Rooting for Matthew Stafford

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Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) walks off the field after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) walks off the field after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

There’s an announcement made on many college football Saturdays reminding the working members of the media that there is no cheering allowed in the press box.

It’s fair to say that reporters don’t root for the teams they cover as much as they root for good stories. Yes, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett winning a national championship as a former walk-on falls into that category.

There are no rules for players you’ve covered who move on to the next level.

Most of the guys that wear the red and black represent the Bulldogs well.

That certainly includes Matthew Stafford who has thrown a lot of touchdown passes--323--and nearly 50,000 passing yards. What he hadn’t done since being the No. 1 overall draft pick out of Georgia in 2009 is win a playoff game.

That is until this season. That’s mainly because he played for the Detroit Lions which made three playoff appearances under Stafford and went 3-13-1 this year after he was traded.

Stafford played at Georgia when things were different with how players and the media interacted.

Yes, he was a big-time five-star recruit from Highland Park High School near Dallas, but he often was available on a game week on Monday night after practice and then again at Georgia’s Tuesday weekly press conference. That doesn't happen these days.

Stafford and Georgia coach Kirby Smart donated money towards diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice programs in UGA athletics. Stafford and wife Kelly made gifts totaling $350,000.

You can tell how much this playoff run means to Stafford. He was super pumped up after his 44-yard pass down the field to set up the game-winning field goal to beat Tampa Bay Sunday.

Mark Richt, Stafford’s coach at Georgia, tweeted out congratulations to him and former Bulldogs Leonard Floyd and Sony Michel and Rams coaches Thomas Brown and Nick Jones who also played for Richt.

Stafford and the Rams are at home to face San Francisco for the NFC championship on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

--In case you missed it with all of the down-to-the-wire NFL playoff games, Hudson Swafford won the American Express championship in La Quinta, Calif. for the third PGA tour win for the former Georgia golfer. He also won the same event in 2017.

“I've fallen in love with this place. This is kind of my West Coast home, honestly,” he said, “I enjoy the weather here. I enjoy the grass. It's all Bermuda grass. It's what I grew up on. I don't know why here. It just clicks. I see the lines on the greens pretty well here and I got a lot of confidence and a lot of good memories here, so I can pull on that and keep going.”

UGA Calendar:

Men’s basketball vs. Alabama, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network

Men’s golf vs. Southwestern Invitational in Westlake Village, Calif., Tuesday-Wednesday

Follow me on Twitter @marcweiszer and email me at mweiszer@onlineathens.com

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Rooting for Matthew Stafford

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