As many of us prepare for Saturday, emotions are high. This is to be expected with such an important rivalry game. But there are some things we must stop doing regarding the annual tilt against Florida.
1. Regarding the game, can we all acknowledge that the game is, and forever will be the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party? The River City Rivalry, Battle for the Okefenokee Oar, and other cheapens the game. I get why the city of Jacksonville and the schools will want to distance themselves from being associated with excess alcohol consumption. But as fans, we have no obligation to be politically correct in terms of what the game is called. It’s the Cocktail Party. Get over it.
2. Florida is Georgia’s #1 rival. Some people might say its Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, or even Clemson. But they would be wrong.
3. While the name of the game is the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, don’t be dumb. Pick up your trash. As Dean Wormer said, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
4. Can we please stop with all the talk about the series rivalry being in Florida’s favor? I saw an article yesterday from a not to be named AJC columnist, and I didn’t even click on it, that was talking about how the Florida game is always a problem for Georgia. I saw on Twitter a beat writer mentioned that Florida had won 20/26. Guess what? If Georgia wins 5 in a row, it will still have lost 20/31. We can’t do anything about what happened in the 1990s when Ray Goff was the coach and Steve Spurrier was in his prime at Florida. Nothing will change that. It has no bearing on the context of the game Saturday.
Remember, after Georgia had won 3 in a row from 2011-2013, it had won 5/10 dating back to 2004. I thought that would end the talk of what happened in the 1990s.
The painful 2002 and 2003 games, when Georgia had more talent and better coaching with Mark Richt compared to Ron Zook doesn’t matter. The game in 2005 where D.J. Shockley was hurt doesn’t matter. The 2008 game that was a de facto SEC East Championship game and Georgia got blown out doesn’t matter.
It’s not sour grapes because the (in the grand scheme of things) recent history has not been in our favor.
Because likewise, the 2004 victory where Davids finally got their win doesn’t matter. The 2007 end-zone celebration game doesn’t matter. The 2011 comeback win doesn’t matter. The 2012 de facto National Championship quarterfinal game doesn’t matter.
It may be fun to talk about and relive the memories, and it may get clicks to a column. But any talk about what happened 10-20 years ago as a barometer for Saturday’s game is wasted time.
5. Likewise, I know the Buck Belue-Lindsay Scott was an iconic play in the lore of Georgia Football, and in this rivalry. But a big pet peeve of mine as Georgia fans we spend so much time focused on the past. Belue-Scott was 36 years ago. Let’s make new memories instead of clinging to old ones.
The only thing that matters is this: do you have hate in your heart for the Florida Gators? Hate is a bad thing, and we can ask forgiveness at church on Sunday. But on Saturday, it’s OK to hate the Gators and hate them with the fire of 1,000 burning suns.
As dire I think our chances of winning on Saturday are, it’s still the most important game on Georgia’s schedule each year. Go Dawgs!