Three (or in some cases six) Blind Mice
Mark Richt and the rest of the Georgia team are better people than I am. A call like the celebration penalty at the end of the game against AJ Green would have brought me to cuss. What in the world is the referee doing calling a penalty like that. A touchdown on an incredible catch at the end of the game like that gets people excited. The SEC officials sent the message Saturday that getting excited like that is against the rules of the game of football. Certainly it should be and is illegal to taunt the other team. However, I never saw any taunting – like the Georgia-Florida celebration – from any of the UGA players after the score. What I saw was an excited team that just took a late lead over the number 4 team in the nation. I know that LSU got the same penalty and poor tackling is what cost us that last touchdown, but what if Blair Walsh had the opportunity to kick from the thirty and put the ball through the back of the end zone? Also, its easier to cover a kick when there is a shorter field to cover, even if Walsh just puts it inside the five yardline, it still limits the running room you have. It would be nice to be able to see a game where the players play without the negative impact of the officials.
So what does this all mean?
It means that the SEC – or this particular crew – has too big of an ego. That referee wanted to have some impact on the game. Well good for him, he did. He might have cost Georgia the biggest game of the season this far. Nice Job, way to go. As Joe Cox said, football is an emotional game. Players are supposed to be excited when they make a good play and upset when they don’t. When did this change? The best officials are the ones that are never noticed. Well guess what, they were noticed Saturday. Any official that wants to make that call should be outlawed. If excitement is going to be penalized like this from the SEC, I might get tired of watching football. Excitement is what makes the game fun, if the game is not emotional, why watch?
Furthermore, when did we take contact out of football? If this blog would have been created for the OK State game I would have been fuming about the contact on a defenseless receiver rule. If our corner backs cannot hit a receiver that might catch a ball are we just supposed to pull a flag and say they are down. As I sit here writing this, I am watching sport center where Ray Lewis is talking about the two bogus roughing the passer calls in their game vs the Patriots. As he put it the players are “men” and “can be hit just like us.” Why not take the politics out of football and just let the players play. Just something to think about as we move on to Tennessee.
Here is a link to the catch and ensuing celebration. Take a look and see if you think a flag was deserved here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-qccCuL4nQ
Until next time, “You stay classy Classic City.”
-Edit by Natty Stafford-
Although the penalty was thrown out by the SEC, the effects and emotions of it being called are still being felt today. Hell, it made me sick to see us fall apart on defense after the penalty. While I’ll agree that the penalty was bogus, there was absolutely no excuse for the missed tackles on Scott in the last minute of play. With the amount of talent we have on the defensive side, it leaves me questioning Martinez’ ability to coach our players up to their potential (beating a dead horse, I know). A National Championship team doesn’t let one of these calls affect their playing ability. While I expect a sub-par BCS appearance, if that, I still believe we have a lot of work to do on the defensive line and secondary as the season progresses. And if any of you haven’t taken a look at next season’s schedule, take a look. The NC looks very promising if our team plays up to its talent.
Moving on, another problem that has concerned many fans is the lack of vocalization from Coach Mark Richt. When you think back on it, when did Richt expressing his emotions to the media ever help us? It didn’t help us after the UGA/FL 07 game, nor did it help us in the nominations for the National Championship when the media berated his actions. What we, as fans, do not know is the amount of vocalization he expresses in the locker room. Richt needs to continue to keep his emotions post-game in private; however, his spirit on the field is somewhat lacking. Show us some passion, Richt, without penalizing us yards. I think Richt needs a meeting with Bobby Cox before he retires.
Finally, some of you might have been lucky enough to hear some news from the state south of us. A surprising comment by Coach Urban Meyer actually makes some of us think he he might actually have a soul. To quote Meyer, “That’s just awful. I can’t stand when that happens. I just think that’s wrong.” You have to give him credit. When players like Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow performed the gator chomp towards LSU and OKL fans in the previous year, Meyer didn’t take it lightly. Further, not a single Gator has used this celebration this season. You have to give Meyer a little respect for keeping his team in check after coming off a National Championship win. Just thought I’d add that tid-bit there. All this aside, look forward to a few breaks in the next few games from SEC officials. Who knows? Maybe the break could happen during the Florida game.