I dreamt last night that a bunch of bulldogs- not UGA bulldogs, just a pack of random bulldogs- were jumping up and down to some random song that I can’t remember. But I woke up remembering the Hoedown at the Showdown and my blood boiled all over again. Of course, the High School Musical dance scene wasn’t the reason Georgia won that game.
Rather, it was Florida’s sudden inability to remember how to shoot the a-gap, or even to remember what an a-gap is.
Or, for that matter, any other gap.
Knowshon Moreno ran up the middle, off tackle, outside and all over the field for 188 yards and Georgia topped Florida 42-30.
However, nobody outside of serious football fans will remember the inability to even lay a finger on Moreno because of what happened following his first touchdown- the entire team charged the field and turned the end zone into the dance floor at some random Las Vegas night club. Every kind of obscene dance and gesture that you can imagine was executed by at least one of the 55 players in that end zone.
Florida crushed Georgia 49-10 in 2008, and Urban Meyer called two timeouts just to rub salt into the nerve deep wounds, but it wasn’t enough.
Florida crushed Georgia 41-17 in 2009, and Tim Tebow broke UGA running back Herschel Walker’s touchdown record, but it wasn’t enough.
Florida edged Georgia, 34-31 in 2010, with Chas Henry nailing the game winning field goal, but that still wasn’t enough for Gator fans, even after Henry blew a kiss at Todd Grantham, the Georgia DC, after Grantham yelled at Henry before the kick that “you’re gonna f—— choke!!!”
No, we’re still not even, not in a rivalry game.
Rivalry games are very different in this special way: while non rivals that beat or annoy you merely warrant an eye for an eye retaliation, a rival that rubs you the wrong way requires an eye for both eyes, both ears and then the nose, and if was an especially over the top insult, then the head comes off.
Again, guys, I’m not especially fond of Tennessee, but what’s the difference between them and South Carolina? But, now, when Georgia, FSU, Miami or even Auburn or LSU aggravate Florida, then it’s war. Against Tennessee we simply retaliate and then go back to our normal lives.
Right now, we’re in a war with Georgia. Rivalries require roughly a five to one get-even code, and Florida is 60% of the way there- the timeouts were insult #1, the record breaker was insult #2, and the kiss from Henry was insult #3.
So this leads me into Muschamp. However, he’s got to be very careful not to make it too obvious or insulting, because then everybody sees it, and the more obvious an insult is, the angrier the opposing coach will get.
Let me explain that.
The opposing coach (Richt, in this case) is probably going to find out about anything insulting done by Florida. But people have a natural tendency to get even more upset if the insult was purposely done to a huge audience. I mean, would you rather get beaten up in private or in public? The public humiliation is much worse, so Muschamp has to be very careful to not do anything too public, because Georgia, like it or not, is talented, and if you anger the coach of talented kids- especially if the coach is any good, and Richt is a pretty good coach- then the players get angry and they play great.
Meyer could afford it in 2008, because he had this guy named Tebow coming back in 2009 (or so he was pretty sure of), but even if he didn’t, he still had Hernandez, Rainey, Demps, Brandon James, Cooper, Nelson and the entire defense coming back.
So what is it going to be, Coach Boom?
The dance floor is all yours, Coach. Everybody has cleared away to give you some room, and the DJ is playing a fast song, so you have to jump right in without missing a beat, and I believe you will do that.
I’m not talking about strategy; I’ve already done that. But what’s your icing on the cake?