Hairy Dawgs send Seniors Out in Style
It looked like Georgia had a bit of a hangover as the game began. There were penalties and substitution infractions—and of course the obligatory hand-off up the middle without blocking for one yard on the first play of the game. The defense didn’t seem to be quite hitting on all cylinders, either. In fact, as the first quarter came to a close most of us in the section 132 on the South side were grumbling just the teensiest bit and wondering if last week’s debacle in Auburn was going to carry over for a lot longer than anyone had hoped.
We turned to scoreboard watching and reveled at the fact that Duke had beaten the girls from North Avenue like a rented mule. I am totally impartial. I don’t give a damn who beats Georgia Tech—and we cheered lustily when we learned that the boys down in Coral Gables had rallied from a 28-14 deficit to score 30 unanswered points to obliterate Virginia. They took down a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville. To hell with ‘em. We debated the fate of coaching genius Bret Bielema when we learned that Mississippi State had scored with 24 seconds or so to go to beat Arkansas.
Meanwhile, down below us, between the hedges, Kirby Smith’s guys just stayed after Kentucky and kept chopping wood, chopping wood, chopping wood, just like they have done all year. Well, all year except for the unfortunate incident on the South Alabama Plain last week.
The Wildcats kicked a field goal. We answered with a touchdown. They kicked another field goal. We answered with a touchdown and then added another. We even allowed rookie quarterback Jake Fromm to throw the ball down field and across the middle a little bit. By the time half had rolled around it was 21-6 and we were all doing that thing where you rationalize, “If the second half goes just like the first half and we double our score and Kentucky doubles their score it will wind up 42 to 12 and that will be pretty good.”
Don’t deny it. You know you do that.
And the Redcoat Band formerly known as Dixie put on one of the best half-time shows in the long storied history of Sanford—Dooley Stadium.
Honesty compels me to admit that I was a bit unsettled when Kentucky scored first to start the third quarter—but that was it. It was all Georgia the rest of the night. We must have gotten together at intermission and just decided that we were going to run the ball because run the ball we did—and what a glorious farewell party for our seniors. Chubb. 151 yards and two scores. Sony, 87 yards, but three TDs. Aaron Davis with one more INT. Javon Wims with a score. The defense lighting up the Wildcats like Junkyard Dogs for the last 25 minutes. Glory! Glory!
All in all, it was quite a remarkable and fully satisfying Senior Day and as everyone filed out of their seats, no one had any reason whatsoever to complain about anything at all. We held service at home all year and we had a perfect slate against the SEC East, which had never happened since the conference split into divisions.
And we proved that we can manhandle the Floridas and the Kentuckys and the Missouris of the world. The only problem is, we won’t be seeing any more Floridas or Tennessees or Kentuckys until next year. We will see either Alabama or Auburn on the first Saturday in December in Atlanta, and they both play grown man football and either team’s defensive front will challenge our offensive line—perhaps beyond their breaking point.
But before we even think about one of those teams, we have another trip to look forward to and more business to take care. We have a showdown at high noon next Saturday on Mark Richt Field at Sanford—Dooley Annex West, on the Flats, near the projects, across the expressway from The Varsity. We have to make a business trip to the Joke by the Coke and despite our usual success in that venue, it is always scary.
For one thing, it can be a perfect trap game, with that other Atlanta contest looming a week away. But if we don’t win Saturday that next one loses most of its luster.
For another thing, Tech might play like crap against Duke and Virginia, but their vulgar blowhard classless excue for a football coach will have his team ready to give their very best shot against us. He always does. And as dirty as they play, trying to take out everybody’s knees with their illegal chop blocks that the officials get so tired of calling that the let them go, it is easy for a defense to get confused and disoriented and fail to play up to its potential.
And I despise the thought of losing to the Nerds. I wouldn’t pull for Tech with two engines out on the team plane. In fact, I’d pull for hell to freeze over tomorrow before I would pull for them and cannot tolerate the thought of losing to the team the inimitable Dan Magill always referred to as “the immortal enemy.”
So like Munson and Dooley before me, I’ll spend the entire week worrying about those three hours beginning at next Saturday noon.
Look for me in Historic Grant Field. I’ll be there. I’ll be the good-looking guy in the red shirt screaming “To hell with Tech!”—and meaning it.
Darrell Huckaby is an author, educator and syndicated newspaper columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.