This week thanks to the constant coverage of SEC Media Days in Birmingham we're getting fed a lot of information about the importance of the Cocktail Party this year.
It's how Urban Meyer plans to get revenge for The Celebration, or how Mark Richt insists people focus on the 2/2 record or the 46/37/2 rather than the culmination of the 90's +8 years. This year's game is big no matter how you look at it.
I just thought I'd take a moment to tell you about why it's big to me.
When Georgia recruited Matthew Stafford I did a little research to see if his hype matched his numbers out of high school...and they did. Many people think Stafford is overrated as an SEC quarterback, but I still think of him as the team leader with a TON of talent and the resources to bring UGA a National Championship.
After the Cocktail Party two years ago when Georgia was still trying to figure out their QB situation I was starting to grow restless with the production of true freshman Matthew Stafford (see the Colorado game of that season as a PRIME example).
Somewhere deep inside I knew he had the talent but he had to grow into it, that's when I made a little bet with a buddy of mine who is currently a grad-student at Florida. Lets just call him "Gayman".
Somehow LaGrange College attracted a small group of Gator fans who all joined the same fraternity, Gayman was one of them.
The year is 2006, I am hanging out with Gayman at a buddy's apartment playing Jeopardy (circa 1987) on Nintendo, we make a little wager.
I bet him Matthew Stafford wouldn't lose 2 of the next 3 games to Florida, he bet me Tim Teabag wouldn't lose 2 of the next 3 to Georgia. The winner will receive a bottle of the finest bourbon whiskey that $50 can buy as a congratulatory gift from the loser.
As we already know, the Dawgs decided to wear their ovaries on the outside during the Cocktail Party last year and it paid off with a victory. This year's game is big because it either signals the turning of the tide, or it verifies what most of the Gator Nation thinks was a fluke win while their golden-boy QB was injured.
To me a victory this year will have the sweet flavor of charred oak barrels (actually if we win or lose I'm gonna be smelling like booze either way). A loss will give the Gators momentum in the series again and I risk losing my bet, not an option.
One thing I think is uber-important is whether Stafford or Tebow decide to go pro after this year. #7 has a pro gun, #15 has the size/speed to be a pretty good back but I doubt he'd be a first year pro QB in the NFL. If Stafford goes and Tebow stays I don't think Logan Grey would be skilled enough to beat a Gator team led by Tim Tebow. If Tebow leaves and Stafford stays I think the Dawgs have the advantage. If they both leave I don't know enough about Florida's future backups to match it but I hear Logan is catching on pretty quick to the Dawgs offense. The final scenario is both QBs stay with their school and we play a game for all the marbles. THAT my friends would be a game for the ages. Two teams who despise each other led by two of the best senior quarterbacks in the game (and AJ Greene would be next in line for the Heisman after Knowshon wins it in 2008 and is awarded the one from 2007 as well because the committee saw the error of their ways.)
So long story short, I hate you Florida.
...is it football season yet?