When Georgia football coach Mark Richt met with beat reporters and some national writers to start off SEC Media Days last week, he was asked about the testy exchange in his postgame press conference after the SEC championship game loss to Alabama.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know if it was a question or comment,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI was trying to understand what the gentleman was trying to say.‚Äù
Chuck Oliver, who goes by the ‚ÄúKing of College Football,‚Äù said this after the 32-28 loss in the Georgia Dome: ‚ÄúThere are some people whether it‚Äôs fans, media or whomever else that will maybe want to make further conclusions about you or your quarterback, specifically, in big games. Would you have any response to those people?‚Äù
Richt‚Äôs response: ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know what you‚Äôre saying. Why don‚Äôt you just say it straight up what you‚Äôre trying to say.‚Äù
Here‚Äôs the video of the exchange:
Richt agreed that after coming so close to winning the SEC title and getting to the BCS national championship game, it was less about what was said than when it was said.
‚ÄúI guess timing is everything,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI just didn‚Äôt think that was appropriate at the moment. Everybody‚Äôs got to do their job and ask the questions they‚Äôve got to ask whether they‚Äôre comfortable or not. I didn‚Äôt think that was a good time to say it because I thought (Aaron) Murray played his tail off. I thought both teams…I don‚Äôt know if it was an epic game or not. People seemed to think so when the game was over. I think there were a lot more appropriate things to talk about than that at that very moment.‚Äù
Later on this day in Hoover, Ala., Richt sat down on radio row with Oliver and his broadcast partner Matt Chernoff. The interview was cordial.
That‚Äôs the Richt most on display representing Georgia.
Defensive end Garrison Smith spoke about when Richt sometimes gets close to the edge of a different side.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve seen coach Richt so mad one time that he almost said a cussing word. He said fiddlesticks,‚Äù Smith said. ‚ÄúA lot of people put on that fa√ßade of being a Christian guy and it‚Äôs just a tool that they use. I can honestly say, and I‚Äôm a stand-up guy, that coach Richt, he‚Äôs a genuine guy.‚Äù
Richt was told about the `fiddlesticks‚Äô comment from Smith: ‚ÄúNah, he‚Äôs being kind. The boys have seen and heard a few things that the public hasn‚Äôt seen and heard and my family has as well. Garrison, he‚Äôs a trip.‚Äù
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer