As you may recall, the Georgia Bulldogs already had the fewest scholarship football players of any of the 14 SEC teams before Isaiah Crowell was dismissed from the team for legal reasons and Quintavius Harrow reportedly was declared ineligible for academic reasons, and even this does not take into account the fact that Leonard Floyd remains held up by the NCAA clearing house. In short, it’s the offseason, when all lofty aspirations are dashed and the hubris of hope is exposed as folly.
To top it all off, I’m about to go out of town on vacation, which always means something is about to go horribly wrong. Accordingly, I’m going to exercise my psychic powers, eliminate the suspense, drop all the shoes at once, and let you know what’s coming between now and kickoff. Be forewarned; what follows is not for the faint of heart:
July 5, 2012: Random drug tests are administered to all Georgia offensive linemen following Aaron Murray’s Independence Day cookout. All five projected starters are suspended for the season’s first four games for having in their bloodstreams dangerously high levels of barbecue sauce, which the Southeastern Conference classifies as a performance-enhancing substance.
July 8, 2012: Early Sunday morning, the news breaks that the entire Bulldog receiving corps was stopped by the Athens-Clarke County Police on Saturday night while emerging from an alley on scooters with suspended licenses. Due to a mix-up, Tavarres King and Marlon Brown were wearing one another’s helmets, leading both to be arrested for possession of a purloined helmet. Additional charges were brought against Brown for correcting the arresting officer’s misspelling of “purloined” on the citation, leading the receiver to be booked for “smarting off to a law enforcement official in the performance of his duty” and “spelling stuff in a way a policeman didn’t like,” in keeping with established local precedent.
July 16, 2012: Richard Samuel purchases an Ohio St. Buckeyes bobblehead doll at a sporting goods store, intending to send it to a cousin in Cleveland as a birthday gift. Spotting the miniature replica buckeye leaves on the bobblehead doll’s helmet, a local deputy arrests Samuel and charges him with possession of marijuana. The deputy’s claimed basis for searching the bag from the sporting goods store was the purported smell of marijuana emanating from the bag, and a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department notes afterward that, had it been a full-sized replica helmet or an Eddie George Fathead, the size differential likely would have increased the charge from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute.
July 21, 2012: The entire Dawg Sports writing staff is arrested for sacrificing a goat at the Arch. SB Nation turns the management of the site over to Georgia State and Georgia Tech fans, reasoning that, since everyone involved is from the same state, the Panther and Yellow Jacket fans will treat the Bulldog fans fairly and respectfully.
August 3, 2012: Todd Gurley, Ken Malcome, and Keith Marshall rob a Golden Pantry at gunpoint. Security cameras record the whole thing. All three players are dismissed from the team, banned from the state, and required to transfer to SEC East schools, where they will be eligible immediately.
August 10, 2012: A quiet Friday morning in Bulldog Nation is ruined when the news breaks that the Athens-Clarke County Police have uncovered 47 shallow graves behind Mark Richt’s house, which contain the decaying corpses of the homeless vagrants Coach Richt has kidnapped, tortured, and killed during his secret eleven-year serial-killing spree in Athens. Within ten hours of Coach Richt’s arrest, Greg McGarity announces that Mark Richt has been fired and Mike Bobo has been elevated to head coach, effective immediately. In his introductory press conference, Coach Bobo seeks to calm a worried Bulldog Nation by assuring the fan base that he will continue to call the team’s offensive plays from the sideline as head coach.
August 15, 2012: Michael Adams announces that, after giving the matter additional thought, he has decided to continue as president of the University of Georgia for another five years, so he can implement a tougher anti-drug policy that requires student-athletes to be suspended for ten games if they are caught with over-the-counter cold remedies.
August 23, 2012: Todd Grantham, the entire defensive coaching staff, and every defensive player (including receiver-turned-defensive-back Malcolm Mitchell) go over a cliff in a freak bus accident. Coach Bobo announces that the Bulldogs will play iron man football, with the eleven offensive starters playing every down of every game with no substitutions, even on special teams. Coach Bobo adds that he will now serve as his own offensive coordinator and his own defensive coordinator.
August 31, 2012: The day before the season opener against Buffalo, the earth opens up and swallows Athens whole.