As a fan of the Florida Gators, you’re afforded many rights this week. Among those is the right to tell Georgia exactly where you think it should go, or be banished to. You can also ask them if they’d like to bite something in particular. The options are really endless for it is Florida-Georgia week and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has arrived. (We’re not supposed to call it that, but our goal should be to ensure the moniker lives on with future generations.)
Your mind will be emblazoned with images of Brandon Spikes playing the role of Top Piece of Bread in the Spikes-Knowshon Moreno-ground sandwich, and it should be. There are moments that live with us forever and that is one of them. Another is the one of those damn dancing Dawgs in what we are required by University of Florida law to call a classless and utterly inappropriate display of arrogance. To take us back to positive images, I must quickly mention that Mohamed Massaquoi is still afraid of Reggie Nelson (REGGIE F’ING NELSON!).
Saturday is a date with destiny that isn’t. More was expected of both the Gators and the Bulldogs, but less has occurred for a variety of reasons. Injuries can be blamed and are the easy way out. Blaming injuries gives us comfort because it means our team doesn’t have offensive issues, wasn’t overrated to begin the season, and doesn’t have questions at various coaching positions. It means that a few very unfortunate circumstances led to 4-3 and the losses can be blamed on the absence of a key player or two or three or seven.
Quick side-note relating to records and not injuries: six of the seven teams in the SEC East are currently on losing streaks (including first-place Missouri). Look across the standings and you will see that six of the seven SEC West teams are currently on winning streaks. The lone West team on a losing streak is last-place Arkansas. Hey, the Gators beat them! YAY!
Moving past the injuries, we get to the issue of offense. No, we don’t. Let’s move right past that because we’ve talked about it all before here, here, and here. I don’t know how much more of it I can stomach and I can only imagine that you all are in the same boat. We need offense. We don’t need it next season. We don’t even need it next week. We need it now, or else the Bulldogs of Georgia will chew us up, spit us out, and end zone dance to an easy victory.
Moving on, of course, requires us to move on to something else. Let’s go with how bad we want the Gators to come out of Saturday’s contest victorious. We talk frequently about the players, the coaches, the games, and more. We don’t talk as often as we could about the passion and the levels above that reaching the fanatical.
I want the Gators to win for many reasons and they don’t even start with the angle of “because it’s Georgia.” Shall we?
• Because as similar as it can feel, 5-3 is so much better than 4-4.
• Because the thought of three-straight losses makes me wish I hadn’t had spicy food for lunch.
• Okay, because it’s Georgia.
• Because there’s still a part of me that wants Will Muschamp to succeed. (And why not? Why should I wish the guy fail? Why should I hope he gets fired? He’s the head coach today and will be the head coach tomorrow, so I want him to win games.)
• Because Tyler Murphy.
• Because Tyler Murphy.
• Because Tyler Murphy. (The three times wasn’t an accident.)
• Because I don’t want to see 0-3 against the top 25. (Oh wait, Georgia isn’t ranked either. HURRAH!)
• Because the Bulldogs haven’t won three straight in the series since the late 1980s.
• Because Orson Charles broke stuff.
• Because Will Hill’s best game.
• Because a punter kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime in the last Gators’ victory in the series.
• Because I like wins.
• Because I dislike losses.
• Because I’m still a fan and will be faithfully watching this game, the next game and all of the other games.
• Because orange and blue.
• Because Go Gators!
• Because just win.
I don’t want the Gators to win; I need the Gators to win. The same goes for the players and the coaching staff. Murphy needs a win. Muschamp needs a win. Brent Pease needs a win. Dare I say Jeremy Foley needs a win? We all need it. We want it. We crave it. These losses can’t come to an end soon enough.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up and put out the Gators’ flag. I’ll put on my Gators’ hat and shirt. I’ll be a Gator just as I am any other day. At 3:30, it’ll change as it always does when Florida games start. I’ll need the win even more than I need it right now. There’s a rise all week that peaks at kickoff. I want to stay on that peak for four quarters and I don’t want to come down.
To hell with Georgia.