In Goblet of Fire, Professor Trelawney dramatically informed Harry Potter that, once again, he was doomed.
"You are preoccupied, my dear," she said mournfully to Harry. "My inner eye sees past your brave face to the troubled soul within. And I regret to say that your worries are not baseless. I see difficult times ahead for you, alas...most difficult...I fear the thing you dread will come to pass...and perhaps sooner than you think..."
Professor Trelawney could easily have been talking about the 2011 football season, and Harry and Ron's subsequent gloom-and-doom predictions could also be applied to the upcoming season Between the Hedges. Harry and Ron's predictions are tongue-in-cheek, written for the sole purpose of currying favor with someone who loves over-the-top pessimism. I offer this seasonal prediction in the same spirit and sincerely hope that all of us may reach the same level of unflinching acceptance about the upcoming season as Harry and Ron have reached about their own impending doom.
1) "Next Monday," [Ron] said as he scribbled, "I am likely to develop a cough, owing to the unlucky conjunction of Mars and Jupiter."
If there's one thing our team is good at accruing besides arrests (current yearly record notwithstanding), it's injuries. How many times have we missed "our year" (cue Maxwell Smart voice) "by that much" because our star players pulled or broke something? My crystal ball tells me that we will have numerous injuries during the upcoming season. And my crystal ball is never wrong. Mostly.
2) "Right," said Harry..."Okay...on Monday, I will be in danger of--er--burns."
Let's face it: our defense is always in danger of burns. Whether they are getting beaten on a deep route or are falling for a QB sneak, scorch marks will inevitably appear on their uniforms (not that this would really make the Pro Combat unis look worse). That trend will continue in 2011 to the point where the coaches will have to hand out flame stickers for every blown tackle or missed coverage instead of dawg bones for good plays (of which there will be zero). There will be no noticeable improvement from this previous season to the next because...there just won't. Why do I need a reason to expect a continued Synergy of Suck?
3) "Lose a treasured possession," said Harry.
We have already lost our (arguably) most treasured possession to the draft, and we will continue to lose other treasured possessions to the draft this year, next year, and all the years to come. Energy vampires who were once starters will be kicked off the energy bus at record-breaking rates. Star players will continue to get injured (as I mentioned above), and starters will continue to commit such heinous crimes as emerging from an alley on a scooter while being unable to produce a satisfactory middle name.
4) "Why don't you get stabbed in the back by someone you thought was a friend?"
Betraying and/or screwing over UGA will continue to be some people's favorite pastime. Pledged recruits will decommit on National Signing Day because they could not turn down Auburn's promises of untold riches and a lifetime supply of Cammy-Cam Juice. Coaches who played for the Red and Black will take head coaching positions at rival institutions and will make snide comments about their days at UGA. SEC officials will reach new lows when officiating our games. Some dirty Auburn player will hit Murray late for the 20th time; the officials will flag Murray for roughing the tackler. We will be forced to vacate the few wins we will scrape together this season and go on probation after Uga VIII gets busted posthumously for selling an autographed Relay for Life T-shirt to raise money for cancer research. Coaches, players, and fans will rally to Uga VIII's cause, but the NCAA will tell the Dawgs that death is not a suitable excuse for Uga's not saying that his judgment was clouded by mitigating circumstances or that he didn't even know he was selling the T-shirt.
5) "And on Wednesday, I think I'll come off worst in a fight."
We will continue to lose close games, coming off worse in every game that comes down to a touchdown or less. The most painful dagger in the hearts of the Bulldog faithful will come in Jacksonville, where Blair Walsh will get turned around on the field and will accidentally kick a 70 yard field goal, giving the Gators a 3 point victory.
6) "Aaah, I was going to have a fight. Okay, I'll lose a bet."
Vegas will hate us because our sheer inconsistency will defy their attempts at predicting logical outcomes every single game. Fans will continue to berate the coaches because they will lose the bets they make on the field. Grantham will mistakenly assume his players can wrap up their tackles on any given down. Bobo will run Carlton Thomas up the middle on 4th and 1 from our own 20. As Mingo and Fanti might say in Serenity, "They'll run when the oughta throw and they'll throw when they oughta run."
7) "You seem to be drowning twice," said Hermione.
If anyone can drown twice, it's this team. In fact, my copy of Unfogging the Future leads me to believe that the Georgia Bulldogs will drown each and every game. Drowning involves sputtering, suffocating, choking, and being overwhelmed by a superior force; I expect to see all those things occur in every single football game this season.
8) "Oh, am I?" Ron said, peering down at his predictions. "I'd better change one of them to getting trampled by a raging hippogriff."
A Bronco resembles a hippogriff if you squint, right? The Dawgs will get trampled by the raging hippogriff that is Boise State, and we will be forced to listen to MNC talk about the Broncos until they lose to someone they should beat. There will surely be several teams who will trample us like a raging hippogriff, blowing us out by five touchdowns. Oh, well; at least hippogriffs are cool--unless they catch you laughing at them. Then their vengeance is swift, gory, and extremely painful, just like that of the NCAA on
teams they don't like teams that aren't vying for the MNC teams that need to be brought to justice.
9) "Harry laid down his quill too, having just finished predicting his own death by decapitation."
Bobo will once again stop calling plays that work and will decapitate his own offense. Is Murray shredding the secondary on short passes? Carlton Thomas up the middle. Is Crowell running well between the tackles? Bombs away. Is a backup having a starter-type game? Bench him early. Is a starter having a backup-type game? Put him in on every down. Are we fair-catching kickoffs cleanly and with authority? Put Boykin in and attempt a return. Is Bobo calling a good game for once? Replace him with Mark Richt. Until we stop shooting ourselves in the foot, we will only continue to lose our digits--both on our feet and on the scoreboard--slowly and painfully.
10) "Harry and Ron were deeply amused when Professor Trelawney told them that they had received top marks for their homework in their next Divination class. She read out large portions of their predictions, commending them for their unflinching acceptance of the horrors in store for them--but they were less amused when she asked htem to do the same thing for the month after next; both of them were running out of ideas for catastrophes."
What new catastrophes are in the future for UGA? I've already outlined a few possibilities above, but here are a few more '11 predictions:
1) Aaron Murray will transfer to Florida to complete his eligibility and will be immediately eligible because the NCAA will feel that playing for Florida constitutes a "unique opportunity" for Murray. He and Muscham will lead the Gators on a "Temporary Insanity" campaign to win a MNC. I know I have written the rest of this as if Murray were our starting QB, but if the NCAA does not have to be consistent in its calls, then neither do I.
2) We will score the winning touchdown on the last second of the Auburn game, only to have it called back because the officials will claim that Crowell celebrated while on the way to the endzone. Replay will show that Crowell shifted the ball to the other hand, which happened to be close to the Auburn sideline. The officials will determine that Crowell was taunting the Auburn sideline by shifting the ball at them, time will expire, and the officials will receive a bundle of cash from a mysterious bag man.
3) The black jersey mojo will fail once again against Coastal Carolina, leading to ignominious defeat. Bobo will insist on wearing the jerseys the next week because they worked a few times a couple years ago.
4) Drew Butler will try to market his trademarked Butly But Beverage, but Gator players will laugh and call it "fake juice."
5) The season will end on a desperation heave to the end zone at the end of which the reckless Rambling Wreck will drive into the cluster of Bulldog receivers, allowing the ball to drop harmlessly to the turf. The officials will call unnecessary roughness against the Dawgs, and the Jackets will decline (even more). The Rambling Wreck will stay parked in the end zone both as a tribute and as a matter of necessity as there will be nowhere else to park it.
6) Crowell will get busted for having an open container of purple drank while driving a scooter. He will be arrested for giving conflicting pronunciations of his last name to the police.
7) Damon Evans will show up for the season opener in nothing but red panties in honor of the "All Red" campaign.
8) CMR will be fired in the middle of the LSU game even though we don't play LSU this year. How, you might ask? He will be fired during Les Miles time, of course.
9) Orson Charles will be further implicated by Li'l Luke, but reporters will discover that Li'l Luke is telling lies because he's bitter about the whiskey cabinet Orson broke with his behind.
10) The first touchdown catch of the season will be negated by a ridiculous "excessive elevation" penalty.
Of course, Harry and Ron not only survived in spite of their predictions, but ended up living happily ever after. They defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (no, not Auburn's bag man) and led wizarding Britain to victory. Gloomy predictions aside, our heroes overcame adversity and did not willingly accept the doom they so glibly predicted. Shall we not, then, follow their example? The 2011 season is finally upon us, and college football magic is in the air.
In honor of the occasion, I present to you something magical, something not even Voldemort (nor Nick Saban) could defeat: the Magic Energy Bus. Our heroes are inside, safe from the horde of energy vampires hovering outside the bus. CMR is firmly at the wheel, and CTG is yelling instructions to the players in the back (Crowell, Murray, and Big Bad John, FYI). Whether or not everything outside the bus is an energy vampire, most of us here at Dawg Sports can agree that they all suck. Let's waste no more time on those energy vampires; it's time to take our seats and let the fun begin. All aboard!
In honor of the occasion, I present to you something magical, something not even Voldemort (nor Nick Saban) could defeat: the Magic Energy Bus. Our heroes are inside, safe from the horde of energy vampires hovering outside the bus. CMR is firmly at the wheel, and CTG is yelling instructions to the players in the back. Crowell is chillin' in the first seat; Murray is already analyzing the other team's defense while looking out the window behind Crowell; and Big Bad John is looking forward to his next meal (hippogriff, anyone?). Whether or not everything outside the bus is an energy vampire, most of us here at Dawg Sports can agree that they all suck. Let's waste no more time on those energy vampires; it's time to take our seats and let the fun begin. All aboard!