Why do we do it to ourselves, Georgia fans? Every year I tell myself, "Maybe this time will be different", and it rarely is. We've got injuries, we've got a young Offensive Line, and we've had the most difficult schedule of any BCS team. Those are not excuses for not performing, those are reasons next year should be different. Like the beaten wife on the Lifetime television movies we always come back against the advice of our loved ones. We try to work it out, only to be hurt again in the long run, but we always look back at how good the good times were and wish it could be that way again.
You can't win 'em all, and sometimes when you do the BCS still doesn't have it in the cards for you (ask AUUBURN). The pain goes away as long as you're willing to let it go. I was lucky. Saturday after I changed the channel to Animal Planet to watch the OTHER World's Ugliest Dogs Competition, I deleted the proof from the DVR (you can tell a game is going poorly if it gets cleared before the 3rd Quarter), then I went to drown my sorrows at Pappadeaux's with fried seafood and drinks as we celebrated my Dad's birthday. Nothing helps heal a broken spirit like fried foods. Yeah it sucks to get asked the same annoying questions from your extended family's non-sports fans...
Aunt-"What happened to Georgia?"
Me-"We lost." (and I hope you get the hint from my short answer that I don't want to talk about it)
...but if you can bite your tongue and not be a smart ass to your family it'll pay off when the Last Will and Testament gets written. But you live to fight another day, and like I said before, you just hope and pray it'll be different next time.
Here is my list of 8 mediocre ideas...
1. Win out, for God's sake don't lose to Kentucky, Auburn, Tech, or whomever we're paired with in the Capital One Bowl. If you recall Florida had high hopes last year coming off their Championship winning season only to drop to Auburn, LSU, and eventually us. A four loss Michigan team handed them their final loss of the season and I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Gator Nation was none too happy. We've lost to two really good teams (currently #1 and #5), there's no shame in that considering the problems we're facing this year...it just sucks we couldn't make a game out of the most recent one. Turn it on for these last 4 and end on a high note.
2. Assume Matthew Stafford will be gone next year. He'd be a fool not to enter the draft after this season because you don't go any higher than #1. He's the best pro-style QB on the upcoming market and don't fool yourself into thinking he's going to stick around to get the fire beat out of him by SEC defenses just because he can. Just be glad he's a Dawg and will add to the stock of UGA creating professional grade athletes, it'll make us look good in the long run if he succeeds. As great as Tim Tebow is at Florida he's nothing but a glorified running back at the NFL level, just ask Alex Smith how well that Spread Offense worked out for him.
3. Hope Knowshon sticks around to up his stats and possibly his draft stock. Whomever we have at QB next year will need some senior leadership at the running position because he's not going to play at Stafford's level immediately. AJ Green will only be able to do so much to pull in passes, but we've got to have someone step up at running back (Caleb King might be that person, but I haven't seen it yet).
4. Be glad we're dropping LSU and Alabama from the schedule next year. Hallelujah! (CORRECTION: WE DON'T DROP LSU NEXT YEAR THEY PLAY US AT HOME...h/t J.Leonardjr) 2009 Schedule available here.
5. We've got a good group of young kids at the O-Line level, they've held their own this year being as green as they are. Hopefully they learned a valuable lesson this year and with a little health (please God let someone stay healthy) and a little luck, we'll be able to keep a new QB upright more than Matthew last Saturday.
6. Even though I am still hearing the soul-rattling *BONG* sound from Blair Walsh's second missed field goal, I still think he's one of the best kickers in the NCAA. Eventually we'll win a close one, and having Blair sticking his foot up a ball's @$$ to send it between two uprights will be huge. The kid is talented, he (just like the rest of us) couldn't catch a lucky break Saturday.
7. Be thankful Mark Richt is still your head coach. Call it a "hard learned lesson about showboating" or just another fluke loss to a talented Florida team, either way had the onside kick worked and jump started our offense we'd all be hailing him as a genius. He put his nuts on the chopping block for that call and took it like a man when it was time to place the blame. Yeah, I didn't like it, but I'm just some dummy with a laptop who thinks people care what he thinks.
8. Enjoy the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Don't be one of those whiney fans who complains that it's not a neutral site. Yeah, we've had a tough time over the last 18 years, but before that stretch Florida went through the same thing (1971-1989 UGA won 15 of 19). We still lead the series (46-38-2) and even though we got our fudge packed last weekend we still hold the title of biggest @$$whippin' dished out(1942, UGA wins 75-0). Playing Florida in the Georgia Dome isn't going to change the fact Florida is a well coached, talented team. It isn't going to change the fact the fan numbers are split 50/50 from goalpost to goalpost. It isn't going to change the fact Jeanco's are the top selling pant in Gainesville. So stop whining about the last 18 years and save me me a fifth of Jack Daniels for the party next October. I'll see you in Jacksonville, I'll be the same drunk obnoxious Georgia fan parading around in red pants acting like I own the place that I always am. Only next time I'll be with my best friend who happens to wear jean shorts, drive a Camaro, wears hair gel, and owns several gold necklaces. I hate him.