true. Maybe that is the answer??

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  2. What does the reference to Alabama mean? We didn't play Alabama this year. And Murray was injured for 4 weeks?

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  3. The same UGA fans that wanted to axe CMR and who are now praising him are the same ones who will praise IC next year when he puts everything together. A very fickle bunch we are. I agree with anon 0725. maybe the fans are just as at fault. why can't we just say we had higher expectations and next year could be a better year for him. instead we crucify...the way we crucified CMR. The son will also rise....

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  4. Some of us who wanted Richt gone last year still want him gone. We're not hypocrites on that issue. Beating 8 nobodies and 2 glorified high school teams while getting your ass kicked on national TV by the only good team...Boise... and great team...LSU...you played is a joke. Also, a loss to SC is still a loss. Next year won't be any better. But Richt fans still cling to hope. As they say, just wait till next year.

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  5. Let your playing do the talking. Play hard every down, finish every play. give 100 percent all the time, and the bulldog fans will love you!!!

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  6. make a mistake and we'll hate you. do well next week and we'll love you. make a mistake the following week, we will write about how horrible a person you were and how you are overrated. do well next week and we will say we knew all along you were great and you are the answer to our prayers...and so on and so on....

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  7. To anon 08:03: the excuse last year was that we lost to opponents we should have beat i.e. CU, Kentucky, CF, etc. Yes we had an easier schedule this year, but we beat the people we were suppossed to beat. And next year, we will also beat the ones we are "not suppossed to beat". I will wait for next year and it will be great. All the while you will be upset because you will have been proven wrong. CMR is a great coach on many levels that you are too short-sighted to see

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  8. I have been going to UGA games since 1970 when I was 4 years old. I was 14 Herschel's freshman year. I still remember fans complaining that we didn't pass the ball enough. We had the greatest running back in the history of college football and fans were complaining that we didn't pass enough?! Some folks are just miserable and are always going to complain about something. Anon 08:03 can just wallow in his misery all winter. I am going to look forward to another fun season with a great coach and great man in CMR.

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  9. Has anyone done an article comparing the top 5 RB recruits for each year and how they ended up at the end of a freshman season? That would be interesting to see where IC ends up. I think IC's defining moment was catching that screen pass against USC for the TD. It seemed like a lot of fans were turning on this guy early but did he cost us a game? 10-3 seems about right.

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  10. Anon 9:26,

    I did an article somewhat similar to what you are asking. It basically looks at RB's from recent history with a similar Rivals.com rating coming out of high school...here's a link:

    http://hedgestohardwood.blogspot.com/2011/07/isaiah-crowell-which-past-recruit-is.html

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  11. Well, it's not just the 60 minutes on the field, it's what happens in practice,in the classroom, in the locker room.Pulling yourself out and putting a green jersey on yourself isn't the way to win UGA hearts and minds.And message boards have been lit up about his work ethic (S&C, Herschel Walker snub,fighting with teammates, etc) since he got here. IC has tremendous potential, that is what Dawgs fan see and they expect 110% effort. There is an expectation gap, as I call it. Dawgs fans just woof like crazy when Kyle Karempelis takes the field and gets 5 yards. If Crowell doesn't bust a long one, there are boos. I think and hope he will bust out his sophomore year, but 832 yards this year while injured most of the year, is not too shabby. TeamCrowell !

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  12. "Whose," not "that's."

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  13. It's in Crowell's hands as to how it all turns out for him - nobody else! www.wedgeorgia.com

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  14. I see similarities to Maurice Clarett. All the potential in the world, but just not someone willing to get with the program and play his role as a team mate. Hopefully, IC can turn it around. It begins in the classroom. It continues in the locker room and on the practice field and it plays out on the field during a game.

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  15. I dont know if anyone commenting said anything related to what I'm about to say. but...

    The Booing I heard in the Dome this weekend was sickening to me. Yes, I heard all the rumors and talks in the week leading up to the game. I know CMR was really frustrated with the RB situation BUT it became obvious to me and my buddy during the game that Crowell was/is actually hurt. Before the game we had all of the same questions that everyone else had.. we questioned his toughness etc.

    But crowell seemed to be trying to tough it out during the game, it seemed to us that he could barely walk but still tried to play because he knew the team needed him(esp after CT went down) and for the kid who puts in more than 40 hours a week busting his tail for UGA gets boo'd when coming off the field because of injury its really disgusting.

    Maybe he isnt the hardest worker, maybe he hasnt adjusted completely. maybe he does have a bad attitude right now, hell he is a freshman who came on as the BMOC like a lot of freshmen do. Not everyone adjusts as quickly.

    But that kid was out there gutting it out, trying to run the ball for us because we needed him. To boo him as he limps off the field is BS.

    some of his criticism might be fair, but am I wrong or right about it seeming that he honestly was trying to gut it out despite a pretty painful injury?

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