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On Empiricism and Optimism. Why Are You People Doing This To Yourselves?

David Hume, 1711 - 1776. Historian and philosopher
Just sitting here, thinking about 2012, 2017, 2018 and, um, a month ago.
Photo by National Galleries Of Scotland/Getty Images

“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.” — David Hume

Let us be absolutely clear about this. There exists absolutely no reason for you or I to believe that the Georgia Bulldogs are going to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide on Monday night to win the team’s first national championship in 41 years. None.

“But Georgia has an absolutely dominant defense” you say. That same defense gave up 536 yards of total offense and over seven yards per play to Alabama only a few weeks ago.

“But Georgia played their best game of the year against Michigan!” you say. That just means the regression to the mean will be swift and merciless.

I’m not certain Alabama can consistently play as well as they did in the SEC Championship Game. I’m also not entirely confident the Bulldogs can play as well as they did against Michigan and get the breaks they did against the Tide.

The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. Choose your old saw. The truth is nothing tells you what is most likely to happen in the future than a sifting look back into the past, and the recent past of the Georgia/Alabama football rivalry is: 1) At least funerals usually close with an uplifting message and are followed by some good food, 2) me speechless in a crumpled heap on the floor after watching Chris Conley catch the game winning touchdown pass five yards short of the endzone, 3) sitting soaked and freezing in an Italian restaurant in Watkinsville on October 3, 2015 with several of this site’s greatest minds, wondering if it would ever get better, 4) Devonta Smith crushing the hopes and dreams which I had foolishly allowed to flourish deep in my heart, 5) something about Justin Fields and a fake punt, honestly I blocked it out to escape the encroaching madness, 6) Hey! There’s Devonta Smith again!, and 7) Nick Saban takes the rat poison meant for his team and administers it to mine in suppository form.

I have analyzed this game four times in five seasons. It is the Kobayashi Maru of my fandom, a no-win situation in which my only options are to reprogram Nick Saban or accept my destruction gracefully. If Georgia loses this game the Bulldogs will have proven themselves to be only the second best team in college football. That’s no faint praise. But it will also mean another hail of “hurr 1980 hurr derpa durp!!!!” jokes from Florida fans whose team has done absolutely nothing of consequence in the last 13 years. That’s our lot. To suffer the slings and arrows of fanbases who deep down would crawl across broken glass in a speedo with an unpinned hand grenade taped to their kiesters in downtown Indianapolis on Monday to be where we will be specifically on that night and generally as a program.

But let’s again be very, very explicit. Georgia football is absolutely going to crush all of our souls once again on Monday night, and there’s nothing any of us can do about that. If you remain on this ride after 7:00 p.m. on Monday you do so with no guarantee regarding your emotional health. Govern yourselves accordingly.

“While we are reasoning concerning life, life is gone.” —David Hume

So, anyway, the first quarter open thread will go live at 7:40 p.m. Monday evening. See you then. I don’t know, I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this one.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!