On Wednesday afternoon, at the usual hour, I exited my office, entered my automobile, and began my journey home. The driveway connecting the parking lot to the street is intersected by a sidewalk running parallel to the road. Joggers sometimes pass along this sidewalk; the tacit protocol is that, if a driver spots a jogger crossing or about to cross the driveway, the driver stops, waits for the jogger to pass, and then pulls up to await a break in traffic. If, on the other hand, a jogger is on the sidewalk but is a good distance away, the driver pulls up into the driveway, and the jogger detours around the rear of the vehicle.
On Wednesday afternoon, there was a jogger on the sidewalk, but he was several yards away from the driveway, so I pulled up onto the driveway, came to a stop, and began looking left for the gap that would allow me to pull out onto the street and head home. Suddenly, there was a jolt on the passenger side of my car, and I looked right to see that the jogger, despite having had ample time to go around me, had chosen in protest to slam himself into the side of my vehicle. He stood there, mouth open, arms splayed, splatted against the passenger window like a bug. Once we had made eye contact, he jogged around the rear of my vehicle to the driver’s side.
I rolled down the window, shrugged my shoulders, and lifted my hands, palms upward, to indicate my bafflement at what he had just done. He proceeded, red-faced and furious, to tell me how I had gotten in his way, and how he "ha[d] the right of way on the damned sidewalk!" He then turned and went on his merry way.
It’s been that kind of week.
It’s not just me, either. NCT had internet issues at work; vineyarddawg wasn’t able to watch or record Wednesday night’s Herschel Walker documentary, and DavetheDawg fell off a ladder. It is as though the offseason was a gathering storm waiting to break so it could unleash its full fury as soon as fall began.
It is in that context, with all hope having been dashed, that I now bring you Too Much Information, which, to be honest, it is in name only; this week, I’m too emotionally drained to offer anything more than exactly the right amount of information.
On Saturday, the fifth-best team in the SEC will face the eighth-best team in the SEC. Put differently, the No. 12 team in the country will face the No. 31 team in the country. Put differently, the newly promoted will face the recently deceased. Put differently, panic!
Whatever the results of our good faith efforts to determine the reasons why, the fact is that Georgia is bad at stuff. More specifically, our defense is injury-prone and has not matured, whereas our offense is simply a mess. It’s no wonder AuditDawg has little faith. At the end of the day, the South Carolina Gamecocks were better than the Georgia Bulldogs in 2010, both on the day the two teams played and over the course of the entire season, so, in order for the Red and Black to beat the Garnet and Black on Saturday, it will be necessary that the Palmetto State Poultry have gotten worse, the Classic City Canines have gotten better, or (preferably) both. I see no evidence to suggest either that the ‘Cocks are worse or that the ‘Dawgs are better, and, therefore, I expect the Athenians to lose.
What? That wasn’t enough for you? You need more than that? Oh, all right, take these historical tidbits for whatever they are worth:
- The Feel Good Stat of the Week: Georgia is 25-7 all-time against South Carolina in Athens, and, in three of the last four seasons, the Red and Black have come out of the contest with the Gamecocks sporting a 1-1 record. This year, that would be an achievement.
- The Feel Bad Stat of the Week: Prior to 2010, the Garnet and Black had beaten the Bulldogs 14 times in their history. Ten of those 14 South Carolina victories came as part of a two-game Gamecock winning streak over Georgia, and Steve Spurrier’s team currently sports a one-game winning streak over the Athenians.
It’s been a lousy week, and it’s about to get worse. I remain loyal to my team, as I always will; on Saturday afternoon, I will be in my seat in Sanford Stadium for my 25th consecutive home opener, and I will do as I did at the Georgia Dome last Saturday night, cheering for my team from start to finish and remaining until the end, but I will not be accompanied to Athens either by hope or by belief.
Batten down the hatches, boys and girls. It’s about to get ugly in here, because 0-2 is twice as bad as 0-1, and, by the time the scoreboard shows a trio of zeroes, we’re all going to be that jogger I encountered on Wednesday afternoon, spitting mad, red-faced with hysteria, and flattened like a bug on a windshield.
My Prediction: South Carolina 27, Georgia 14.