Gene Chizik drew a little bit of attention earlier this year -- most of it of the "wait, what did he say?" variety -- by referring to Auburn's need to ward off "energy vampires."
As it turns out, the concept of enthusiasm-sapping children-of-the-night was borrowed from the book "The Energy Bus," by Jon Gordon, which has recently become a favorite of football coaches far and wide. But even Chizik can't match the devotion to Gordon's philosophy being shown by Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs this preseason.
As reported by the Athens Banner-Herald, that devotion includes an "Energy Vampires" board in the locker room, on which wayward Bulldogs have their picture posted "with horns and fangs added"; "No Complaining" bracelets worn by both team members and staff, Richt included (freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell was even spotted with one in his hair); and a one-on-one conversation between Richt and Gordon in which the author advised Richt -- probably wisely -- to have the Bulldogs read "just one" book in his series, rather than all four.
But for all Richt's commitment, does it necessarily mean the players have bought in? From this description, it sounds like they have:
Receiver Marlon Brown wore a “Get On The Bus” T-shirt last week that on the back had an illustration of a bus with Richt driving it to the Georgia Dome, a place the Bulldogs hope to reach for the Southeastern Conference championship game for the first time since 2005.So at least the Dawgs appear to be taking Richt's call-to-positivity seriously. Of course, how much that buying-in will be worth on the field is open to debate -- we'd guess Richt would trade it in a heartbeat for a healthy offensive line -- but after two seasons of listless play that at times made it seem like someone was sucking the energy out of the Georgia sideline, it sure can't hurt.