Opinion Week: Mediocrity is a Vice

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

.500 is a soft landing pad built out of "meh," but it has become too comfortable a place.

Anyone who has ever seen me in the stands at a football game (or any other kind of game, for that matter) can tell you that I get into it.  I scream, I hoot, I holler, I get mad and stomp around.  But after this past season, I became resigned.  I decided that Georgia Tech will forever be 7-6 in this age of bagmen and SRC hype until some miracle happens or I get really rich and decide to give all my money to the athletic department (note: I will not do this).  I decided that it's not worth the emotional investment in a program that doesn't seem to have any way out of the .500 rabbit hole.  Hell, we even found a way to end a 14 game season 7-7; Tech actually became impressively mediocre at that point.  Don't get me wrong, I still go to the games and cheer on the team and put a smile on for the team, I'm just not going to give it my all.  I don't see any reason put the fan in fanatic anymore.

This serene complacency is probably the worst state I can be in as a fan.  As a lifelong Buccaneers supporter, I can tell you that I enjoy things more if my team is abjectly terrible rather than if they're just "O.K."  If your team sucks, you can laugh it off, have a drink, and be lighthearted about it.  You can get into arguments with fans of rival teams and when they parry with "YEAH WELL YOUR TEAM SUCKS" then you can laugh at their mediocre debating skills and say something to the effect of "No duh, is that all you got?"

When your team's middling, all you can do is sit around talking about how "we were THIS close" to a good season and pining for the good ol days.  Sound familiar?  These options are far more infuriating to me than kicking back a few brews and laughing with your buddies while your 2-10 CRAP SQUAD does it's best Purdue imitation.

Many folks who read this site will probably take the previous three paragraphs as a [not so] subtle jab at Paul Johnson.  It's not.  We were mediocre for a long time before PJ, and you certainly can't blame all that on him.  Can he fix the current rut the program's in?  That remains to be seen.  But this article's not about PJ or why we get stuck in ruts or any of that, it's about the strange little comfortable homes we all seem to have set up in those ruts.

The comments on here are usually a cacophony of positivity and upward outlooks, and that's unique among sports blogs.  Even if you take a trip down to Bama's forums, fans of a team who have been blessed with an incredible run of success, you'll find clowns who want to fire Saban.  Why are we so positive?  Is it just because we're smart enough not to put all of our emotional eggs in the football basket like many local fan bases tend to?  Do we just not care?  Or is it more a Pavlovian reaction, a response we've learned through the many years of always swiping at the carrot at the end of the stick but rarely getting to eat it?

I think it's a combination of all of these things and many more.  But I don't want us to exert that complacent positivity that I've fallen into any more.  I dont want to have to think about the what-ifs and the seasons not had.  I want the fanbase to get angry, to get mean, to get so into the game that your wife has to bring you back to earth.  If there's no passion like that in the stands, then I think it becomes a lot harder for the team to put that kind of passion forth on the field.  In the end, we might not have anyone to blame for that 7-7 mark other than ourselves.

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