Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Gearing down" for Georgia Southern

Folks, this is a special game. To some it may not appear as such. And beginning with this post and carrying through tomorrow's Misery I will explain why. Because as it was pointed out to me by Ron and John, this is a week when the Dawgs have to get after it...hard. In short, it's a Mambo Gook kind of week:
"We had two weeks to prepare for the Yellow Britches, and we needed to prepare well...I even went back and pulled "Mambo Gook" out one more time. Usually, I just told it before the season began, but we needed something extra."
And we're going to need something extra as well. I'm going to divide this into two parts. Let's tackle the football side of things first.

  1. I don't feel good about this game. There's no doubt in my mind that it is the tougher of the two remaining regular season games. It's a jolting experience to switch to first gear when you're cruising along in fifth. And that's what this feels like. Don't get me wrong, I think we win. But it's not going to be easy. Georgia Southern is a well coached team comprised of players that aren't used to losing. Fans look at this weekend on the schedule and think cupcake. But just ask any defensive player this week if it feels like they're gearing up for a birthday party. After a week of full pads it probably feels more like gearing down for a root canal. 
  2. Then there's the Erk Russell meme. I feel as if the two fanbases are at odds over who loves the man more, when he's one of those rare personalities that can handle all of us. Georgia and Georgia Southern can't play each other without the man who brought the concept of Junkyard Dawgs to Athens and built the Eagle program from the ground up becoming central to the discussion. Hell, I look at it this way: Erk helped give us a taste of what true dominance (the play on the field and the overall mindset) could feel like, and then he went and built that very thing in Statesboro. The Eagles are to the FCS what the Dawgs want to be in the FBS...champions. Consistent champions.
There's no doubt in my mind that the grit and determination that the Georgia Southern program was built on came from the practice field at the University of Georgia. Eagle fans should be thankful for that (and they are...very much so). As for Georgia fans, we should appreciate that at a time when we turned our back on a founding father and one of our program's most beloved figures, another one saw fit to take him in.