Steve Spurrier’s Top 5 Georgia Jokes
Maybe it’s the 14–5 career record he holds against the Bulldogs, but Steve Spurrier has always had withering jokes about Georgia (as he does with several teams). We rank his top five zingers dating back to his days in Gainesville.
Even during his two-year sabbatical as an NFL coach, Spurrier never stopped using the Bulldogs as a personal punch line. When he arrived as coach of the Washington Redskins, he was expected to talk and score big. Washington never did much of the latter under Spurrier’s tenure, but he still got in the former.
When asked during his first season, in 2002, what he thought of his NFC East competition, Spurrier said of the Dallas Cowboys, “Maybe they can be our Georgia.” In other words, a team that Washington could constantly beat up on.
It didn’t quite work out that way, as Spurrier would lose three of his four games against the Cowboys between 2002 and 2003.
That same arrogance and confidence that rubbed rival coaches and fans the wrong way is what has made Spurrier successful. Ray Goff, a former Georgia quarterback who became the Bulldogs’ coach in 1989 the year before Spurrier arrived in Gainesville to coach Florida, was never that way.
That made him an easy target for Spurrier (as did their relative simultaneous arrival in the SEC).
Goff assessed his own hiring with, “They’ve gone out on a limb, there’s no doubting that.” And while he led the Bulldogs to nine wins in ’91 and 10 in ’92, he never had the killer instinct Spurrier had. Or the experience (he was just 33 when Georgia tabbed him).
Little surprise that Spurrier beat him in all six of their meetings. Before the last one, when a reporter asked if Florida would beat Georgia a seventh straight time, Spurrier replied, “Is Ray Goff still coaching there?”
Honesty hurts. Goff was gone after that 1995 season.
Spurrier’s South Carolina teams typically played Georgia in early September. In 2012, the game has been bumped back to October. While Spurrier didn’t mind, he did enjoy the personnel advantages he felt the earlier-scheduled game gave his team.
“I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended,” he told ESPN’s Chris Low.
Spurrier also went after Nick Saban in the same interview, just in case Georgia wanted some company in the “targets of Spurrier zingers” department.
You can bring in talented recruits in droves, but without the right coaching they aren’t guaranteed to be world-beaters.
Spurrier could recruit, but he could also coach. He felt Goff and his staff at Georgia, on the other hand, only proved themselves adept at the former. So after Spurrier and the Gators whupped the Bulldogs 45–13 in 1991, he asked the following hypothetical question.
“Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”
A dig at an entire program’s infrastructure. Cold.
Poor Ray Goff. If it wasn’t for Steve Spurrier constantly flexing his gamesmanship muscles, he’d be remembered as a onetime Georgia quarterback much more so than a butt for the Head Ball Coach’s jokes.
The worst of which was Spurrier’s way of saying, “I don’t take you seriously,” by consistently calling Georgia’s coach “Ray Goof.” Goff once responded with a much darker reply: “He’s a good coach, but I’d like to run into him some night down a dark alley.”
When you let Steve Spurrier into your head, don’t plan on getting him out anytime soon. Georgia's been trying and failing to do that for two decades and will get another chance on Saturday when the No. 5 Bulldogs visit Columbia.
Posted: October 2, 2012