The three-decade plague that is Georgia-Florida must be overcome by following the determination of Kirby Smart
Greetings Bulldog fans from the lovely Golden Isles. On this Sunday morning, I have my laptop on the deck of a friend’s condo (thanks Robb) with views of the Atlantic Ocean. The tide is coming in, so the sounds of the water crashing the shoreline are truly invigorating.
Despite the zen-like surroundings, I must admit that I find myself wondering what the feeling will be like exactly one week from this very moment. Of course, I’m talking about whether or not our beloved men in red and black will have taken care of business in Saturday’s annual Georgia-Florida game.
I won’t go into too many of the gory details of the horror of Georgia-Florida over the last three decades. However, to say it has been downright sickening is an understatement. Outside of the games played in the first half of the ’90s, most of our Georgia teams were equally matched with Florida. However, by the end of the majority of these games, it was the mighty Gators celebrating on the field in Jacksonville.
Does 21 of 27 mean anything to you?
It should because 21 is the amount of times Florida has beaten our Dawgs in the last 27 meetings. Like I said … SICKENING.
With that in mind, I made the decision the morning of the Missouri game that I wanted Kirby Smart to be on the cover of our Georgia-Florida issue. I quickly texted our two photographers, Greg Poole and Rob Saye, saying, “I’m thinking Kirby for cover, so try to capture him fired up.”
Of course, by now, everyone in the Bulldog Nation knows that Kirby Smart has zero problems getting fired up. His enthusiasm is contagious, which is why his players are playing at such an elevated level in their second year under his leadership.
Still, I was nervous whether or not, our photographers would get the perfect shot. Both Greg and Rob turned in some great ones, but the one that made the cut by Rob is a thing of beauty.
It was exactly what I envisioned for this game because the fact of the matter is you don’t turn a series that has been absolutely dominated by the Gators without the fierceness that Kirby displays in Rob’s photo. As a player, I would think it is hard to imagine that you don’t give your best for a head coach that is basically foaming at the mouth for you to play the game of football the way it is supposed to be played. Of course, that encompasses the perfect balance of execution and determination to beat your opponent into submission.
While the Georgia catch-line, “Let the Big Dawg Eat,” has been good over the years to fire up the Bulldog Nation, it simply wasn’t tough enough for this year’s cover. Not to mention, full disclosure, I used it a few years ago. Thus, I decided to simply replace “Big” with “Savage” to latch on to the team’s use of the word with the 2017 signing class and the Junkyard Dawgs Savage slogan.
Now, I realize that there are some out there that probably think the word savage is a bit brutish. And a quick check to your dictionary would, in fact, confirm that. However, it does represent a mentality that a majority of our teams, over the last three decades, have lacked.
So get your “Savage” on Dawg fans for Saturday’s battle on the banks of the St. John’s River in Jacksonville. Our fan base has been completely lights out this season. From taking over in South Bend and Nashville to creating a hostile home edge in Sanford Stadium that I’ve never seen in my 45 years on this earth.
What makes the Georgia-Florida game so special is the 50/50 split in the fan bases. However, with today’s online ticket buying, economics can take over if one team is willing to pay the price. Wouldn’t it be oh so sweet to see another Georgia invasion for Saturday’s game? Make it happen, Georgia fans. Jump in your cars or planes and hit the Golden Isles for a couple of days and then head to Jax for the riverside rumble on Saturday.
I gotta wrap this sucker up because I’m both running out of space and sweating outside on my buddy’s beachside porch.
I sincerely hope you enjoy our Georgia-Florida issue. Our BI team continues to answer the call week after week. We look at producing our publication as a badge of honor. In our minds, like all Georgia fans, how we perform our fandom duties definitely has something to do with how our beloved team plays on Saturday. Some probably think this is silly or even nutty, but if you’re a true Georgia fan I’m confident you have no problem understanding where I’m coming from.
Alright, Georgia fans … Let the Savage Dawg Eat, so that this Sunday’s sunrise includes another victory on our quest towards the ultimate season. Go Dawgs!!
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