In college football (especially the SEC), there just aren't enough chill pills to go around. Last week, I prescribed one to the people complaining about Chris Rainey's return, and this week, I'm dishing out a heavy dose to the people freaking out about Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's choke sign before Chas Henry's game-winning field goal on Saturday.
The Bulldogs called a timeout to ice Henry before his overtime field-goal attempt, and when the camera panned to UGA coach Mark Richt on the sideline, it caught Grantham repeatedly grabbing at his throat while appearing to notify Henry that he was "going to [expletive] choke." Video and photo evidence hit the Internet, setting off a wave of reaction.
The latest, from the AJC's Tony Barnhart this morning, says Grantham should be forced to apologize and then be fined and suspended for a game. He's not alone in that opinion, but is this really that big of a deal to you?
To me, this is way overblown. Grantham did something stupid, and the only person he harmed was himself. It makes him look like an idiot, and he should apologize. Instead, Grantham made himself look worse by offering this response:
“As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment. I wish the situation hadn’t happened. It was a tough, hard-fought game. They won it, and I’m ready to move forward and finish out the year strong."
When asked if he owes Henry an apology: “I’ve kind of basically said what I’m going to say.”
For me, that's the end of this story. When are we going to stop treating coaches like these almighty examples of moral character? Sure, they're leaders and should behave as such, but they're also intense competitors who live and die based on a game, and often, they aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.
Grantham showed his true colors Saturday, and that's all the punishment I think is necessary. Besides, it's not like Henry went home and cried after that. As my roommate said, "Florida's coaches have probably done worse than that to Henry in practice." If anything, it fueled him:
To be fair, there have been complaints from the UGA camp that Henry or other Florida players instigated the incident by making some kind of gesture first. I say, who cares? This is a football game, not church. It's a rivalry where, in the last four years, we've had Georgia rush the field and Florida call unnecessary timeouts to rub in a win and try to eye-gouge an opponent. Now, it's 2-2.
I don't think there will be any further comment from Florida on this situation, and that's for the best. Henry made the kick, Grantham made himself look immature, and now people are making way too big a deal out of it.
How do you feel about this? Agree with me? Want to give Grantham the electric chair? Or would you rather just take personal shots at each other about Miami? (We all know which option wins on this blog).
And remember, my Twitter is hungry.
UPDATE: Henry did a little taunting of his own, and he agrees this thing is overblown. Here's what he said today:
"I started laughing, like, 'You're going to ice me? I'm not even the kicker.' So I start looking and I see the guy doing the choke. I look at him again and he does like, 'You're going to choke.' So I take my helmet off and I gave him a little smooch. I blew him a little kiss. That might be why he got a little upset about that. Then he did it again."
"I think it's ridiculous that people are trying to say, 'Oh, he should have to apologize for it and everything.' It's just an intense game."