Georgia is on fire in recruiting. Kids want to play for Kirby Smart & Co (especially Florida kids). The Georgia brand is growing and as identifiable as any among the college football (and beyond) landscape. The depth of talent on this team is at an all-time level and will only continue to grow as 4 and 5-Star veteran players are being backed up by 4 and 5-Star youth. There are still a few areas that are slightly lacking, but mainly from a depth standpoint, and the most obvious is the defensive line. However, this has become a priority with the staff and their efforts are paying dividends when looking at the last recruiting cycle and the one currently in progress.
Veteran leaders and skill players abound on this roster, with guys who have played in the biggest games on the biggest of stages. For many, not just a homer like me, it’s only a matter of time when all of the 3, 4 and 5-Stars align and this program breaks the National Championship drought. What is missing? What is the one key piece that eludes us? Is it a position coach? Another 5-Star or diamond-in-the-rough player that has not yet manifested? We are this close. I feel it, so do you. What is missing?
Save a scholarship for Lady Luck.
Lady Luck is unique. She does not adhere to any NCAA eligibility rules and can bounce from team to team like a butterfly among gardenias, often in the same season. She can be at your arch-rival one year; then materialize clear across the country the next, skipping your program for decades. She might hang out at a school for consecutive seasons. For some, she might never show up at all. Often, her visits are ephemeral, but can linger just long enough to propel a team to the highest of heights. That single visit can make all the difference.
Lady Luck doesn’t wear a jersey, but she’s there. In this case, playing the position of micro-linebacker...
I have been thinking a lot about luck in recent days, and not how it pertains to football fortunes.
About 3 months ago, I stopped by my local grocery store on the way home. It was a Wednesday. I typically buy a single Florida Lottery ticket on Wednesday - my weekly ritual. (Okay, maybe 2 if the jackpot gets high because, well, I’d rather have 0% of a big payout than 100% of a smaller one. Lotto Logic, I reckon).
It was about 4:15 in the afternoon and I was in a hurry, so I hustled in, grabbed whatever I needed, and proceeded to leave. As I walked by the customer service counter, I hesitated as the lotto machine beckoned. My temptation to buy a ticket was dashed because I realized I didn’t have any cash on me, so it wasn’t worth the hassle to go back in line and get a few duckets. Around this time, give or take, a man traveling from the Fort Lauderdale area to Naples across I-75 or, “Alligator Alley,” stopped into the same store on his way across the state. He had a dollar (or two) and he decided to buy a lottery ticket. He probably was like me, in a bit of a hurry and just dropped in for a cold drink before he continued his hour-long drive to the west side of Florida.
He won $15.5 million dollars. This really happened. It could’ve been me.
Yeah, I realize that all these machines are tied to a central server that randomizes numbers...yada, yada, yada, and in that moment of puchase he bought a ticket that, a split second later or earlier, might’ve been purchased in Miami, or Jacksonville, or Sopchoppy. But I was THERE at about the same time that guy was there. Lady Luck was there, too...but I ignored her. She was probably standing right in front of me at the checkout, whispering in my ear to get a few bucks and not neglect my ritual. “Dave...get the cash. Buy the ticket. Then, you can rent a Sanford Stadium Skybox and invite all your Dawg Sports readers to home games for BBQ and beer.”
Anyway, I’ll be “punching the clock” for at least another 10-12 years.
So, Lady Luck apparently doesn’t just show up at random college football games. Who knew? All I know is this: Georgia, for all the talent and success that we have had since Kirby arrived (and before) has not been very lucky. The last play of the National Championship game against Alabama is a testament to this. You know what happened, so no need to link to it. Losing like we did against a defensive backfield with approximately 5,000 career starts between them is...unlucky.
How would you define luck? It’s not an easy thing to do. I recently asked some co-workers to do it and their answers were basically...lame. “It’s when good things happen unexpectedly,” was one answer. Okay, I can buy that. But there’s more to it. That randomness, that nick-of-timeliness that cannot be explained but shows up to save the day. Sometimes, it is a confluence of things (holding on a defensive end not called, for example. Or, boneheaded decisions in the defensive backfield).
Yeah, we’ve been unlucky at times. Too often in ultra-dramatic fashion.
Whatever it is, good luck seems to be a significant missing piece as we grind on to our inevitable glory. I think we’ll get there no matter what. There’s too much talent and good coaching with our program, but a favorable bounce, a flag that is rightfully thrown against them in a key moment, or holding onto a lead when it mattered the most would be nice.
Most of that stuff comes down to X’s and O’s, Jimmy’s and Joe’s...and coaching. And experience. And situational awareness.
We don’t deserve to lose the way we do.
Shut it, Dave. Deserves got nothin’ to do with it.
Still, save that scholly for you-know-who. It can’t hurt.
As Always, GO DAWGS!
P.S. - I won $80 last week. Four of 6 numbers. I can feel my luck changing...