When I was little, my mom tells me that I used to finish my plate at every meal because I would feel sorry for any food that was left by itself. So, one could say that I’m not the most merciless person in the world. Still, halfway through the 1st quarter of the Sugar Bowl Tuesday night, I was feeling sorry for Hawaii. Considering I’m a UGA alum and lifelong fan, that means a lot.
Leading up to the game, I was legitimately scared of Hawaii. Logic told me that they hadn’t played any teams of significance all year long, and the few mediocre teams they played, they barely beat. However, last year’s Boise State team, and West Virginia’s team the year before that told me that Hawaii had a chance to come in and shock the world.
Fox sure as hell tried to help the Warriors’ cause as much as they could. There were enough Hawaii puff pieces in the network’s pre-game show to keep Rick Reilly busy for weeks. Hell, even the national media decided to add an apostrophe to their school’s name for no apparent reason (seriously—since when has it been spelled “Hawai’i?”) to attract more attention to the school. The role of David seemed like a perfect fit for them.
Right off the bat, Hawaii started showing signs that they weren’t quite ready for prime time. After consecutive penalties before they even ran a play from scrimmage, the Rainbows suffered a quick three-and-out. That was a harbinger of things to come. It was clear that Georgia was on a different skill/talent/size level than Hawaii very quickly as well. It reminded me of when my older cousin would play football with me and my other cousins—he would invariably hurt someone without even trying just because he was so much bigger, faster and stronger.
Every Georgia unit played exceptionally well (or at least Hawaii’s ineptitude made it look that way). Their defense sacked Colt Brennan so much that it seemed that there were 8 Bulldog defenders for every 1 Rainbow linemen. The DB’s covered up Hawaii’s receivers to limit their yards-after-catch to almost nothing. Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno were able to run at will. Matthew Stafford played as if he were the one that should’ve been at the Downtown Athletic Club in NYC.
The Hawaii players seemed nice enough, and they had some interesting hair. And man, that dance was pretty crazy! (Sigh…). But they proved no match for the Georgia Bulldogs. As much as it appeared that Hawaii didn’t quite belong, I’m not sure anyone could’ve stayed on the field with Georgia on this night.