Monday, November 15, 2010

Final Thoughts: Georgia-Auburn

Auburn fans are in denial - but so is everybody else. Auburn's fans are in denial about Cam Newton and they're in denial about Nick Fairley. However, I'm certain that ANY FANBASE would be acting the same way. Once again, it's the ugly side of our sport. Is Cam Newton above suspicion? Hell no. Look at how he ended up at Auburn to answer that question. Do I - and hopefully most fans - hope he's innocent here? Yes. It's pathetic to relish in the downfall of a kid. But it's also pathetic to put the blinders on because he's on your team and criticize journalists for doing their jobs and rail on about some conspiracy. Everybody needs to grow up on that one. As far as Fairley goes, is he a "dirty" player? It depends on how you look at it. Is what he does illegal? Only in the NFL, and he's not there yet. Is it poor sportsmanship? Without a doubt (but didn't UGA have a chop block called against them, too?). Should it be looked at? Absolutely. But until it is, he's simply using a shady strategy to change the game. I've seen and heard way too many Georgia fans crying about Fairley, overlooking the fact that it's their teams' responsibility to protect the QB in the first place. But I've also heard way too many Auburn fan defending number 90's antics. And, guess what, if the situations were flipped, the same shit would be said, just by the other team. Georgia would defend their shady player and Auburn would cry about the personal fouls. That's just how it is. The emotional connection that fans have to their programs often blinds them form reason and fact. Trust me, I know, I'm a Georgia fan.

One more thing about shady strategy, while we're at it. If you're playing a team that uses a hurry-up offense and one of your players fakes an injury to slow things down, that is a bit shady. Is it illegal? Nope. Why do I bring this up? Because it shows the true nature of college football fandom. Auburn fans look the other way on Fairley because he's theirs, but they feel a player laying on the field to slow down their offense is an affront to all that is sportsmanship. So much so, that by the 11th game of the season, they're booing any player that gets injured because it might slow their tempo. Even players that end up being carried off the field. That is the epitome of bad sportsmanship...and, once again, it's not particular to the Plains. The difference is, if it did happen in Sanford Stadium, I'd be disappointed and angered by my own fans who did it and very few Auburn fans have called out the morons in Jordan-Hare. Thanks to Jerry at WarBlogEagle for showing some class, though.

That's it - I hope Cam's clean, but won't be surprised if he's not, Nick Fairley's a douche, and Georgia got outplayed, not cheated. Now I'm done with 2010's edition of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry and getting ready to Wreck Tech in two weeks. It's just a shame that the final thoughts from this past Saturday had to deal with issues like this instead of what happened on the field. Not that everything that happened "on the field" was pleasant. Things were chippy early, but got real ugly late, and in the last two minutes, Georgia players ran on the field and two Auburn players were ejected. Things like this happen, and you cannot blame one team or the other, but frustration hit a high and things got dangerous and that's what can be avoided by stricter officiating.
UPDATE: Whoever did this needs to be charged with arson, and if it is a UGA fan - which, c'mon, it probably is - they need their fan card revoked.


  1. Since we haven't talked about the game and you're ready to move on to Tech (and I Bama), I will address my side in this comment. I agree with everything you said.

    Fairley, justly or not, plays within the letter, if not the spirit, of the law, and the SEC/NCAA will probably move to NFL-style rules as a result. (They probably should have already.)

    Neither team was innocent of classlessness Saturday (one-sided Facebook comments and Bill King's AJC blog to the contrary dampened my victory spirits far more than I should have let them).

    Fans will be fans, for better or mostly worse. I've never understood booing anyone (opposing team, your own) but the referees anyway.

    Whatever the outcome of the season, I am going to enjoy the rest of my time with Cam Newton. It's been a blast so far.

  2. Recruiting wrong-doing or not, Cam Newton is still tons of fun to watch and I would thoroughly enjoy watching a Georgia player of that caliber.

  3. This is part of the nature of competition in the SEC. I know there are classy programs in the SEC, but it's such a competitive conference that tensions easily rise to a boil, especially where old, old, old rivalries are concerned. No team, no fanbase, no coaching staff, no player is exempt from some criticism down here. The SEC is sort of like the Wall Street of college football, and it's a dirty, nasty, sometimes reprehensible place, but boy is it a damn sight on Saturday.