That’s a quote from Seinfeld. God, I love that show…
I am a true, life long Georgia fan. One of my oldest memories is going to a Georgia game with my dad and my uncle. I didn’t even realize that the team I had been watching on TV was real–I thought it was some sort of TV show that my dad was really excited about. So, when I saw Herschel Walker in person for the first time, it was one of the first moments of awe that I think I had ever had.
Growing up a Georgia fan was a little different than many other schools (before you get angry, realize that I said “different,” not better). Part of growing up a Dawg for me was “Tailback U.” The school manufactured so many dominant tailbacks that I truly thought that 200 yards was a good rushing total for a running back (like a 300 yard game for a QB, or a 100 yard receiving game for a WR). There was Herschel, Worley, Tate, Hampton, Hearst, Davis…some of them went on to successful NFL careers, and some of them didn’t–but they were all truly dominant in college.
Another part of growing up a Georgia fan was witnessing the utter domination of Florida. Many people don’t realize that, going into 1991’s game, we were leading the all time series 44-22-2. That’s not even close. Our true rivals were Auburn and Georgia Tech. Florida was like South Carolina is now–sure, we lost some games here and there, and we truly hated each other, but the outcome of the game was usually not in doubt. Besides, everyone hates everyone else in the SEC, so that’s not saying a whole lot.
Fast-forward to October 27, 2007. Georgia has lost 15 of 17 to Florida. The Gators have beaten us every which way. They’ve blown us out, won nail-biters, and everything in between. Recruiting battles have been won and lost in Jacksonville. Coaching careers have been made and destroyed in that game. Any way you look at it, Florida has dominated us.
So when Georgia scored the first touchdown on Saturday (after nine straight running plays!!), 17 years of frustration caused the entire bench to empty onto the field in celebration. It was unsportsmanlike; it was unprofessional; it was showboating; and it was totally necessary. Granted, if Florida would’ve done it (or anyone else for that matter), I wouldn’t have liked it. I would’ve said it was amateur. But Georgia needed it. That doesn’t excuse what happened, but it was long overdue.
Each team’s first drive truly set the tone for the rest of the game: Georgia sacked Tebow and shut everyone else down, and then ran the ball down Florida’s throat. Knowshon Moreno was unstoppable (33 carries, 188 yards, 3 TD), even when Florida knew he was going to get the ball. Unbelievably, he still had boundless energy in the 4th quarter when we had to rely on him to carry out a long, sustained drive.
Most Florida fans will point to Tebow’s injury as the reason why Florida lost. Let’s make a distinction here. There’s a difference between a “reason” and an “excuse.” Don’t whine and complain because “If Tebow wasn’t hurt, Florida would’ve won!” Yeah, and if DJ Shockley isn’t out (not merely “hurt but still playing,” but out of the game altogether) we probably win in ’05–but no one made excuses for us then. Also, it’s important to remember that Moreno is Georgia’s third-string tailback behind Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin, who were both out for the game (yes, I’m going a little crazy on the italics-sorry). So boo-fucking-hoo, Florida. Teams have injuries. They deal with them. Florida should be good enough to overcome those injuries. They weren’t good enough on Saturday and lost to the better team. Get over it.
Back to the excessive celebration penalty. After Georgia got the penalty, Urban Meyer panicked and was like, “Um, shit. let’s see. What do we do now? OKAY! Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna all gather here at the 50-yard line and jump up and down rather excitedly! Yeah!!! Take THAT, Georgia!!! Take THAT, Mark Richt!!!!!” It was quite comical. At that point, I wish someone would’ve said, “Urban, buddy…don’t do that. Just chill. You look stupid, and this isn’t a pissing contest. So please stop.” But they didn’t. So Urban kind of made a fool of himself…almost as much as when Georgia caught him with his pants down on almost every play the rest of the game, but not quite.
So where does this leave us now in the SEC? If Tennessee is in the drivers’ seat, then we’re in the passengers’ seat. The Vols control their own destiny (which is kind of oxy-moronic, but oh well)–if they win out, they win the SEC East. However, if they lose one game and we win out, then we win the SEC East. That’s much easier said than done, with two difficult games against Auburn and Kentucky looming on the horizon. But after beating Florida, well…everything else is just gravy.