We thought this was season. We thought we were past this. In many ways it is. Our Defense has came a long way from last years games, and we have a team who can play four quarters versus just the first half.
I'll be the first one to say I grew very impassioned at the end of last nights game. My reaction last night, as Chris justifiably pointed out, was over the top.
My reasonings I think are sound: Georgia did not defeat us last night, rather we beat ourselves.
Aristotle once wrote that it is the mark of a educated man to entertain a thought without accepting it.
So lets look past our passions, mine included, for a moment shall we?
We have improved, make no mistake.
Perhaps however, we have set our own selves up, as fans, for failure in our expectations. It's fustrating as a fan to see a team who is exceptionally talented fall short not for lack of ability but like of mental focus, and a belief in their own abilities. That was my take on last night anyway.
Saying that, perhaps we have not set ourselves up for failure then.
We have the talent base. We have the ability. As I mentioned last night in comments I really feel this is a team who can play well, but when we take a hook to the mouth I think we stand, numb in shock after the hit for too long. We need to recover, stick and move.
Don't let the intangibles strike us so hard. Roll with the flow. Mistakes will be made.
However the fact that we could not capitalize on several mistakes made by the Bulldogs last night I think is what created our current disenchantment.
So instead of focusing on the negative lets try some positives, and lets look at some of the intangibles that are surrounding us.
*We have a excellent Quarterback. granted he may be injured but we have a weapon in this positon, and with every game his ability and perception has improved.
*Our receivers are struggling, but as a corp they are working hard to fill the gap left by Hunter. They have done well all things considering. Rivera especially has become a safety valve, which is what the TE position really is in my book.
*Our D line can hold. We should have more interceptions, but frankly I'll take a knock down any day of the week if it keeps our opponent from moving forward. A interception is just icing on the cake in my book.
*Our coach is solid. Anyone who ridicules Dooley at this stage is deluding themselves, and I state that openly. The only way this program could have struggled more is if a situation as what happened in Marshall befell us. Otherwise he has done well in trying to make something out of nothing.
*Maybe its just me, but our running game last night was the best production I think we have seen in over a year. It was a threat. It could be used. Yes they fumbled and made errors, but when they clicked, it was hell on wheels. I look forward to seeing this dynamic in the future improve more.
*The Madden Effect. In courtrooms they have a new theory that they often call the "CSI Effect". Where juries who have watched TV shows such as CSI have a unrealistic expectation of Law Enforcement. I'm sure some of the lawyer types among us can expand upon it if necessary. I think College football (and pro for that matter) has a similar vein. Individuals feel that because they can win back to back championships with Mrs. MacGruders third grade class in NCAA 2012 that we should be able to do likewise. Such expectations are fool hardy at best, and asinine at worst. I refer any challengers to compare any military combat game that can be introduced and a tag line on a Military recruiter pamphlet that reads "Just like the X-Box...except you die." Games are for entertainment, and to some extent strategy but it does not reflect the realities.
Yes all of this positions and areas have need for improvement. But lets face it: when isn't there room for improvement? When in a program is their not some facet, some key item that needs to be adjusted or modified for? Never.
We must keep the faith. Myself included.
When Simms took the field last night I hung my head. I was one of his staunchest defenders last years. I felt he was a human punching bag and took the brunt of the blame of the O-lines failure to be able to protect him, when he should not have.
The sack at the end seemed poetic in a twisted way to that affect.
Our next opponent is LSU.
Alabama has been our rival since before any of us where born, but I think I can say we respect them not just for what they can do on the field but for what they bring to the SEC program in general. They are a worthy rival, in other words.
LSU on the other hand, I have no love for. I despise them. Too many games we become the brides maid instead of the bride at the hands of the Tigers. Too many times I have seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by Les Miles and his Baton Rouge swamp runners. Too often have cursed the sky for his ability to turn wins out of literal thin air.
We must focus. We must focus for our teams sake. We can not pretend that they are not aware of what happens on-line. We cannot be so insensitive as to think that they do not read headlines, hear rumors, or know what is said behind closed doors.
For if we start criticizing, if we do not or can not rally our selves, those of us who stand on the sideline and do little more than wave a flag...then how can we expect our gladiators to rally themselves?
We must keep the faith. We must believe. Being a fan means we praise them even in their failures, find grace in the things we can not change, and help them to endure that which will make us stronger.
In Ireland we have a phrase Sine Metu. It means 'Without fear."
We must be without fear. We must keep the faith.