Friday, May 11, 2012

Rivalries, perspective and the gray area

I've been thinking a lot this week about Blutarsky's post on rivalries - Who are Georgia's rivals? If you recall, we explored the concept of a rivalry as it pertains to the WLOCP pretty extensively last summer. The reasoning was simple: the Dawgs had lost their edge in Jacksonville and one component of the definition of the word rivalry is competition. Mentally Richt's teams (and Donnan, and Goff) weren't going down there ready to compete. And yes, I use the past tense there with bold confidence that, at the very least, future results will follow the new and improved attitude.

Cocktails and jorts aside, I like the Senator's ingredients for what makes up a rivalry: History, Scheduling, the Stakes, Geography and Miscellaneous factors. From that my vote for Florida, Auburn and Tech was born. Sure, that removes Tennessee and South Carolina from the list; two teams that we play against each year for the right to represent the SEC East. But that's where I sit in the discussion. Don't try and get me up. I'm comfortable here.
We OWN this rivalry

What made me a little restless about it is, quite simply...Tech. Ultimately the Tennessee game is more important (higher stakes), but Clean Old Fashioned Hate is a very old tome (historically epic), full of dust and filled with great tales of men kicking engiNerds' asses back and forth along the 60 some odd miles that separate the two schools (geographical promixity). That ultimately factors more heavily for me than divisional proximity. At least in this debate.

Any discussion of rivalry is going to involve one's own personal perspective. For instance, I discount South Carolina simply based on the fact that I weigh history heavily. I'm quite sure someone with a Georgia flag hanging from their front porch in Columbia would argue that point with me. To them, the contest between Georgia and South Carolina could be the most important game of the season. Every season. And while I would empathize with their position (geographically and philosophically), I would fall short of conceding the point. That's my perspective. They have theirs. 

And there are thousands of other perspectives in the Bulldog Nation. It may make for muddy waters or just lively discourse, depending on how you look at it. But everyone goes into a season wanting certain by-products from the win column. In the end though, the most important game is always the next one - which is hopefully the mindsight in the lockerroom and the practice field.

But if that were the only determinant in the discussion I would somehow manage to dismiss geography, high stakes, history and just about everything that factored in miscellaneously and develop an intense hatred for the Buffalo Bulls (the McGarity postulate).