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On Mark Richt's Brain Spasm, Urban Meyer's Poor Sportsmanship

Monday, November 3, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 8:19 AM, under ,

Athens, GA (Nov 3, 2008) - Certain elements of my family were upset that I was commandeering the television for 3.5 hours on Saturday to watch what I hoped would be an epic game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia. Little did I think I would be watching the second huge smackdown of Georgia this year. But I did, so the TV got turned off pretty early.

There were two things that struck me during the game. First, Mark Richt must have had the biggest brain spasm to call for that on-side kick after scoring their first (and only) field goal. As much as I respect Coach Richt as a human being and a coach, all I could say and think was "what an idiotic, boneheaded move". And that was before we saw who recovered the kick.

Then there is Urban Meyer calling those timeouts in the last minute of the game. We all know, and have read ad nauseum, that no one buys his statement about getting extra carries for a running back. This was payback for last year's end zone celebration by Georgia after a score. But there is an inherent difference. Last year's celebration was a spontaneous moment that got out of hand because Richt did not clearly state, according to him, how many could celebrate. Knowing what kind of man Mark Richt, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

What Meyer did on Saturday was a cold, deliberate action. It was not about celebrating the joy of something positive. It was about rubbing an already painful loss further into the faces of the Georgia players, coaches and fans. There is no benefit of a doubt here. It was just poor sportsmanship. It is just too bad it can never be proven, so the Southeastern Conference cannot fine the man for what he did.

So Florida fans, enjoy your well earned victory. The team was quite impressive to watch. Celebrate the fact that you have a clear path to the SEC title game. But don't celebrate the classless, crass move by your coach. Don't celebrate the icy cold handshake he offered Coach Richt at the end of the game. This kind of behavior is just wrong on so many levels.

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