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AJC's Schultz: Richt Not Obsessed Enough

The point had to be made, and the AJC's Jeff Schultz has made it. Here's the part that gets into some gray area.

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Richt gets criticized for not showing enough emotion on the sideline. That might  be unfair. But here’s something worth asking: Is he obsessed enough?

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There’s no question Richt wants to win. But he has a lot more things important to him in his life now, like taking mission trips to Honduras. It doesn’t mean football isn’t important to him. Anybody who has seen him after losses knows otherwise. But college football coaching, particularly in the SEC, has become a 24/7/365 job.

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The thing that bugs me about this is that It comes off as if taking a mission trip to Honduras and not committing every iota of your being to football is a bad thing. And it's not.

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Football is important. The life of my remote control depends on how well the Bulldogs perform on Saturdays, but in the big picture, no one's actual life – not even Mark Richt's – depends on Georgia's success. In a time when coaches are having heart attacks and retiring/unretiring/taking a leave of absence because of nebulous health issues, Richt should be commended for his ability to keep a balanced perspective on life.

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But unfortunately Schultz is right about one aspect of this issue. A balanced perspective and a lack of obsession are only things that SEC football fans will accept while their coach is winning. When a 4-8 season looms, those traits become liabilities. His job is to win football games, and he's stopped doing that at an alarming rate. And if it's because he's not obsessed enough, then Georgia has no choice but to find someone who is.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.