On its surface the movie Tombstone is a classic American Western film with the age-old theme of Good versus Evil, but the reason I love it is because its really about the inevitability of life. Certain men are brought into this world with a destiny to fulfill, whether they want to or not. Wyatt Earp and his brothers have moved to Tombstone, Arizona to live a quiet life, make some easy money and enjoy retirement from the hard lives they lead as Peace Officers. It is only after many instances of Johnny Ringo’s lawless gang of cowboys terrorizing the town, the death of one brother, and the handicapping of another that Wyatt finally puts the badge of a lawman back on. It’s the last thing he wants to do. When he does, he announces his intentions to kill any man wearing the red sash of the cowboys’ gang. There’s an ambush, and Wyatt’s heroics allow him and his gang to miraculously escape. Afterwards, a member of Wyatt’s crew remarks that the cowboys will surely be coming back, and uses Earp’s desire for revenge to explain the incredible thing he just saw. Doc Holliday corrects him...
No. Make no mistake. It’s not revenge he’s after... It’s a reckoning.
There is a difference between a reckoning and revenge. Revenge is a nasty thing. It’s an action taken without little thought or planning, done to make one feel better about a perceived or actual wrong.
As you’re probably aware, Georgia and Notre Dame have a football game on Saturday. Last December, Georgia’s players watched as Notre Dame played Clemson in a game they felt they deserved to be in. Despite having two losses to the Irish’s none, Georgia believed they were the better team, and they let that opinion be known on Twitter as the Tigers bludgeoned the Irish in a game that was never competitive. Showing up to the Sugar Bowl unfocused and unmotivated while losing to Texas made all of this look even worse. As Andrea Adelson on ESPN explains, all of this playoff drama still hangs over the impending matchup between the Bulldogs and Fighting Irish. Much of the media took that Georgia loss as the end of the story. They were both right and wrong.
By the time Wyatt Earp got to the point where he was ready to fight the cowboys, there was no amount of pain he could inflict upon them that would make him feel better. He had come to Tombstone to make money while living a civilized life with his brothers, but that dream was irrevocably broken by the actions of the cowboys. There was no revenge to be had. There was simply a list of wrongs that needed to be accounted for, and nothing would be right until they were. A judgement day was coming, one as inevitable as the rising and falling of the sun, where Wyatt must collect payment for his bill. That day came, and he ended the cowboy gang’s reign in the West. Through this reckoning, he had shed his sheltered life in Tombstone, and entered the uncertainty of the wilds. Though he first faced many potential pitfalls, it was in the wild that he eventually found love, vitality and his true self. He was awoken.
The 2018 College Football Playoff has long since past, and there’s nothing the Bulldogs of Georgia can do to change that. There’s no revenge to be had. However, the Dawgs haven’t shied away from the events of last fall. “Do More.” That was the theme throughout the offseason in Athens. The Dawgs looked at the loss to Alabama, and the playoff berth it cost them, and vowed to keep it from happening again. Regardless of what has or will be said in public, Notre Dame surely still feels disrespected by Georgia’s insistence that they were the more deserving team. Georgia certainly hasn’t forgotten being left at home for the playoff.
A reckoning is a calculation of one’s position within the world. Where revenge is a confrontation between two parties, a reckoning is a confrontation with life itself. Acting in revenge spends all of one’s energy on another- a waste. A reckoning is a shift of energy, a moment of revitalization, through which a higher self is attained. The Georgia Bulldogs have spent the past nine months working to ensure that they are among college football’s elite. If they have transformed into a more powerful version of themselves, shedding the weaker tendencies of teams of old, we will see the first signs this weekend. Coming is the judgement day where they and Notre Dame will settle their debts, finding out their new positions within the world.
At eight o’clock on Saturday night, the Georgia Bulldogs will have a reckoning.
In other Bulldog news...
- Dawgs 247 gives us a list of reasons for confidence and concern in the matchup with Notre Dame.
- DawgNation give a break down of Notre Dame’s dual-threat QB Ian Book, the man the Dawgs will have to stop if they want to beat the Irish.
- Georgia is putting together quite an impressive list of visiting recruits for this weekend in Athens.
- CB Tyson Campbell has been taking limited reps this week, creating lots of speculation about his status for Saturday.
- Finally, if you haven’t yet, please read RedCrake’s Open Letter to the Georgia Faithful Prior to Playing the Fighting Irish