2. GEORGIA. Don't say that Georgia's time-killing fourth quarter drive against Auburn for their final score was not one of the prettier things you will see on a football field. Eleven plays and seven-plus minutes of possession is bad enough for a defense down 35-7, but what really saps the will to live? ALL RUNS. This passes for courtesy in football, and is not courtesy at all because 11 straight runs is the anesthesiologist showing up with a claw hammer and saying, "I'm just gonna make this quick for you. It's the polite thing to do." Todd Grantham's defense is fourth in the nation in total defense, and Jarvis Jones has a concealed carry permit for the thing he carries in a holster he wears everywhere he goes. Inside that holster: a picture of Jarvis Jones holding a sign that reads "SOON."
Chick-fil-A is out of chicken, and they aren't getting any more today.
What happened to that fantastic scoreboard, 'Dawgs? . . .
Either that dawg is so determined to hammer your ass he's going after you with the claw end, or he's so stupid he's about to hit himself in the face with the blunt end. It works for visitors and home crowds, really, since you can assume either with likely probability. Oh, and nice sweater, American Apparel dawg. There's skinny jeans behind that scoreboard and you know it.
[I]f you're the sort of puritan who believes in that kind of monomaniacal infidelity to a sport, then sure. But that assumes one kind of sports fan. A doting, faithful fan whose eggs of loyalty lie in one basket, a basket that in the case of Will [Leitch] bears the logo of the St. Louis Cardinals. Your loves are trademarked, and every second away from them is a moment of longing abandon looking back toward them.
Good for you. I have my own faith, too: Florida football. Unfortunately, she's only around five months of the year at best, and a man like any man has serious needs. For seven months these eyes wander in search of spectacle, especially heart-stopping, violent, and often dangerous spectacle. Thus the appeal of the Olympics, and especially the World Cup—the stunning Brazilian in the short skirt that almost gets us fired every four years—which forces us to abandon home, family, and common sense in the name of soccer and incoherent international hullabaloo.
The same applies to MMA, or the Triple Crown, or to March Madness, the NBA playoffs, or to any ridiculousness that catches the eye and can reasonably be called sport. Which is why I'll be the one watching men betting on the first raindrop down the windowpane on ESPN 17 in ten years in April. For me, fandom can be ducking your head in every four years, because while life is not long it is certainly very wide, and covering that span is worth the effort.
Urban Meyer, too, nursed the fantasy of the tropical fantastic. When circumstances made him choose between his health and his job, he took his family and money in the bank, and that when he did, some small part of his brain turned up the beach music, and commenced with New Life Gameplan, Week One.
It was not that easy for Meyer, of course, or for Florida, or for anyone who followed the program with a shred of affection or interest. That is shorthand for what will happen over the next few months, when Florida gets a new coach, when Meyer opens up about just how ravaged he is by doing the job whose potential he exhausted, and that in turn exhausted him. When we begin the new, and go through whatever comes next–the screaming, the ambiguity, the anxiety of whatever the next coach, the next team, and the next season will bring and the medications we will have to inject directly into our eyeballs to cope–we’ll forget how hard this had to be for a guy who torched himself in the fire of his own ambitions, but who stopped short of complete self-immolation when his body balked at last.
If he’s lucky, he’ll forget, too. In his five years in Gainesville he was as good as any coach in history, but if he’s done, it’s Bali Hai time for him. Not many people get the opportunity to get their own slice of the tropical fantastic with time left on the clock, money in the bank, and their kids still in the house. This could be any one of a thousand sinister scenarios: the NCAA waiting with a hammer outside the doors, Ohio State and the Vatican orchestrating a five year secret plan to succeed Tressel at Ohio State, or Dan Snyder’s most insane gambit in his endless quest to end football success at Florida, or [insert your own deluded fantasy here.]
It also might be a man hitting the wall with the throttle wide open. . . .