It's time for the Friday Tailgate, the virtual campfire around which we find the courage to believe that the Georgia Bulldogs can deliver a stirring SEC victory. Or pass around a bottle of the Famous Grouse while speculating about who Kirby Smart would hire as his offensive coordinator were he theoretically to require the services of one during the 2012 SEC football season. Theoretically.
Your thematically appropriate play list for the South Carolina game on this, what would have been Otis Redding's 70th birthday follows after the jump, along with the other goodness you've come to expect from the Friday Tailgate. Apropo of much, Big Otis was the coolest man who ever walked the planet, and I will punch you right in your foul mouth if you dare to disagree. There are only a handful of propositions worth actually passing blows over, but this is one of them.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to football.
Last week, on the eve of Isaiah Crowell's first game as a Georgia Bulldog, I published a brief interview with former Bulldog Jasper Sanks. This week I wanted to go with something similarly appropriate. After the debacle in the Dome sent everyone into a fit of pessimism, I figured it was time to dust off the brief exchange I had with one man who truly gets the zeitgeist of Bulldog Nation right now, because he's been living it for most of the past 35 years: Smiths frontman, darkly humorous Brit, and allegedly xenophobic vegetarian Morrissey.
MD: So I never knew you were a college football fan.
Morrissey: I take the cue from certain people I know/I use the cue and then I hand it on to you.
MD: Well thanks for joining us.
Morrissey: And you seem to have lied to my press agent about being from Pitchfork . . .
MD: No idea what you're talking about.
Morrissey: Frankly I have no idea why I'm here. And when does the guy from Pitchfork arrive?
MD: Look, you weren't our first choice either. But since neither Michael Stipe or Kate Pierson is returning our calls we kind of had to improvise. . .
Morrissey: Shelve your plans! Shelve your plans! Shelve them.
MD: Yeah. Sure man. So the Georgia Bulldogs have a home opener in Athens this Saturday against South Carolina, which is coming off a ho-hum beating of East Carolina. Let's just get down to brass tacks. Can you tell me anything to make me feel better about our chances of not starting the season 0-2?
Morrissey: No. You and yours are doomed, cursed, and soon to be annihilated. It's the touchy march of time that binds you. Don't blame me. Don't hate me, just because I'm the one to tell you.
MD: Dude, have you ever even been to Athens?
Morrissey: I know these roads/ Each ridge and narrow bridge/ Each cheveron enticing me on. Each warning sign
I take in my stride.
MD: Sure, but if it was me I'd take that speed enforcement sign in Watkinsville more seriously. They're not joking. And speaking of people and things that aren't a joke, how can Todd Grantham and crew stop Marcus Lattimore, especially with Alec Ogletree on the shelf.
Morrissey: Mike Gilliard will be starting in place of Alec Ogletree, unless Christian Robinson shifts over to the Mo spot, in which case Gilliard will sub in at the Mike. Ogletree will be replacing my Estonian butler Georg until he returns to health. Georg, that is, not Alec. Gallbladder surgery you see. And young Alec has all the qualities I prize in a gentleman's gentleman: agile, mobile, hostile . . .
MD: What the he . . .
Morrissey: Plus he looks top notch in a studded dog collar and has a singular appreciation for the carnage inate in the human condition. Not unlike a younger version of me.
MD: Okay this has officially taken a turn toward Creepytown.
Morrissey: I've lived there for years, it's not too crowded and the neighbors leave you alone.
MD: Will you please just give us the other four things we'll see this weekend, besides Mike Gilliard?
Morrissey: That's the problem with you Americans. It's all about instant gratification. But if I must, you'll also see a redemptive effort by Tavarres King. The team from East Carolina, wherever in the God forsaken colonies that is, exposed real cracks in the South Carolina secondary. They are like a dam waiting to be breached, with the resulting offensive effort unleashing a tide of woe upon the deluged masses in garnet and black.
MD: Funny you're mentioning deluges. The last time I saw the Georgia offense it couldn't, pardon my language, pee a drop.
Morrissey: At some point you people must come to terms with the fact that Boise State is a good defensive football team under any circumstances, and a very good one when given adequate time to scheme.
MD: We're also going to have to come to terms with the outcome of the War of Northern Agression, but that's been kinda slow.
Morrissey: Right, now you're the one who makes no sense and is mumbling darkly about wars.
MD: I learned it from you. What else?
Morrissey: You'll see fewer sacks of your quarterback, that Murray guy. Even the alleged dimwit who calls your offensive "plays", as you Yanks say, knows that he must protect that young man if he does not want your entire season to be an endless trail of sorrows and regrets.
MD: Like your albums?
Morrissey: Thank you for that. You'll also see that Crowell fellow of yours rush for more yards than the strapping young man South Carolina relies upon, Lattimore. He carried 15 times in your abysmal drubbing in Atlanta, and the coaches will now begin easing the freshman further into the featured role.
MD: That's sounds promising.
Morrissey: It would, were it not for Alshon Jeffery. The South Carolina coach knows you'll throw your entire being into stopping Lattimore. As in most of life's endeavors the effort will be ultimately futile, as Jeffery is your real problem, the problem you never saw coming but which will negate your entire pathetic existence. Your secondary looks better than last season, but I'm betting they're not that much better.
MD: So you gonna predict a score so I can go pick up some Prozac?
Morrissey: Georgia 27, South Carolina 24.
MD: But you've been so . . .pessimistic.
Morrissey: No, I've been realistic. There's a difference. Realistically the chances of South Carolina laying down upon the ground to die weeping are just as good as your team's. I'm not saying you have a good football team, just that on this given Saturday yours will be slightly better than theirs for a short while.
MD: Oh I see.
Morrissey: And then you'll die alone and unloved.
MD: There it is.
Thanks again to our special guest Morrissey. Until later . . .