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Relax, it's only a game

I'm a college football junkie. I have been known to spend many Saturday's in the fall doing a great impersonation of a couch potato—that's when I'm in front of the television set and not at BobDodd Stadium watching the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. (There was a time when the only weekend exercise I got was flipping from game to game with my remote control.)

But perhaps I have mellowed a little bit. Now I realize it's just a game. No longer do I toss my remote control in the air when my favorite team fumbles away the football, or when a sure victory slips from their collective hands because of a stupid turnover.

I try to tell myself the sun is still going to rise in the East tomorrow morning and everything will be right with the world again.

Still, it amazes me how many people try and turn a Saturday afternoon football game played between young adults into life and death. It's fine to feel pain over a loss and be sad, but eventually it's time to get over it.

Message boards can become down right evil.

Watch the Georgia Bulldogs lose a football game and within minutes, websites are calling for Mark Richt to fire offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Others are saying Richt has lost control and needs to step down.

A year ago, Georgia Tech won the ACC title, went to the Orange Bowl and had many members of the Yellow Jacket fan base thinking Paul Johnson was the second coming of BobDodd.

Lose a game or two, and smoke flies from computer keyboards as Tech fans post messages questioning whether the triple-option will work in the ACC.

Others say he made a mistake bringing in Al Groh and his 3-4 defense.

Firing a coach is not easy. In this day and age of huge buyouts, head coaches are going to walk away with a large chunk of change. If the University of Georgia waves bye-bye to Richt, he leaves with a $5-million dollar payment. LSU's Les Miles has a $15-million buyout.

He is not leaving Baton Rouge anytime soon, unless it's his own decision.

Even assistant coaches are well-compensated. Still it's the assistant coaches who have the most to lose if they get fired.

BobBowden once had to fire his own son just to satisfy the FSU nation. I'm sure that made for some rough Christmas dinners at the Bowden house.

Richt has been accused of blind loyalty when it comes to hanging on to his coaching staff, but let's face it, something has worked at Georgia during his decade-long tenure. He, after all, is 92-31.

Paul Johnson has won everywhere he has been and is 24-9 at Georgia Tech. Les Miles has been winning the skin of his teeth this year, but has one national title at LSU, is undefeated this season and 84-36 overall. How can the word fire come up in any conversation involving these two men?

Some programs have to fire coaches. After years of losing, sometimes a house cleaning is the only answer, but fans of winning programs need to take a deep breath, a step back and just chill out.

After all football is a game, a great game.

But it's only a game.

(Doug Gorman is the sports editor of the Clayton News and Henry Daily Herald ).