Todd Grantham: Epic Professionalism Fail

Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone's Entitled to Joe's Opinion, registers his disapproval of Todd Grantham's antics. Yep, Grantham choked.

It’s bad enough that we just got beat by the worst Florida team ever to set foot on a football field during Urban Meyer’s tenure.

It’s bad enough that Georgia, which had the superior talent by far, was outmanned, outclassed, and outcoached by a team coming off a three-game losing streak, a team that could only muster seven points at home against Mississippi State.

It’s bad enough that a punter pressed into service as a field-goal kicker because the regular field-goal kicker got hurt, made the play that beat Georgia.

The worst part in all of this is that we brought this on ourselves and that we showed ourselves to have deserved exactly what we got.


Because our vaunted defensive coordinator committed an EPIC professionalism fail!!!!!!!!!!

On Monday afternoon, a screen grab from the Florida cable network Sun Sports’s coverage of Florida-Georgia showed Todd Grantham with his hand on his throat, appearing to give the choke sign as Florida’s Chas Henry was lining up to attempt the game-winning field goal.  Other evidence surfaced later in the day which confirmed that Grantham did in fact give Henry the choke sign, not once but multiple times, while yelling out “YOU’RE GONNA [expletive deleted] CHOKE!!!!!!!!!”  Yesterday, Mark Richt confirmed that that is, in fact, exactly what happened.

Here is AJC sports columnist Jeff Schultz’s take on the situation.  He has the Sun Sports screen grab mentioned above, as well as two other videos which shed additional light upon the story.  He also has quotes from Grantham regarding this incident.

I could understand Grantham looking on and thinking “Choke” or “Miss it” in his head.  I would be doing the exact same thing if I were standing on that sideline in that moment.  I could even understand one–or more–of the Georgia players giving Henry the choke sign or yelling out “CHOKE!!!!!”

But for a 44-year-old coach to give the choke sign while yelling out “YOU’RE GONNA [expletive deleted] CHOKE!!!!!!!!!!” at a 21-year-old player on the other team, a person who did not even exist when he graduated from college?

EPIC professionalism fail!!!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, Henry did not choke.  Georgia lost.  And thanks to Grantham’s antics, Georgia deserved exactly what it got.

Todd Grantham brings a very competitive spirit.  I totally appreciate that, especially after five years of the previous defensive coordinator who appeared to have no semblance of competitive spirit whatsoever.

But on this occasion, Grantham allowed his competitive spirit to go in directions that were inappropriate and unprofessional.  Granted, it wasn’t on the level of Woody Hayes punching out that Clemson player.  But still.

Yelling obscenities at an opposing player and giving the choke sign multiple times does NOT make your team any better, tougher, or more competitive.  All it does is make you look like a classless jerk.  Grantham’s behavior was inappropriate and unprofessional, and it besmirched the dignity of Georgia football.  He owes an apology to everyone concerned.

UPDATE: AJC sports columnist Tony Barnhart concurs, and goes on to suggest that Grantham be given a one-game suspension and a hefty fine, along with a stern warning that if such behavior were to occur again and be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, he would no longer be the defensive coordinator at Georgia.