I’ve gone through of my life dreading this week pretty much every year.
That statement, nor my title, have anything to do with politics. My writing teachers always told me to find a way to grab readers’ attention quickly, so hopefully I’ve accomplished that. Now it’s time for the “switch” portion of my bait-and-switch strategy.
Noted University of Georgia athletics historian/human encyclopedia Jeff Dantzler is known for referring to Georgia Tech as “The Enemy.” With all due respect to Mr. Dantzler, my nearly 32 years on this Earth have been spent holding contempt for a different annual adversary. Maybe that’s due to the Dawgs’ absolute dominance over the Yellow Jackets throughout my lifespan. Simply put, Georgia has just had a better program than its in-state rival. Beating Tech and watching them lose still brings me those warm, fuzzy feelings, but personally nothing compares to taking down The Nemesis that lies one state south.
I’m talking, of course, about the University of Florida Gators. Usually played on Halloween weekend, I spent many Georgia-Florida gamedays attending fall festivals throughout my youth. While fun, they were often marred by hearing older folks mutter, “We lost to Florida again.” They won every meeting except one from 1990 through 2003. Although I respect the heck out of him now, I was taught to hate all things Spurrier and visor-related.
A little research into the border rivalry shows that Georgia is 10-21 against Florida in my lifetime. As I’m writing this I am coming to grips with the fact that I will likely leave this Earth with a losing record against the Gators. What feelings are the opposite of warm and fuzzy?
I can, however, take solace in a couple of facts. First, UGA is ahead in the all-time series 53-43-2. Florida disputes one of those losses, saying that the team fielded represented a different University of Florida. Yeah, OK. The Dawgs have won six of the last nine and also the last three in a row. The trend over the last 12 years has been one team wins three in a row, then the other, then the other and then the other.
Despite Georgia facing a laundry list of injuries, especially on defense, I’m thinking the Dawgs will put an end to that trend in 2020. This year hasn’t seemed to want to follow any other rules, so why can’t that extend to a college football rivalry?
Dawgs win, 27-21.