Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Some Georgia-Florida Thoughts

It’s Georgia-Florida week, and I’m not in Jacksonville.

I’m not pissed about it[1].

Such is the power of being superstitious—despite knowing full well there is no real logical or scientific basis for it—about football. You see, I last made the trip to Jacksonville in 2002…which was also the last time the ‘Dawgs made the trek with an unblemished record. If I go, and the Dawgs lost, I would be to blame.

Oh sure, my friend Katie’s got some mojo working for the Dawgs—she had never been to a game until this year and they haven’t lost a game she’s been to. But she also hasn’t been to any of the away games, and didn’t even stay the whole time during a tight South Carolina game (granted this was because she had to work, and while losing your job to support the Dawgs may get you serious fan points, fan points have yet to be redeemable legal tender in the paying of bills). She’s got some mojo, but said mojo’s road-worthiness has been untested. I’m afraid it may be useless were I to somehow bring bad mojo to Jacksonville—so I’m staying away, and I’m happy because I’ve convinced my self that me watching the game in the state of Georgia gives UGA a better chance to win[2].

And if you’re looking for serious reasons to believe in the ‘Dawgs this weekend, I have those for you too. But first some more mojo:

The haircut mojo. This is a superstition I’ve had since the 2002 season, not coincidentally that was the first year since 1997 the Dawgs won double-digit games—and they’ve done so every year since. Basically I get my hair cut very short right before the season starts, and it doesn’t get cut until Georgia loses. I hope to look fratacular and very shaggy come January.

The “Lucky boxer briefs” mojo. They’re lucky. Trust me on this one fellas. Ladies, you already know. Alright. (Note: previous mojo best read in Matthew McConeghey as Wooderson voice).

The "I Sang Journey at Karaoke" mojo. With customized lyrics ("Dawgs will win, Gators lose / some folks are gonna drink some booze / you know the party never ends / it goes on and on and on and on") no less. Don't knock this one. The last time I sang "Don't stop believin'" with special lyrics, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.

And now for some real reasons:

SEC is not the Mountain West. Under the fired-halfway-through-the-season offense of Ron Zook, Florida, with Chris Leak at QB, never scored less than 20 points a game during the regular season last year. This year, when they play actual good defenses, they barely average over 10 points.

The coaches also seem to get into far less arguments with frat houses. So, unless Coach Meyer (or CUM—short for Coach Urban Meyer, you pervos) takes the old argument of pissing off really uptight frat boys by constantly saying “frat” in their presence instead of “fraternity”[3] Georgia’s defense, now healthier than they’ve been in a while—especially at defensive tackle and linebacker—should have a hell of a good game.

CUM is a nominee for the Bill Curry award for QB De-development[4] for taking a pretty damn good pro-style passing QB and trying to turn him into a shotgun snapping option QB. Now Florida has two good wideouts in Dallas Baker and Jermele Cornelius but that’s also pretty much it as far as proven pass-catchers go. None of the alleged all-word recruits at running back has been a shadow of Ciatrik Fason either, which has left Florida with a mediocre at best run game (CUM’s calls to Houston Nutt to let him “borrow” Darren McFadden were not returned.)

So what’s left is a Mickey Mouse offense that spreads the field out: given pass rushers a clear shot at Leak, who has been sacked so many times the option game lost all meaning (because there’s no way he’s going to KEEP a pitch…now if I win that lotto Friday all bets are off on this, but odds are, with Greg Blue and company looking for him, Leak will only keep it once.)

And finally, believe Georgia can win because Joe Tereshinski III isn’t just some schlub picked off the punting team. Critics harp on his lack of playing time, but since JoeT3 showed up as a freshman here’s the two guys ahead of him on the depth chart:

David Greene, all-time leading QB wins

D.J. Shockley, currently the SEC leader in total offense and passing efficiency.

He’s not Vinnie Testaverde folks. Think of him more as a Matt Schaub type[5]: a damn good QB and damn good Dawg who just had some really great QBs ahead of him.

Florida’s proven vulnerable to the deep ball, JoeT3 can throw it…and after a few connect, Brown, Lumpkin, and Ware should have plenty of room to loosen up a stout-on-paper Florida front seven. And you better believe they want to. The last supposedly all-world front seven Georgia faced (the former #2 preseason team in the country Vols) was gouged for nearly 200 yards. I think the O-line’s even more motivated this time around.

So there you go, plenty of real football reasons, and plenty of phantasmagoric mumbo-jumbo reasons why the Dawgs win. If you need more, just know that this team seems to emphasize that word “team” more than any recent Dawg team. It’s not that Shockley isn’t good (he’s great actually) it’s just that they aren’t going to let a little thing like a potential All-SEC QB being on crutches let them slip up and lose one.

Goooooo Dawgs!

[1] Though I’ll admit more than a pang or two of jealousy at those who either planned vacation time or are still in school who don’t have to work tomorrow or Friday.

[2] Looooooooong-shot exception. Friday night the Georgia Lottery jackpot is in the 120 million dollar range. If I pay my voluntary idiot tax to support the kids and win that sucker (because A Someone has to win and B I’m someone; therefore, I have to win) I shall hop the first Learjet to Jacksonville, charter a booze-filled yacht for tailgating if possible and go to that game. Because lotto-winning luck trumps any bad Jacksonville-visit mojo.

[3] Which usually leads to the thought-to-be-clever-by-the-person-saying-it line: “you wouldn’t call your country a cunt would you?” (Spelling used for how it’s said) and the usual retort “no dumbass, and I wouldn’t call it a count either.

[4] The Bill Curry Award for QB De-development is of course named for Bill Curry’s clearly brilliant move of having first-round pick and pro-style QB Tim Couch run the option instead of playing to his strength.

[5] Sadly, like Schaub, there will also be certain alleged “fans” who will likely say Joe should’ve been starting the whole time. These alleged fans are identifiable by their lousy ghost costumes hidden in their homes and years of inbreeding which, thankfully, makes it harder and harder for them to reproduce and create more little racist bastards.


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