Wednesday, October 6
Manic-Depressive Preview: Putting on a brave face is easier when you're drunk.
Needless to say, neither Manic Doug nor Depressive Doug were all that happy in the wake of the Dawgs' agonizing loss to Colorado last week, but they each went about it in different ways. Manic Doug went downtown, got lit up at a bar, and made increasingly overt (and surreal) come-ons to girls he really didn't have any shot with; Depressive Doug stayed home and got drunk, and we're not sure what happened after that, but we think it may have involved him trying to contact a bunch of his ex-girlfriends over Facebook so the less said about that, the better. Somehow, Manic managed to coach Depressive back for another one of these little talks, so here they are, hung over and a little bit bruised in the pride department but otherwise not nearly as worse for wear as they probably ought to be.
Depressive Doug: Dude, don't make me go through another one of these. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.
Manic Doug: Aw, come on, man, you look like someone just ran over your dog or something.
DD: Someone did just run over my Dawgs. Four someones, in fact. And somehow each of them has managed to be less talented than the last, yet they still manage to pull out the victory. What's the point, man? Why do we even exist?
MD: OK, first of all, I'm way too hung over for you to be springing this existentialist shit on me right now. Second, it's football, which we still like, even when it nearly kills us. Third, our girlfriend is expecting to be up for Georgia-Tennessee Hate Week, and I'm not gonna disappoint a chick.
DD: Wait . . . does she know about us? Both of us?
MD: Well, she was around for the Georgia-Florida game last year, where I ran screaming around the house and gave the dogs upside-down belly rubs when Georgia kept it close in the very beginning, and then you went upstairs and passed out drunk on our bedroom floor when the game got completely out of hand, so . . . yeah, I'd have to say she's made both our acquaintances.
DD: Oh, God, so does that mean she knows what I did after last week's game?
MD: Probably, but because it was both pathetic and futile, she a) saw it coming and b) didn't think it was getting worked up about. Now can we please get on with the football talk before I seriously start questioning why I even hang out with you?
DD: Fine. Go on and give me your ridiculous reasons why you still hold out hope for a win this weekend.
MD: Hey, I've got perfectly good reasons, not the least of which is Tennessee sucks. But there's an even better one, and it is that Georgia actually looked pretty good last Saturday while A.J. Green was in the game. Which, of course, he will be on Saturday. You're telling me you don't even find a little joy in that?
DD: All I can think about is just how completely dependent the team is on him. What if the Vols find a way to bottle him up? They certainly did last year.
MD: Yeah, but that was a different Tennessee defense. They're not nearly as good this year -- they're actually ninth in the SEC right now in opponent passing yardage and 10th in efficiency, and that's after having faced only one truly elite QB. They let UAB's backup quarterback go off for 373 yards on 'em, and the very next week against LSU, they even let Jarrett Lee have an OK game. I'm sorry, but if you play a game against Jarrett Lee and you don't come away with a single pick-six, I don't know how you can call yourself a defense.
DD: You really think it's gonna make a difference, though, with all the offensive line tinkering we've had to do lately? You can't tell me you're totally confident about that.
MD: Again, it won't matter if A.J. keeps the Vol defense honest and frees up some running room for Caleb King.
DD: Oh, great, another awesome weekend of Guess Which Running Back Is Going To Fumble The Game Away. I love that game. You do know we're back to a negative turnover margin on the season, right? Whereas Tennessee is already +4?
MD: All I know is we were a pretty damn good team last week when A.J. Green wasn't cramping up. I'm going to assume that we won't be running into that problem again this Saturday, hence I'm optimistic.
DD: Remind me to tell you what happens when you assume after we get done here. OK, let's say you're right about everything and the offense does start clicking with A.J. firmly in the lineup. What about our defense? After all you've seen over the past few weeks, are you really confident that Tennessee won't be able to keep up with us on the scoreboard?
MD: Of course.
DD: And why is that?
MD: Because Tennessee's offense sucks. After all you've seen over the past few weeks, how have you not picked up on that?
DD: Two words: Tauren Poole.
MD: Is that a band?
DD: He's Tennessee's starting running back, and he's pretty damn good. Went over the century mark against Oregon and against LSU last week. Rarely goes down on first contact, also catches passes out of the backfield. After the way that we've been shredded by both itty-bitty running backs and mobile QBs the past couple weeks, I can't believe you're not terrified of this guy.
MD: Baby, Manic don't get terrified, particularly when the other team is starting an infirmary ward on the offensive line. No, make that a children's hospital, because Tennessee was starting three underclassmen on the line, and that was even before guys started getting hurt right and left. Now the depth situation has gotten so bad that Derek Dooley is talking about fielding an offensive line that only has four guys.
DD: Dude, he's not seriously gonna start a four-man offensive line.
MD: Why not? He already tried fielding a defense with thirteen. And they're at a point now where if Dallas Thomas goes down for whatever reason, they're almost certain to replace him with a guy who's never played left tackle before. Tennessee's already fourth from the bottom in the nation in sacks allowed this season, and it looks like it could get even worse.
DD: Look, I know Tennessee's not a good team. But neither was Mississippi State, and neither was Colorado, before they played us. And as much as it hurts to say, we're not a good team right now. On paper, we've got a big talent advantage over nearly every team we play, but they're not being utilized well, they're not playing smart, they almost look like they're waiting for the next disaster to happen rather than believing they can win --
MD: Wow, that last part actually sounds kind of like you.
DD: Hey, I'm a reflection of the circumstances around me, all right? As horrific as it is to contemplate the Dawgs being on a five-game losing streak, I'm done believing that our talent advantages are going to carry us through, or that we can't lose to this team or that team or blow X number of games in a row just because we're the Georgia Bulldogs. The stats say we can lose, our record says we have lost, so . . . sorry, I think it's highly likely we get our hearts ripped out again. Tennessee scores a late touchdown, stuffs us on our last-gasp drive -- again -- and wins 26-20.
MD: It must be so depressing to be you.
DD: Uh . . . have we met?
MD: Sadly, we have, and if I could un-meet you, I think I'd give it a try. Not that I don't understand your fears here -- even manic dudes get the blues every now and then -- but you've got to take some good from the Colorado game and think that it really has a chance to manifest itself here. A.J. Green has another career day, he opens things up for the rest of the offense, we hold onto the ball in critical situations and win going away, 38-20.
DD: So our two predictions average out to . . . a 29-23 win for Georgia, which, wow. You really think we're gonna win by eighteen? We'll be lucky to score that many, if the last few weeks are any indication.
MD: Vegas has us favored by two TDs.
DD: Really? OK . . . why?!?
MD: Beats the crap out of me, man -- I don't know how they calculate that stuff, I just bet on it.
DD: Not this week, I hope.
MD: No, not this week -- I think one of those chicks I tried to pick up at the bar Saturday night lifted my wallet. Shoulda known that little five-foot-nothing blonde was trouble on heels.
DD: Actually, that reminds me, does our girlfriend know about that?
MD: No, and she won't, unless she asks me to pay for a bunch of shit this weekend.
DD: Wow. This girl must have the patience of a saint.
MD: Or she's just realized it's futile trying to rehabilitate me, but either way, yes.
DD: So she's OK with the Associated Hottie, too?
MD: Yes, especially this week, because I'm picking one that's near and dear to both our hearts: Dolly Parton, who received an honorary degree from UT last year.
MD: I don't care if she's 64 years old, the lady's got some pipes, and she's still fine as fuck.
DD: Interesting. Not that I don't agree, but I wouldn't have ever pegged you for a country fan.
MD: Honestly, most of it I could take or leave, but I know what I like.
DD: The way you said that makes me think you're talking about something other than music now.
MD: Why, I don't know what you could possibly mean.
DD: All right, fine.
MD: I do like boobs, though.
DD: Of course you do.