Mark Richt says this will be like any other big-game week, except he’ll be down one administrative assistant. Tammy Mettenberger, who happens to be the mother of LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who was dismissed three years ago from Georgia, has been given the week off.
“She loves her son, obviously, and it would be awkward for her to be hanging around all week,” Richt said Sunday night. “I told her, ‘Enjoy it, go have fun, do some things you wouldn’t normally do this time of year and enjoy it.’ ”
This game between No. 6 LSU and No. 9 Georgia has huge implications for Richt’s team and sets the course for the rest of the season. Whether the Bulldogs still have national title hopes, for one.
But Richt giving Mettenberger’s mother the week off is an acknowledgement that this might as well be the Mettenberger Bowl — the prodigal son coming in to face the program that kicked him out three years ago.
“We’ve been knowing Zach since he was a very young kid,” Richt said. “We all really like Zach and want the best for him but just don’t want him to win the game this weekend. That’s the only thing that’s different from normal, is we’re competing against him this week.”
How about dem Dawgs? I didn't know that Mettenberger's mama worked for UGA. He wasn't a very good QB until this year when Mr. Potato Head (aka Les Miles) hired a competent offensive coordinator. In short, I wasn't all that interested in Zachy world.
This, however, is an interesting story because the gist is that people might give Tammy Mettenberger an unduly hard time this week, which is bollocks. I'm increasingly concerned that some people have a hard time telling the difference bewteen "sports hate" and real hate. It's one thing for the fans to boo the son but leave mama alone and do not throw her from the train.
I get "sports hate." I'm a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, so I "sports hate" the Los Angeles Dodgers, but you may recall that ancient rivalry was taken too far last year by those who, uh, bleed Dodger blue. As a LSU Tiger fan I "sports hate" the Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide but I don't hate their fans or the schools; not even Ala-fucking-bama. And I dealt with their rabid fans in my past life as a French Quarter merchant and the most I did was good naturedly tease them. The drunk UGA fan who barked like a dog did, however, get on my nerves but LSU fans are just as obnoxious with the whole "tiger bait" chant.
Most rational people keep real hate and the sporting variety separate but the internet has had a negative impact on rational fan behavior. A dear friend of mine lives in Atlanta but has deep ties to the core group of NOLA bloggers. In short, she's an honorary New Orleanian and was annoyed by the rabid twitter comments by some Saints fans during the Falcons game. It was ephemeral and fleeting but it's still disturbing. There's nothing wrong with mocking the Falcons or your main rival but keep it to sports, y'all. Life's too short for such asshattery and malakatude.
The word fan is, of course, rooted in the word "fanatic," so sports hate is older than William Shatner. I like the early term "crank" that was applied to baseball fans in the early 20th Century. There are a lot of cranks out there and they make me cranky, which is why I wrote this post.