Friday, December 1, 2017

the Friday Misery is not feeling entitled

They blew up the place where your five yards short was born. So I don’t know why everyone keeps talking about it. Are you the kind of husband that gives his wife the same gift every five years? Are you wearing the same shirt today that you wore back then? Did you save the last three cups of milk from December 1st, 2012 to tailgate with tomorrow outside the Benz?

Put your History books down. The bell rang and there’s a new sheriff in town.

The Official SECCG entrance exam
Step off Trebeck! This is my show. Contestants, please remember to phrase your answers in the form of a correct answer.
  1. Which number is greater, Matt Lauer’s creep factor or the number of Auburn mascots?
  2. Which has a bigger mouth, Mr. Ed or Cam Newton?
  3. Celebrity quotation: who said it? … “We beat the dog crap outta them didn’t we?” ...Gus Malzahn or Mike Vick??
  4. Per capita, which city’s teenage boy population takes more cows to their high school prom, Pakistan or Opelika?
  5. Greatest running back of all time….Herschel Walker...or the Goal Line Stalker? (I’m sorry, Bo who?)
  6. What one item do Auburn area Costco’s and local supermarkets stock more frequently than all other items combined?
  7. Is it Plainsmen or Planes’ men?
  8. Eric Ramsey is to cassette tapes as Cam Newton is to _________?
  9. Greater man, Vince Dooley or Pat Dye?
  10. Please spell your name here —-> _____________.

Answers: 1. Ironically, Lauer by a long shot. Congrats National Broadcasting Company Creepshow. 2. Cam. But, have you ever seen the two of them in the same room? At the same time? Hmmmm…. 3. Both answers are correct! But Vick has paid for his crime. Gus, you’re next dipshit! 4. Opelika up until 2010 when there was a sudden surge in goat dates and Pakistan took the lead. 5. Yes, even the Official SECCG entrance exam has a freebie. 6. Toilet paper. What else? 7. Who gives a shit? 8. Church Steeples. Also, bagman is an acceptable answer as well. We’d also accept sleaze bag, laptop thief, panderer of attention (aka attention whore), outfit pimp, Pimp of Cheese, misogynistic asshole, whiny ass loser, eternal three year old, and of course Fairley’s shower partner. 9. Son, it ain’t how you start it’s how you finish! Patty shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as St. Vincent. 10. If yu jist rote a “X” than u cuddint git ntwo UGA. Wur dam eegle!

Comparing apples to some other apples
Of course I considered going back to re-read my post prior to the 2012 SEC Championship Game. It’s still one of my favorite Friday Miserys of all time. Honestly. So it would make sense to at least give it a cursory glance.

But as I reflected back on how I felt back then to be in that position, as well as what I thought I could remember about my words that came forth from my keyboard before that epic GA Dome battle, I realized the vast differences between then and now.

Back then I remember feeling like it was our turn, it was our time. I’d be willing to bet there is an air of “Hey, we’re due!” in that post. I was eager to see our team stand up to the nation’s darling, the straw that stirs the college football postseason drink, the mighty Saban’s minions vs our talented squad of hard working Dawgs.

Yes, I felt it was our time. In other words, I felt that 2012 team was entitled to the national title game as a reward for a hard fought season. I felt those players, and by proxy us as fans, were even destined for it.

I don’t feel entitled to anything today. Sure, that 2012 team came so very close to earning it all. Nothing was going to be handed to them on that field, on that day. We knew that going in. Alabama gave us their best effort, as expected, and the Dawgs nearly stood taller in the end. Nearly.

But despite that near euphoric moment five years ago, I don’t feel entitled to anything today. I certainly don’t think that’s Kirby’s message. In fact, I know so.

"Hey guys, I read the quarterback's eyes, broke on the route,
and this is what I earned!"
We can argue at a later date as to whether the 2017 SEC East champions are better than the 2012 SEC East champions. It’s a little too early to gauge that honestly right now, other than to say that the 2012 team had a more competitive geographic environment to do work in. But at this point in the season, I do feel it’s safe to say that this team has worked harder than any other Georgia team in recent memory.

Some of you may bristle at that last sentence, but bear with me. You have to remember that those 2012 seniors were a foundation that had grown into men together under one regime. They were a group that had been to the SEC Championship game together the year before.

This 2017 team that will vie for the SEC crown against Auburn tomorrow is in their second year under a new head coach. Some of them have had more than three different position coaches since they left high school. They finished last season with five losses.

They lost to Vandy at home. They needed a late field goal to beat Kentucky. They lost to Tech.

Georgia Tech.

And they responded in the off season by lifting more weights, by running more reps, by pushing each other even further, and by buying into what the coaches were selling even more. Then they laid absolute waste to the SEC East this year. From the end of the Georgia Tech game in Athens last year to today, this team has grown leaps and bounds.

After losing to Auburn three weeks ago Kirby said that this team will be remembered by how they respond. Well, they’ve responded by beating two lesser teams soundly. That’s resiliency.

That’s the kind of resiliency that sees its quarterback go down in the early moments of the season and says, “This is just the next obstacle.” That’s the kind of resiliency that finds a way to force a turnover late on the road against the storied Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

It’s focus in the eye of the storm. It’s taking a punch and steadying yourself instead of falling. It’s not just Georgia. It’s the new breed. It’s not preparing yourself for the professional Sundays. It’s facing the here and now with a low growl and leverage against the man in front of you.

You want more? You need more?

Well, the pressure is on Auburn. They set a bar I don’t think they can continue to clear. Their coach used his mouth to write a check that his team can’t cash. Gimmicks are cute, but just like two-ply shitpaper dangling from trees, mall Santa candy canes, and Bobby Lowder’s checkbook, they’re a dime a dozen.

The pressure is on Auburn. Compared to three weeks ago, they’re trading in roughly 40,000 fans for a nice dinner in Buckhead and what they hope will be a front row spot on Finebaum’s show. They’ll bring their Walmart jeans and anti-Bama signs/slogans/chants, still clinging to the only bowl they truly care about.

Bless their hearts. We beat our state rival and calmly boarded the buses for home. Auburn fans will still be talking about beating Alabama last week when the cows’ calves’ calves come home in 2028.

Erk telling his captain Ros the best way to GATA!
Georgia knows their mistakes. Tucker and Pittman and Chaney have taught and coached and revamped just for this moment. Bellamy and Dom and Zo didn’t come back to lose to the same plain men twice in one season. Chubb and Sony can shoulder the reins; their thighs only get heavier as the fourth quarter wears on. Then, “Oh hey there Mr. Swift! C’mon in!

Georgia has the talent. We also have the depth. And both are rested and ready. While Bama was separating shoulders Saturday evening, Swift and Herrien and Clark and Muckle were iced and ready for Monday’s practice. Fromm, perhaps the only player to show his true composure in the fourth quarter three weeks ago, has been patiently waiting for a moment to shine on this kind of stage.

Tomorrow is time. It’s not time to go through warm-ups and stand there ready to be handed a trophy. Tomorrow is time to earn every yard, fight for every first down, challenge every ball carrier. Tomorrow is only our time if we make it our time. Kirby’s crew ain’t coming to claim what we believe is rightfully ours. He’s coming to put his players on a field for the opportunity to prove they’re worthy, prove they’re ready.

It’s “your time” if you wait in line during recess for a swing on the playground. It’s “your turn” if you have successfully traversed the queue before finally getting to ride Space Mountain at Disney World. You’re entitled to take a seat and say “WEEEE!!!!”

I don’t want a swing and Space Mountain is just turns in the dark at a high rate of speed, like an Indy 500 during a solar eclipse. I’m ready to see to the finish what these Dawgs started Labor Day weekend. Are you ready? Are you going to just stand there with your hand out, or are you going to shove it into the turf, bend your knees and get your hips set to drive through whoever, whatever is in front of you?

It's SEC Championship weekend baby! And these Dawgs weren't bred to be hunted. Now bow your heads...dear Lord, please don't let these tigersmenplaineagles hoard our Charmin over the weekend. And may our Savages run as rampant as our running backs run free. In the name of Uga V and Auburn's own four sport letterman, the late, great Erk Russell! Amen!

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