Farewell to UGA Energy Vampires

ATHENS, Ga. -- Nobody at Georgia receives the “Energy Vampire” label anymore, but the Bulldogs still seem to operate under last season’s no-complaining rules.

Last season, Bulldogs coach Mark Richt borrowed a concept from Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith -- adapted from the motivational book ‘The Energy Bus’ by Jon Gordon -- that emphasized positivity in all things. If players whined or participated in other forms of negativity, they were anointed “Energy Vampires” for sucking the positivity from the team.

That form of internal ridicule was effective, Richt said, but the Bulldogs’ coaches are moving on with different motivational techniques.

“’The Energy Bus’ was last year. ‘The Energy Bus’ was good,” said Richt, who even wore a wrist bracelet that said, “No complaining,” throughout last season.

The good news is that while Georgia’s staff has not re-instituted the negativity rules from a year ago, they still seem to be unofficially in effect. Richt said the Bulldogs’ overall attitude during spring and August practices continues to be positive.

“We didn’t really mandate a no-complaining rule, but I think the no-complaining rule has really kind of lived on past last season throughout the spring and in the fall,” Richt said. “There’s really not a lot of griping and moaning about much. Guys, they’re anxious to get coached and succeed. It’s been good.”