LADIES & GENTLEMEN – The new era, the new generation, a new beginning of University of Georgia football officially arrives on Saturday, September 3rd at 5:30 P.M. For the first time in sixteen years the Bulldogs will storm the field, not under the direction of Mark Richt, but now led by Coach Smart.
Make no mistake about it, the University of Georgia football program has been through a storm. Since the Bulldogs came agonizingly close to defeating Alabama in the 2012 SEC Championship game the program has navigated rough seas. The entire Bulldog Nation, the coaches and players, had their hearts torn out and stomped on by a hobnail boot when Aaron Murray’s deflected pass was caught and the final precious seconds ticked off the clock only yards short of victory. On that date, December 1, 2012, the program lost all momentum and became full of doubts on whether or not the Mark Richt was the right man to lead the Bulldogs to the mountaintop. It was time for a new beginning.
But as most of you have experienced in your personal lives, it can be very difficult to pinpoint that moment of when change is needed because we are too busy trying to fight through the storm. We hold onto something because it is safe, it is good enough and we are afraid of what might happen if we take a risk. The Bulldog football program was in that same state – the all too familiar comfort zone. It was time for a new beginning but there were questions abound about who would replace Mark Richt? Would the program take a step back? Are consistent 10-win seasons really not good enough?
We have all experienced new beginnings in life. Whether it is your first day of school, getting married, starting a new job or the birth of your first child – those are all new beginnings. They are every bit as exciting as they are terrifying. You learn something new every day and there are moments of pure elation and joy along with moments of unbelievable fear and endless questions.
But more often than not, when you take that risk, when you make a decision not to settle for average and instead strive for greatness, more good comes from it then bad. Like when you go ask your boss for a raise and he says no and you make the decision to go look for a better opportunity. Then, five years later when you have a better job and you are making more money you wonder why you stuck around at that old job for so long.
That is what we will be experiencing this Saturday. This is a football game the Bulldogs could win just as easily as they could lose. There are many more questions than there are answers leading up to the kickoff. However, the answers to many of those questions will start to roll in shortly after 5:30.
I am scared, I am nervous, I have questions. But there is one thing I have absolutely zero doubt of – It was time to take a risk, it was time for a new beginning and there was no better man for the job than Coach Smart.
It is game week!! The new beginning is here!! So, Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise, it’s time to AWAKEN AN ENTIRE NATION!!