I am not going to bore you with stats and records from past games in this series. I’m not even going to give you a breakdown of how I think this game will play out on the field this coming Saturday. There will be more than enough of that to go around in the week ahead.
I want to speak for all of the fans, both Dawg and Gator, who are scattered from sea to shining sea across this great nation. Though we are separated by the many miles that lie between us and that close-to-the-border town, you can bet the bank that we will all be there in Jacksonville this Saturday.
We may be sitting in our recliners or on our couches in Idaho or Montana or Wisconsin or New York or North Dakota or where-ever, but our hearts will be in Jacksonville and our eyes will be glued to THE GAME. We will cheer and we will yell and we will plead, and for sixty minutes of football the world around us will stop.
I am not attempting to diminish the great rivalries of college football, and there are some great ones. I enjoy them and look forward to the buildup to those games each year, as well as the game itself.
I also do not mean to diminish the toughness and importance of the other teams that Georgia and Florida play each year. You may get sick of hearing it, but we don’t get too many “breathers” in the SEC. We really do respect each other.
But truth be known, Georgia and Florida both have two seasons. The first is when we play everyone else, and the second is when we play each other.
There have been times when we have had a mediocre year and had to struggle our way through, but things were salvaged if we beat Florida. The disappointment of the regular season was eased by winning the "Florida Season".
The Gators that I know feel the same way. And no matter what success a season brings, losing that game always leaves a bitter taste that can only be removed by a victory in the following year.
We like to talk about the pass from Buck Belue to “Run Lindsay!” Scott. Florida likes to talk about Spurrier and how he owned us for all of those years, and did he ever! Over the years I have learned to respect the Ol’ Ball Coach, and I miss the dynamics he brought to this game. And Herschel’s gone, but Knowshon is making a name for himself.
The legends of the past are no longer in uniform. There will be no runs by Emmitt Smith and no interceptions by Terry Hoage. Wilbur Marshall and David Pollack will make no bone-jarring hits.
Coaches and players come and go. The names may change, but the intensity and passion of this one game remains the same year after year.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, I don’t know, but I find myself admiring the players at both schools who never fail to give their best. The field will belong to them on Saturday. It is theirs to win or lose. Make no mistake about it, this will be a well fought battle between two of college footballs best programs.
So, with kindest regards to the rest of the College Football world, if you will pardon us—Georgia and Florida have another season to play this weekend in Jacksonville. We’ll join back with you next week after the smoke has cleared from the greatest rivalry in all of college football.
One final note: GO DAWGS!!!