An open letter to UGA "Boo Birds"
Let me start by saying, I'm in a very rare place. I'm fortunate to be able to share a fan's perspective, and be a part of what I've said is the best fan base in all of the land, all at the same time. I'll go forward with those same thoughts even though there may be data to prove otherwise.
The conditions Saturday were less than desirable, but that didn't stop football from happening, and it didn't stop fans from coming out to watch. With rain in the forecast, it provided the lowest ticket prices I have ever seen for a home game in Athens. Friday night, the secondary ticket market had scores of tickets available for less than $10.00.
Based on the reaction of the crowd, there were many there that took advantage of that. A wise man told me years ago, when doing something you've never done, always act like you've been there before. Saturday night, that didn't happen.
Multiple times, echos of boos filled Sanford stadium. Boos that got the attention of not only fans, but also the players that work so hard to provide the entertainment we seek a few weekends out of every year. Our players are on record, thanking each and every one of us for our investment into them. They've done this on more occasions than I could even count.
They deserve better.
I've seen the posts on social media. Fans screaming about their right to boo. They'll go on to say that the boos were not even directed at players. They were aimed directly at the coaching staff. I suppose they were hit with "friendly fire", so to speak.
Tweets to "Stay over there" and "No fake love" come to mind. What does that tell you? It tells me that they're not interested in where you aim your insults. They're a family, top to bottom. Coaching staff included.
There is one dynamic that is openly talked about within this football team. You hear it from Kirby Smart, players, recruits, and the parents of players and potential players. That dynamic is a family atmosphere. That isn't a silly catch phrase for people to latch on to. It's a way of life. It's an ingredient necessary to travel to the highest landscape of college football. Inside of a family you wear the scars of the people you fight for. The people you love and support.
In the same way they've become a family to each other they've become my family as well. As a fan, in a way, each team becomes a family. We invest mass amounts of time and energy into these Dawgs. Their sacrifice is more hard work than most can even realize.
What they do when people are not watching is far more than most of us have to endure. Real blood, sweat, and tears. Late nights preparing and more early mornings than we can imagine. All in preparation to deliver on the goals that are ahead of them. I'm personally thankful for every second of that, and I'm certain you are too.
I'll end by saying that I know that being a fan is a whirlwind of emotion full of highs and lows. I ride those waves with the best of them. I also do it with the thoughts of every player that gives their all to this magnificent University, and every recruit that one day may attend.
I'm aware that people are watching. Players and parents alike. If I'm fortunate enough to cross paths with any of them, I hope they walk away knowing I give them my utmost support everyday in every situation this team may face. On and off of the field. That's the least that each and everyone of us can do. With that said, I feel I must apologize to this team for the actions of fans Saturday night. I also need to thank each and every other person, and there are many, that do it the right way.
As for the rest? Please. Be better.
Let's win this bye week, focus on the task at hand, and take over the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Go Dawgs!