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Georgia Football

The Power of Belief and the Georgia Bulldogs

January 14, 2022

Like most of you, I’ve spent the last 48+ hours reveling in Georgia’s ascension to the top of the college football world. And to be honest, there were multiple times Monday night where I didn’t see it happening. A putrid offensive performance in the first half was only somewhat mitigated by a defense that wouldn’t break. The third quarter didn’t do much for my confidence either, but the game’s last 10 minutes were a sight to behold. I still paced the floor until Kelee Ringo’s pick 6. And only then, like all of you, did I fully believe that the elusive prize we’ve all wanted for 41 years was finally there to grasp. 

I haven’t been very productive at work. I’ve rewatched the game 3 times and have either watched or listened to every outlet that talked about the game’s result and what it means for Kirby, these players, the university, and for this insane fanbase. I’ve watched the post-game interviews and heard the word “belief” used multiple times. Belief in each other. Belief in the process. Belief in the coaches. Belief in oneself. Belief is different than hope, and as we saw, way more important. I had hope, but not necessarily belief. I had to see the Dawgs finally put a stake in the heart of the Crimson Tide and use a hobnail boot to do so. But these players believed. Why?


Now you can own this commemorative keep-sake hardcover book to remember the season. DAWGSTRUCTION will be shipped in late February. The cover is subject to change. 

Tim Kight of Focus 3 says this about why belief is so powerful: “The power of belief resides in its ability to do four things: Belief creates vision; Belief creates strength of will; Belief creates resilience; and Belief ignites and activates.” These four things were in great supply Monday night, and not just in Stetson Bennett.  How many of us truly believed at the 11:38 mark of the 4th quarter when Stetson fumbled? How many of us believed we had Bama right where we wanted them? I don’t know how many of us believed we’d win at that point, but what transpired before us was that the TEAM believed. 

The vision that belief creates started last spring and carried forward into preseason practice. Bennett talked about the early morning conditioning sessions and how hard they were. The vision drove them to work hard for this ultimate prize. The return of multiple players like Davis, Wyatt, Salyer, White and Cook, to name a few, contributed to that vision. This team knew they could not only compete, but that they could win. They had the talent and coaching. They had the connection. And they had the vision. 

The will created by this belief was evident throughout the season, but more so after the loss to Bama in the SEC Championship Game. This team could have easily folded after this embarrassing loss, again, to the hated Tide. The mere questions asked by sports media and so many of us could have been spoken into being.   But this team had the strength of will generated by their belief in each other and their coaches to not let that happen. The work this team undertook after that game was driven by belief. What we saw in the Orange Bowl was but a primer; this will was tested until late in the game Monday night, and at each instance it was will that brought the team back from a deficit to win the game going away.

Resilience is often defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity. And boy was there some adversity Monday night. Multiple penalties and the inability to make key plays (along with the dudes in black and white) made it almost seem as if we couldn’t have nice things. But if we look to the 10:14 mark of the 4th quarter when the Dawgs took over after the Bennett fumble and ensuing Tide TD (off a push off not called, but I digress), the boys bounced back. And in a huge way. Bennett was 3/3 on that drive to include that 40-yard touchdown strike to AD Mitchell. Resilience doesn’t just happen. It is created through trial after trial and getting up each time you’re knocked down. Bennett and the offense did just that, giving the Dawgs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. 

Finally, this belief definitely ignited and activated both the offense and defense. In the postgame interviews, Stetson plainly stated that, after the fumble, he wasn’t going to be the reason UGA lost the game. His belief in himself and his team ignited and activated something deep inside him to lead the Dawgs to two huge scores on back-to-back drives in the 4th quarter. While he hadn’t played terribly until that point, this belief in himself and his team lead to the two most consequential drives in recent UGA football history. This belief ignited others, like Mitchell, Cook and Macintosh to have game saving plays on both of those drives. This belief ignited the defense to get a 3 and out after the Mitchell touchdown, and to harass and abuse Bryce Young in that fourth quarter that ended, effectively, with Ringo’s pick 6. Big plays were made by big time players because they had the ability and belief to make it happen. 

As fans and followers of this program, it’s truly difficult, if not impossible, to gauge how tough and resilient any Dawg team will be. We don’t see the spring and preseason workouts, skull sessions and other training they conduct to get ready to play. We compare recruiting rankings to on-field production and continually question coaching decisions. But these kids grow before our eyes, driven by a belief that they represent an incredible university, program and fan base. This 2021 version of our beloved Dawgs gave us hope that was borne out of their belief in themselves and each other.  With the win Monday night, that hope is replaced by belief we can all feel. This team climbed to the mountain top, and this time kicked the bully off. Belief is real, for all of us, and as Kirby has said, we’re not going anywhere. 


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