The truth is this: We may be playing the worst Florida team in a generation, but y'all are way too optimistic. I feel it is my job to bring you back down to earth and to remind you that channeling your inner Munson is the only talisman that will work this Saturday. You'll thank me later, especially
when if we lose. I really don't care that Florida's current QB play has Gator fans dreaming of Larry Ochab (if you know who Larry Ochab is, you are A: old and/or B: totally get the reference). I don't care that we are a nearly two-touchdown favorite. I don't care that we have a 3-game winning streak over Florida. I only ask: Where is your collective sense of impending doom?
This is probably a horrible analogy, but here it goes...
In 1982*, several hours before the kickoff of that particular Cocktail Party, Larry Munson spoke at the Jacksonville Bulldog Club in front of a packed house at an auditorium located in the shadows of what was then the Gator Bowl. Undefeated Georgia was ranked #3 in the nation coming into that game; Florida was #20 and was spoiling for revenge after losing 4-straight to the Dawgs. Larry Munson did not speak of successes, winning streaks, our greatest player ever, or rankings. He acknowledged that we were undefeated going into the annual tilt, which invariably meant our fall-back-to-earth would be much more painful. His NSFW oratory (Larry could really be pretty saucy) totally convinced the crowd in attendance (me, anyway) that Florida was going to win in a few short hours. Florida had too much speed. Too big. Too physical. Too well coached. By the end of the breakfast, I really doubted that we had a chance. It was almost enough to sell my student ticket, point my '76 Nova northward and head back over the state line.
*really, this might have been the 1980, 1981 game, or even '83. After 3+ decades, it's all a blur...but you get the idea.
A few hours later, Georgia obliterated Florida, 44-0. There has not been a larger victory margin or shut out since. I was drunk with the victory disease for much of the early 80's, thinking the good times were always gonna be. Time and turnovers would eventually prove that, no matter the point spread or skill level, sooner or later you will lose. I'm telling you now: Sooner or later, we will lose to the Florida Gators. I am here to remind those of you that are just too dad-gum giddy with visions of sugarplums and shutouts that this game is going to be a war. It'll come down to a play or two, or a field goal attempt against a stiff breeze for somebody. I can't tell you who is going to win, but the Munsonian part of my brain - where reason and analytical thinking generally occurs - begs me to beg you get back in touch with your inner Munson. Here are a few thoughts to help you prepare.
Larry would remind you that Florida is going to play hard for their coach. He may have lost the fan base, but (most of) his players signed up to play for him. They know what's at stake. It may be a foregone conclusion that, win or lose, Muschamp is gone, but every Gator on Saturday's roster will give it their best shot. Now watch 'em score 35.
They've made a change at QB. Yeah, he's a freshman...but he's the change that perhaps some of the players wanted. Larry would remind you that kids can rally around something like this. Is it sustainable for 4 quarters? We'll see.
We've got to protect the ball. The last thing we can do is be careless with the rock. Larry would implore you to remember that Florida's defense does a very good job of creating turnovers. He'd also say the recipe for disaster is to lose the turnover battle.
Put down that cigar. Do not ignore your inner Munson. It's for your own good.
Do you think Florida will gamble? I guarantee they will. Fake punts, on-sides kicks, high-risk/reward type stuff. This team really has nothing to lose. Expect something unexpected. It'll probably work, too.
This game is always chippy. Last year, it nearly got out of control. A desperate team might resort to some things that might not be very sportsmanlike. We might retaliate. Larry would remind you that a stupid reaction to something that other guy instigates might keep a drive alive, negate a score or reverse a turnover. Gotta stay cool. It's the guy who punches back that gets flagged.
It's gonna be cool and windy. Larry would say there's no way our kicker can kick in this weather.
He'd be right. Oh, and Jorts.
We've got too many folks - from bloggers to bookies in Vegas penciling us in for a trip to the
Mythical National Championship. There is absolutely no way we are going to make it to Lexington in a little over a week if we don't get with the negativity and realize that the only way to get through this Saturday is to Munson. In a recent email chain (we editors like to refer to it as "the after party"), here are some fine examples of Dawg Sports editors showing you exactly how to Munson. It's really quite natural.
Just let it flow...
I was feeling pretty good until Bill C. posted his projections earlier. Math says that we have a 95.2% chance to win and should win by 36. We're doomed.
Well done. You get 10 Munson points.
Here's another excellent example of how it's done.
Bill's numbers say we have roughly a 98% chance of beating Charleston Southern. There is only a 3% smaller chance that we beat Florida.
Yeah, I'm already feeling nauseous. - vineyarddawg
That right there is some quality Munsoning. You get 11 Munson points.
But then RedCrake forgets to put the lug nuts back on the wheel...
We're gonna win by 96. - RedCrake
See me after class, RC. Dawg Sports Demerit.
It's okay to Munson. I do it all the time in everyday life. I just bought 4 avocados and 3 Kiwi fruit and none of them are ripe. It's because I assumed they were. I thought I picked some winners. I didn't Munson, and now I can't eat them. I'm a loser.
Munsoning. I beg you. It's the only way.
This has been a Public Service Announcement from your friends at Dawg Sports.