Kirby Smart is a master motivator. The head coach has shown that over the last two seasons, winning back-to-back national championships in Athens.
Sometimes, that motivation goes a bit too far, though. Over the past few years, we’ve heard some pretty farfetched stories about outside views of his program.
For example, after winning a second straight title and going a perfect 15-0 last year, UGA players actually believed that the media thought they’d be a 7-5 team.
“They thought we were gonna go 7-5, we end up perfect. I can talk trash now cause I’m done. I’m a #Dawg for life and I will always be a Dawg.”
A DGD indeed. Nolan Smith, what a joy to cover you. #CFBPlayoff pic.twitter.com/wjmeV5hxIO
— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) January 10, 2023
An incredible spin zone by the coaching staff.
Using that narrative of doubters and disrespect has been successful on the field for the Bulldogs, and they’ve employed it again this year after a number of national analysts chose Alabama to win the SEC crown.
Now, though, Coach Smart is using his motivational tactics on the UGA fanbase.
Ahead of a matchup versus South Carolina, the head coach called out a Gamecock player for something said at SEC Media Days. The quote, which has absolutely no ill will towards the University of Georgia, has been spun into Bulldog blasphemy.
Kirby Smart calls out South Carolina player with maybe his best spin yet.
Over the summer, South Carolina defensive lineman Tonka Hemingway was asked about stadiums across the SEC. More specifically, he was asked to name the most hostile road venues he’s visited.
“As far as the loudest, I would say Texas A&M… Tennessee can get pretty loud, too,” the defender responded.
Most wouldn’t argue that opinion given both stadiums hold more than 100,000 fans, compared to Sanford Stadium’s capacity of 92, 746.
Smart somehow spun this response into Georgia hate as he looks to motivate Bulldog fans to show up in Athens on Saturday.
— The Saturday In Athens Podcast (@Saturday_Athens) September 12, 2023
“People want to question whether or not our fans are elite, we’ll find out Saturday, right?” Smart asked before singling Hemingway out. “Sounds like Tonka called ’em out. Maybe we’ll use Tonka as motivation.”
Fans have been quick to react. Most can see the extreme reach Smart is making.
*Tonka doesn’t mention UGA or the 10 other schools in the SEC*
*Kirby trying to rile up the barkers: “Tonka called out our fans!!!”
— GamecockTroll (@GamecockTroll) September 12, 2023
“My man had to look down. He could barely keep a straight face through this Space Jam buzzer beater type stretch,” one person wrote.
Are GA fans this insecure over their stadium environment?
— Sevie (@itssevie) September 12, 2023
“The level of spin he does to make Georgia feel disrespected is impressive. Months ago, a Carolina player said in his opinion A&M and UT were the toughest places to play. What an insult to UGA,” another sarcastically said.
Y’all be stretching everything to get some motivation 😭😭
— RATTLER/YOUNG SZN (@Nohlol16) September 12, 2023
Kirby Smart and Georgia take on South Carolina this Saturday. We should see a packed house in Athens.