I’ve used this picture before, but now I can officially say that I’m drinking the Gatorade. Before I get to that, this weeks recap begins with a question: What makes up your personal hell?
Not unlike Dante, I have many realms of a personal hell. All of these realms stem from me being thrust into social situations where I only tangentially know someone. This weekend, I was ripped from my TV screen as my Gators were down 18 points on the road to a Vanderbilt team that is dangerous and appears to love the Noon ET kickoff. Where was I ripped to? A gender reveal party for my lovely wife’s friend.
I have nothing against Sabrina or Zach. Congrats on the child! Creating life is a wonderful thing. That said, I absolutely have something against gender reveal parties. Basically they’re nothing more than a excuse to delay the mother-to-be’s friends from flocking to the Target with a Starbucks in it while wearing yoga pants. In football terms, it’s a punt from your own 45 when it’s 4th and inches. No one likes it, but every coach (or couple) does it.
I ended up quietly drinking water the corner, wasting my data plan on streaming the Florida game while listening to it on my wireless Bluetooth headphone. I did interact with people and make myself social, but the vast majority of guests were women. My thoughts on babies, pumpkin spice lattes, fall fashion and the career woes of teaching are not something I have much commentary on.
The gender revealation was orchestrated as counting cupcake fillings, only for it to be a confusing tie of pink and blue frosting. In a twist worthy of an M. Night Shama…you know, the 6th Sense guy…movie, we were then led outside for smoke grenades to be lit. As we were handed the balls to be lit on fire, I looked at mine in the sunlight, and noticed there were blue specks showing through the brown exterior. Thus I deduced correctly that the child was a boy, and returned awkwardly to the corner of the deck to continue only listening to the game while the women screamed “woooo!!!”.
Though I too wanted to woooo, I instead allowed the proceeding to…proceed I guess…and quietly fist pumped as my team found yet another way to win. We then left and got home just before halftime of the UGA/LSU game. Here I also quietly snuck off the bedroom to silently pull for Coach Eaux as I organized my sock drawer. #Adulting. As the minutes ticked away on the game clock, I comforted my wife the Dawg fan briefly before returning to the bedroom laughing to the tune of LSU’s “Go Tigers” cheer.
How much things have changed in a month. It was only 5 weeks ago that I would’ve been thrilled that my team could get a bid to the Birmingham or Belk Bowls. Now? I’m looking at Stub Hub for SEC Title Game tickets and New Orleans hotels for New Years. I kinda want Bama. Not enough to make a sign for Gameday or anything, as that’s the actual kiss of death, but enough that I actually think we could make it close. I’m officially drinking the Gatorade!
Let’s recap it!
Florida vs Vandy (37-27)
So Dan Mullen and Todd Grantham got pissy at Derrick Mason, the football definition of milquetoast, which led to benches clearing like a meaningless baseball game in August. It also led to last weeks national defensive POW to be kicked out because he pulled a Stone Cold Steve Austin move on a Vandy running back earlier in the game. I’m not a lip reader, but boy would I love to know what precipitated this near melee. I do know that it led to a pissed off Mullen deciding to fake a punt, changing momentum and leading a Gator score and the team to remember who they should be: a team that beats Vandy. The Florida running game broke out as they pounded the ball for the remainder of the game. Jordan Scarlett and Lemichael Perine both gained over 100 yards on the ground. The Gators go into the bye week with a legit playoff chance looming if they can pull the upset in Jacksonville. Here’s to hoping I’m not divorced!
LSU vs UGA (36-16)
I’m not trying to cause a pre-divorce separation (love you honey), but this game was destined to be won by the home team. Any LSU home game is going to feature a hostile crowd, but throw in that Jake Fromm hasn’t actually faced a challenging defense since January, the perfect game plan offensively by LSU, and UGA pulling a metaphorical Plaxico Burress, and the 20 point margin seemed small. The Dawgs still have plenty to fight for, and control their own destiny after a bye week of their own. That said, LSU fans, act like you been there bruh. I don’t care that UGA was ranked #2, you’ve won two titles this century and beaten top 5 teams at home several times. Don’t rush the field. You look like a lower tier ACC fan base.
Alabama vs Missouri (39-10)
The return of Dixieland Delight to Tuscaloosa coincided with the slimmest margin of victory for the Tide this year AND an injury to Tua. Lest you thought he walked on water, the Heisman favorite sprained his knee, forcing Nick Saban to turn to a QB with one loss in two years of starting. #FirstWorldProblems. Now everyone clad in crimson has become orthopedic experts, and believe he can return quickly. Having torn my MCL twice, I can assure you that it’s not THAT easy, but I’m sure if he’s needed in the Tide’s next contest, he’ll be out there full of “Elephant” tranquilizers ready to chuck it deep to Jeudy. Also, can I request that we have more tents in life?
Tennessee vs Auburn (30-24)
Remember that one time Auburn was a top 10 team? There’s absolutely no excuse for that pitiful performance in Knoxville. Kudos to Tennessee for getting their SEC shit together for the first time in two years. This actually begs the question of if the SEC East is better overall as a division than the West. Alabama is clearly still the class of the conference, and LSU beating UGA puts a dent in that argument, but top to bottom, the East may actually be better.
Virginia vs Miami (16-13)
Anyone still on the bandwagon thinking the U is back should probably hop off now. I didn’t actually watch more than a couple series of this game, but you can’t lose to Virginia and continue to have arrogance like Miami players and fans so often have. Shrink back to that pyramid scheme of a city built on 1980’s drug references and Pitbull. The Heat’s season is right around the corner.
I also checked in on a couple of other games, but this past weekend was about the south for national implications. Penn State losing and Texas squeaking by didn’t move the needle enough for me to change the channel. Also, the PAC-12 needs to get its shit together. There’s nothing meaningful going on past the central time zone these days, and Washington losing basically eliminated schools west of the Mississippi River from contention.
Because my Gators and my wife’s Dawgs have a bye week, we’re taking a little stay-cation. It’s important for a couple with a rivalry such as ours to remind each other that we do love the other with all their heart, no matter the outcome. Will I still watch football this weekend? Yeah, tangentially, but I won’t be glued to the tube like I will be the week after. Perhaps this is the perfect way to describe life. We all need a bye week every now and then. Until next week!