Kris Durham’s tears told the story. As the Georgia senior left the field yesterday it hit me: this guy wasn’t crying because his team had lost in his final collegiate game. He wasn’t crying because the Liberty Bowl had meant so much to him. Durham was crying because he felt alone on that field. Here’s a guy who had played his guts out for four years and had overcome an ACL injury, only to finish his career on a team that simply just didn’t care. You have to hurt for the guy.
There were so many things wrong with this season that I won’t even try to begin explaining them. There are too many things broken about this program that I won’t try to begin fixing either. Simply put, the culture of Georgia Football is a me-centered world right now. Yesterday, I saw no team. I saw offensive linemen raising their arms in disgust with each other when they missed a block. I saw defensive backs high-five each other when a pass fell incomplete, even though they were 10 yards away from actually making any kind of play. I saw a coach display a total lack of confidence in his players when he decided to kick a field goal after a 90+ yard drive. There is no quick fix. This is a group that is dysfunctional on a multi-layered scale. I heard the comment yesterday that watching the game was like, “being forced to watch a bad movie you’d already seen.”
The hope for 2011 won’t be the “we’re going to reevaluate everything” mantra. That was so 2008…and ’09. The hope for 2011 will be that these players and coaches never forget how humiliating this loss was. Clips from this season need to be running on a constant loop in the Butts-Mehre building. Scores need to be posted around the weight room. Quotes from other teams and coaches of how easy it was to play Georgia this year need to be visible. When all that sinks in, maybe, just maybe, the desire to win will finally trump the desire to go pro.
Sometimes, the worst pain is the best medicine. Lets hope that rings true for a very sick program.