So, I’m getting on the elevator at work yesterday and a colleague who attended that school in Gainesville, Fla., asks me, “Can you call yourself a Florida Gators fan this week?”
My reply: “No, I wouldn’t go that far. But would I prefer for Florida to beat South Carolina? Yeah.”
He said he thought I finessed that question pretty well.
Let’s be clear about this: It’s strictly self-interest that has UGA players, coaches and fans pulling for that hated team in blue and orange to continue its unlikely 2012 rebound under former Bulldog Will Muschamp this week. Another loss for Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks would pretty much eliminate them from contention to win the SEC East.
And that would put the Dogs’ destiny back under their own control: Win out in the rest of their conference games, including beating Florida, and Georgia would be back in the Dome.
Of course, that would make the annual tilt in Jacksonville even more of a huge game for the Dawgs this year than it usually is, and considering Georgia’s recent record in big games against Top 10 opponents, that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
But back to this week. Rooting for an arch-rival like the Gators doesn’t come easily for most of us in red and black. Asked if he was pulling for Florida this Saturday, the Dogs’ Amarlo Herrera demurred, “Yeah, something like that.”
Aaron Murray was more emphatic in saying he’s “definitely” rooting for the Gators, but he is, after all, from the Sunshine State.
Still, as Murray said, “I think everyone gets a free pass this week who’s a Georgia fan. I’m not saying to deck out in Florida gear, but you can definitely be a little happier if they can come out with a victory Saturday.”
Actually, his head coach went a bit farther than most in Bulldog Nation are comfortable with on Monday night’s “Bulldog Hotline” call-in show.
“I’ve actually got a little bit of orange in my shirt today,” Mark Richt said. “I don’t have anything that has pure orange but I’ve got one has red and orange stripes. I wore it today in honor of the Florida Gators, but that’s it.”
“I can’t believe you just said that,” was host Scott Howard’s candid response.
Richt laughed. “I’m a Florida fan this weekend,” he said.
Well, I’m not. I’m a Georgia fan who hopes Florida beats South Carolina for no other reason than it’s good for Georgia.
But wear orange, even a little bit?
What about you?
GOOD TIME FOR A PEP RALLY
UGA is holding a pep rally at Legion Field in Athens at 8 p.m. Thursday for students, faculty and staff.
The football team and coach Richt will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs and the athletic department promises the appearance of “a famous surprise guest.” Prizes and entertainment also will be provided.
Coming at midseason and after a dispiriting loss, I’d say this is a prime time to get the UGA community fired up behind the Dawgs again. I hope there’s a large turnout to send the team off to Lexington.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg