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Cocktail Thursday: Alabama Edition

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

If your Georgia Bulldogs are headed into a pivotal SEC matchup which may or may not be their best chance to exorcise the demons of one of the darkest moments of the Mark Richt era, then you could use a drink. I can help you with that.

There's been a lot of great analysis out there this week of what the "keys to the game" are. For my part I am inclined to agree with those who have said the game will largely be decided in the trenches. But I'm uncomfortable stopping there because, despite the kernel of truth there, it is such a cliche. So I'll go just a little further.

I believe Georgia has a definite though not sizable advantage on the offensive line. Port to starboard, the Bulldog offensive line doesn't have a weakness in the starting five, and the backups have been fairly effective as well. On the flip side 'Bama has as good a defensive front as Georgia will face all season. Their offensive line is the conference's option 1C behind Georgia's and LSU's. If there's a unit up front that might be a little questionable, it would be that Georgia defensive front that gets awfully young awfully fast. That's why my worst nightmares about this game involve Derrick Henry and Bo Scarbrough doing their best Eddie Lacy/T.J. Yeldon impersonation.

I also think there's a reasonable chance that either Lane Kiffin or Brian Schottenheimer does something that, while logically defensible at the time, ends up looking horrific in hindsight. This is the kind of game that a coach can overthink, the kind where you can build an overcomplicated Rube Goldberg game plan when all that was necessary was a hammer.

I also think the weather is going to have a say before all is said and done, likely in the form of turnovers. It's going to be a wet, slippery, muddy mess in the Classic City. And there's a reasonable chance that only adds to the mystique of this contest if in fact it is as close and see-sawing a matchup as I suspect it will be. 92,000+ are going to be out there in it and it will be up to the home crowd to shrug off the conditions and keep the pressure on the visitors. A giant wave of noise wouldn't hurt, especially if Alabama's Jacob Coker shows some difficulty dealing with it.

And after you scream your fool heads off, and after Alabama leaves the Classic City 0-2 in the SEC for the first time since 1990, I hope you'll join me in celebrating with a Sanford Tsunami.

This one takes a little prep work. But it's totally worth the effort. You'll first need to make some sweet tea syrup. It's the sweet elixir which will change your life. You'll need 8 ounces of water, 3 bags of black tea (I like Luzianne, but to each his own), and 1 cup of sugar. Yes, a full cup. In a small saucepan, heat the water to a boil. Remove pan from heat, add tea, and steep 5 minutes. Return the pan to stove top and bring the tea to a slow boil. Add sugar, stirring until it is completely dissolved (2-3 minutes, tops).  Remove from heat and let cool. Syrup can be stored in a sealed glass container and refrigerated for up to a month or frozen in cubes. Or poured over ice cream. Or used to marinade pork chops.

With that done, you can unleash your Tsunami. You'll need 2 sprigs of mint, 2 ounces of the sweet tea syrup, 1 ounce of lemon juice, and 2 ounces of the bourbon of your choice. First muddle the mint in a Collins glass. Then add the syrup, bourbon, and lemon juice, stir and enjoy. It's bourbon with the kick of caffeine. Because you weren't going to be hyper or raucous enough for this one before.

Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!