Friday, December 6, 2019

the Friday Misery puts down the fork, and picks up the gauntlet

“Aww...look at these poor little Dawg fans,” she said as she came upon our table. Then, as she wiped away fake tears, “Did they get their wittle feewings hurt?” 

There was no logical retort to make, as indeed, we had.

Comfort food in an uncomfortable moment
Paul Dupre' has a cozy little restaurant in Baton Rouge where his staff serves food inspired by his grandmother's home cooked meals. Elsie’s Plate and Pie has everything a southern palate might find comfortable to a hard working fork - okra, tomato pie, red beans & rice, pork chops. And of course, plenty of fried catfish.

It is also true that this is where our crew sought comfort after witnessing Kirby’s Dawgs get spanked harshly and very publicly by Coach O’s bengal bayou tigers last season. It had been quite a day for our hungry appetites already, having been invited into the infamous JR Vendetto’s tailgate. Under the shadow of the campus' Memorial Tower he and his fellow Louisianans had graciously served up gumbo and boudin and jambalaya and enough shrimp to feed Ignatius Reilly for at least a week. 

Nick Offerman as John Kennedy
Toole's sardonic protagonist
Although Ignatius would probably wash em down with a glass of sherry instead of all that cold beer. And given his penchant for grandiose complaints, he’d even find a way to underappreciate and pick nits at anything that graced Miss Elsie’s dinner table. But last October, as our band of dawggone tired travelers gathered around an outside table under the evening sky at her restaurant’s namesake, we needed comfort. To travel and witness a loss is one thing, but to see the team get beat so soundly was even more devastating than humbling.

So we passed around plates and argued over which dish was best (and for the record, it was the seafood pot pie in my humble opinion. But the Natchitoches meat pie will likely be my order the next time I’m there) all while punishing ourselves by reliving this failed play and that bad call and DEAR GOD DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THAT FAKE FIELD GOAL! 

There's something about sharing a table being weighted down as much by great food as good friends' voices. On a day that ended badly on the playing field, it was comforting to find familiarity in conversation and used silverware. Not to mention napkins used beyond their ways and means.

Yes, looking forward to another visit to Elsie's. But next time I hope to not be interrupted by an LSU fan spewing hateful truths and logic.

this offensive echo chamber is offensive
Look. We've all been arguing about it for months. And I know by now I’m not going to convince you one way or the other. I know that. By now you’ve either decided to hate this Georgia offense until you’re blue in the face, or to support it despite it’s awkward and unwelcome visage. 

As a person who is himself very often awkward and also, at times, finds himself unwelcome, it should be no secret I’ve chosen the latter stance. When Jake Fromm turns one way to hand the ball off and the ball carrier of note has moved in an opposite direction, I can relate. Just a few months ago I fell head first into the backyard trying to catch my dog by the collar before he gobbled up his own excrement. (I know right? I was all like “WTF dude! Naw, don’t do...oof.”) Like Fromm, my intentions were true. But the dog zigged when I thought he had committed to the zag.

We all pay a price for our inadequacies. It’s just that mine are less public. And not punishable by a 300lb lineman barreling in on me.

But can we all agree that we’ve said everything that needs to be said at this point? Does it really do any damn good to rip the scab off again just to shove it in a fellow Georgia fans’ face?

Regardless, by tomorrow night around 7:30 you’ll have one of a couple options: 1) keep pissing in your own cheerios and wallowing in your own misery over the fact that this offense hasn’t lived up to its potential despite its 11-2 record and third straight trip to the December Dome, or 2) enjoy another incredible win over LSU on the grand national stage.

Kind of like we did here. And also here. And I especially enjoyed it when we did it here.

I hold true to the lifestyle of being a Georgia Bulldog fan where it means you take the good with the bad. In other words, I’m just as much a Dawg fan now as I was when we lost to Georgia Tech 40-23 my first year at UGA back in 1990. 

Ray Goff wore a UGA conductor cap. I wore a grimace.
People train don't run outta
Wichita huh Coach?

Transitioning stanza
But I won’t wear a grimace tomorrow. Nor a UGA train conductor’s cap for that matter. And not because I’m too proud to be upset over a season like this that we’ve been begging for. For years now we’ve wanted a program that took us to back to back to back SEC Championship contests where we could see how we could stack up against the conference's elite as well as the nation’s best.

During the Richt years we had a taste of it every now and then. His teams took the lid off the cardboard box that held the cake and we got to drag our finger through the icing a bit, During the Donnan years we got close enough to stare at the lid...until Quincy threw yet another interception in Columbia and we just settled for another Little Debbie.

During the Goff years we played with toy trains evidently. I don’t know. I can’t remember anymore. 

No, tomorrow I will not be wearing a grimace because we’re gonna win this damn thing. I’m sick of hearing about this unstoppable LSU Fightin’ Tiger offense and ready for Kirby to change the national narrative to “Hey, maybe this Georgia defense is really THAT good. Garsh!

Have we faced an offense this good? Nope. Not close. But have they faced a defense as good as Tae and JR and company? I bet not. And I'll take the Dawgs in that fight.

All. Damn. Day!

We're already living rent free in Dabo's head. Tomorrow Fromm and Co. make Coach O drop another F-bomb on his way down to 4th in Sunday’s rankings. Joe Burrows gets next week’s Heisman, but Rodrigo gets carried off the field on Jordan Davis’ shoulder as the red and black confetti reigns down.

Strike your pose Burrows, but #RespectTheSpecs! Always.

Now, if you will, please bow your head...Dear Lord Baby us one more shot of Herrien barreling downhill with sights set on an LSU defensive back. And then please, please let our defense get after their ass! Go Dawgs!

For reference if you're interested - Elsie's Plate and Pie. You won't go wrong, promise.

Also, if you're unfamiliar with the Ignatius Reilly reference, go buy a copy of Confederacy of Dunces, Toole's only book, may he rest in peace. From his tragic end we must celebrate every incredibly vivid character he gave us.