It happens every year, like clockwork. My Georgia/Florida week looks like this, psychologically speaking:
Monday: “We’re toast. We lost to South Carolina/Tennessee/Vandy and Florida’s defense is far better than any of those units. We may be shut out. This is going to suck.”
Tuesday: “Well at least we got some guys healthy over the bye week. We’re still going to get beat like a Singaporean jaywalker.”
Wednesday: “You know the Gators have a couple of injuries, and they’ve been a little turnover prone, too. If we jump on them early we may be able to stick in this one . . .”
Thursday: “You know the defense has really shown a spark the past couple of weeks . . .”
Friday: “Oh no! I’m getting excited! How did this happen? I took all the precautions!”
Saturday 4 pm: “We’re still in this thing!”
Saturday 6 pm: “Life is pain. Then you die. No one really notices. Sigh.”
And this year I’ve told myself I will not allow it to happen. I will not allow myself to become irrationally exuberant about the chances of an underdog Georgia team to pull off an upset against Florida.
There’s just too much stacked against us. Florida is ranked second in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense. We’re going to counter that with a true freshman QB and a porous offensive line. Did I mention that the Gators are averaging 3.17 sacks per game, fourth best in the SEC? I should mention that. Also that UF leads the league in scoring defense at a stingy 12.0 points per game? You need to know that, too. It would be unfair for me not to make you aware of that.
There’s no objective reason to expect the Bulldogs to triumph in this one. But still we’ll watch. Because anything could happen. Luke Del Rio, thrower of three interceptions against Mizzou, could do the same in Jacksonville. Jim Chaney could continue figuring out how to manufacture a running game. The special teams could, just this week, not manage to fudge it all up.
It could happen, I swear. If everything does come together, and the Dawgs do steal one on the banks of the St. John', it could become Kirby Smart’s own hobnail boot moment. The game in which the corner begins to be turned�....
On the other hand, if things go according to Hoyle in this one, we’re all going to want to forget it ever happened as soon as possible. And there’s only one libation for that job: tequila.
I literally cannot remember ever drinking tequila. Not in a cocktail. Not as a shot with a lime chaser. Not with a beer back. Every encounter with this spirit has been erased from my recollection and replaced with a throbbing headache. That seems like as good a metaphor as any for my experiences with the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Until later...