For the past decade, UGA head football coach Mark Richt has stoically roamed the sidelines inside Sanford Stadium with great dispassion—nary the slightest heart palpitation nor strained vocal chord.
But this past Monday during the first summer practice of the 2010 season, the traditionally docile Richt directed an uncharacteristic (and somewhat fabricated) temper tantrum towards the attending media—and even a harmless trashcan.
Mark Bradley, AJC, recalls the outburst:
the famously placid Mark Richt was heard to vent, mostly at the positioning of those with cameras but also at one unwitting waste receptacle. Just after the offense and defense went head-to-head, Richt yelled that all those press people standing between the practice fields had to move. And then: “I want that trashcan out of there, too!”
Such an intense exhibition of iron-fisted authority from the habitually harmonious head coach. But is it a coincidence that this seemingly contrived outburst happened to take place on Media Day?
Richt has long been criticized for his apathetic sideline demeanor—a stark contrast from the SEC's most successful coaches.
Names like Saban, Meyer and Miles conjure up images of the kind of fire-spitting, baby-eating, ignore-your-family-for-months-at-a-time-in-order-to-win coaches with which Richt simply cannot assimilate.
So what better way to change your public perception than by intentionally contradicting it in front of dozens of reporters?
Maybe coach Richt is just trying to keep up with his new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose intense and energetic coaching style was thought to be the yin to Richt's yang.
Or perhaps he's just tired of listening to the criticism of his emotionless leadership approach from the thousands of beer-guzzling, visor-wearing Georgia fans who stumble the streets of Athens each Saturday night/Sunday morning come fall.
Either way, Mark Richt's initial effort to shed his label of "lackadaisical leader" was rather futile and won't erase the near 10 years of comatose coaching that precede him.
You're a nice guy, Mark...it's okay. And every Bulldog supporter in the country should be thankful that you haven't sacrificed that genuine cordiality in an effort to 'appear' more invested.
Because they (UGA fans) are all too aware of how misleading appearances can be.
That would be very nice.
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