As you know, I have been sick this week. Had I not had appointments every day this week, I wouldn’t have gone into the office most days, and, when I’ve been home, I’ve been taking over-the-counter cold medications that come with warnings not to operate heavy machinery, and that should come with warnings not to appear on podcasts. Basically, all I want to do right now is sleep while this plays in my fevered dreams.
However, Mike Slive is determined to ruin my rest and recovery, because he has suspended Kwame Geathers and Shawn Williams for the first half of the Georgia Bulldogs’ upcoming game against the Florida Gators, which is kind of a big deal, and which necessitates comment in this space.
At the end of the day, Year2 is right: Geathers and Williams swung on guys, and, while the punches they threw were hardly thrown without provocation, the fact is that socking a guy on a football field is a no-no, and it isn’t a legally adequate excuse to say he had it coming, even if there’s a pretty good case to be made for the proposition that he had it coming. They made their choices, and they were bad ones, and now they, and their team, will have to pay the price. I come neither to praise nor to bury Geathers and Williams; the situation is what the situation is. The question now becomes, "How pessimistic should this make us?" Here are five reasons why the answer to that question is, "Not very":
- We found out about it before the bye week. The main reason A.J. Green’s suspension wreaked such havoc on the early part of the Bulldogs’ 2010 season was the uncertainty surrounding it; Georgia spent all or part of the preparation time for the first two games of last season not knowing whether Green would play, so the coaches and players had to get ready for either eventuality. The ‘Dawgs will head into the open date knowing Geathers and Williams will be unavailable for a half, and they will be able to game-plan accordingly.
- Geathers and Williams will be well-rested for the second half. Remember last year’s Iron Bowl? The Auburn Tigers had players suspended for the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide following the Plainsmen’s 2010 fracas with the Red and Black, but getting them back made the Yellowhammer State showdown a tale of two halves. Given the way Georgia came back against Florida after a sluggish start in Jacksonville a year ago, all the ‘Dawgs really have to do is keep it competitive for 30 minutes, and they’ll be at their best after the break.
- Mad ‘Dawgs are mean ‘Dawgs. There may be no better motivational ploy in all of sports than the classic "us against the world" theme. Overconfidence has seldom served Georgia well in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, at least not during the lifetimes of any current Bulldogs, so using the "everyone’s out to get you" and "everyone wants to see you fail" tactics could help promote an irate underdog mentality, which is what we need. Yeah, it’s a lie, but, if the players buy into it and win as a result, who really cares?
- We won’t be able to build up a lead in the first half, so Mike Bobo won’t be able to call plays with a lead in the second half. You want Mike Bobo to keep his foot on the gas? Then don’t let him coast. A depleted first-half defense leads to an aggressive second-half offense.
- It’s the Florida game. This is the one in which our all-time leading receiver drops a critical third-down pass and our quarterback is injured for one dadgum game in an SEC championship season. If it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all. If it hadn’t been this disaster, it would’ve just been some other disaster. The other shoe has fallen, so now we can relax.
That’s the best I can do. What do you think?