While the world waits to learn whether the fake John Brantley will start for the Florida Gators this Saturday---signs point to "yes," to the surprise of exactly no one in Bulldog Nation---the real John Brantley prepares to be inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame for the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday.
Brantley, a Sunshine State native, was a two-time All-SEC linebacker for the ‘Dawgs, twice being named the team’s most outstanding defensive player and being elected defensive captain of the 1987 Red and Black squad. He finished that year with 154 tackles, which is the fourth-best individual single-season tally in school history but only the second-best total notched by Brantley in the course of a campaign; he registered 160 in 1986.
Brantley was a colorful player who embodied the rock-ribbed tenacity of the Georgia defenses of the 1980s. Prior to one of the Bulldogs’ epic clashes with the Clemson Tigers, Brantley remarked: "This is one to see who the men are. It is the kind of game where women and children need to be sitting in the top level because bones are going to be cracking. It's going to be really intense."
Brantley will be joined in the Cocktail Party series hall of fame by fellow Georgia standout Bill Saye, whose play at linebacker was instrumental to the Red and Black’s 1954 victory in Jacksonville. Against the Gators, Saye was responsible for two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the Bulldogs’ 14-13 win over a favored Florida squad.
The players will be enshrined at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Friday in the plaza outside the south end zone of Everbank Field. Also among the noteworthy events taking place in and around the Gateway City are the following appearances by Robbie Burns, author of Belue to Scott! (all times Eastern):
If you’re in Jacksonville, stop by and see Robbie, and be sure to tell him you read about these events here at Dawg Sports.
While we’re on the subject, which Dawg Sports readers will be making the trip to the St. John’s River this week? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to post your photographs and reactions from Jacksonville in the fanposts. Also, help a first-time visitor to the Cocktail Party, if you would.