Wednesday, October 27
Manic-Depressive Preview: This might be the weirdest Cocktail Party ever.
The Dawgs now have three consecutive dominating victories under their belts, and Manic Doug is kind of over the moon about it -- to be exact, he had to be physically restrained from whipping his junk out and pressing it up against the window of the last car he saw with a Gators license-plate frame. You'd think that even Depressive Doug would be heartened by this recent turn of events, but this is Florida we're talking about, so . . . no dice. In this week's Manic-Depressive Preview, we'll find out if Manic's "Woohoo! We don't suck anymore!" can overcome Depressive's relentless focus on 3-17:
Manic Doug: THREE IN A ROW, BABY! And second place with a bullet in the SEC East! Can you believe it?
Depressive Doug: Now that you mention it, no.
MD: Dude, we're about the hottest thing going in the division right now. Meanwhile, the Gators have lost three straight and are basically tripping over their own shadows on offense. We're gonna leave our cleat prints all over their Pro Combat asses and give 'em a taste of their own fuckin' medicine.
DD: Wow. Congratulations.
MD: On what?
DD: On coming out of the coma you've apparently been in for the past 20 years. Does our modern technology confuse and frighten you? It's OK! This thing I'm typing on here is called the In-ter-net, and look, you can use it to get thousands of songs and put them in this tiny little box!
MD: You're mocking me, aren't you?
DD: Brilliant deduction, and yes, I'm mocking the shit out of you. Seriously, have you forgotten everything that's happened over the past two decades in this rivalry? Three-and-seventeen? Do you seriously not get how retarded it is to be taking a win for granted?
MD: I'm not taking anything for granted, but come on, man -- have you seen Florida this year? These aren't the Gators of the Tim Tebow years. Frankly, I'm not convinced they're even the Gators of the Ron Zook years. They're godawful in literally every phase of the offensive game, and they're meeting up with Georgia right when we seem to be hitting our stride on defense.
DD: We gave up 31 points to Kentucky last week. That's what you call "hitting our stride"?
MD: OK, first of all, a lot of that was bullshit points they scored after we'd already gone up 41-17 in the fourth quarter and took our foot off the gas.
DD: They were moving the ball pretty well on us even when we supposedly had our foot on the gas, though. Nine-of-fifteen on third downs? Even third-and-long?
MD: But see, Florida doesn't have the playmakers to pull that off this year.
DD: Don't have the playmakers? So you've never heard of Jeff Demps? Or Trey Burton, who straight-up murdered Kentucky at the goal line a few weeks ago? Or Chris Rainey?
MD: OK, Demps is a gamer, but we've got a guy who scored five TDs against Kentucky, too, and he ended up with a ton more rushing yards than Trey Burton did. And don't even talk to me about Chris Rainey -- he had all of 16 rushing yards this season before he got himself "suspended from team activities." It's gonna take a lot more than Rainey to turn this offense around. What they need is another Tim Tebow, and they don't have one. Turns out Tebow's departure killed this team even more than anyone thought it would, which sucks for the Gators because John Brantley can't do half of what Teebs did, and sucks for everyone else because now we don't get to see pictures of his girlfriend, Erin Drewes, all over the place.
DD: Hmm, I sense an Associated Hottie coming. You do know she wasn't actually his girlfriend, right?
MD: Yeah, but when she got mistaken as his girlfriend while she was at UF, she did what any hot chick in her position would do -- got body-painted up and appeared in Playboy.
DD: (witheringly) A true virtuoso of the segue, you are.
MD: You know you're the only person I know who can still be that sarcastic when he's looking at a chick wearing nothing but paint? If you'll allow me to continue, there's a guy the Florida program might be missing even more than Tebow right now, and it's Dan Mullen, their former offensive coordinator. The new guy, Steve Addazio, is trying to run a Tebow-centric offense with only a John Brantley under center, and it's clearly not working; he's pissed off so many people in Gainesville that he's probably one or two botched snaps away from having to hire someone to taste his food for him.
DD: His offense does look wretched, I'll give you that.
MD: Meanwhile, ours is clicking -- everyone's healthy, the offensive line finally seems to be coming together, and we've now unloaded 40 points on three straight SEC opponents for the first time in Georgia history.
DD: Yeah, but you don't seriously think it's gonna be that easy against the Gators, do you? They've been OK against the run, but straight-up murder against the pass -- 15 interceptions in seven games, top 15 in the nation in terms of both yardage and efficiency allowed. You know as well as I do that the only way Georgia's been able to win this game recently is to score bucketloads of points, and you can't think that's gonna be easy this weekend.
MD: It won't be easy, but it's not impossible. First of all, none of the teams Florida has beaten gave them an A.J. Green to worry about. A.J.'s gonna stretch the field and open things up for the running game, which gets Caleb King back this week, by the way. Second, Aaron Murray has been a straight-up baller this year -- you ask me, I think he's even more poised than David Greene or Matt Stafford were in their first years. And honestly, I kind of like the fact that he's a freshman -- it's almost like he's coming into this game fresh, not knowing or caring about Georgia's baggage in this rivalry.
DD: Wow. As intangibles go, that's a bit of a stretch even by TV-pundit standards. I'm sure Kirk Herbstreit is very impressed.
MD: Fuck you, dude. You're determined to be depressed and miserable about this game, aren't you? In spite of the fact that Florida's weaker than its been in decades and Georgia's got an awesome opportunity to beat them down?
DD: An awesome opportunity, sure, but let's be real here. Urban Meyer may be a megalomaniacal asshole and perhaps even a sociopath, but the guy's no dummy -- you know he's been spending their bye week coming up with new wrinkles to try and give this offense some kind of spark. And regardless of Addazio's incompetence, he's got the playmakers to pull it off. Given how our offense is struggling to stop the pass and defend third downs, I think he's gonna find a way to break just enough big plays to put some points on the board. And if their defense plays up to its potential and finally makes Aaron Murray look like the freshman he is, then that'll be enough points to win. I'm calling it Florida 27, Georgia 17.
MD: That sucks, man! You really think they're gonna make it three-and-eighteen? Who wants to live in a world like that?
DD: I don't like it any more than you do. But this has been an ugly rivalry for us lately, there's no way around it. I've been burned too many times to believe otherwise.
MD: Don't think like that! Open your heart, man! This rivalry can change! Let the Cocktail Party love you! . . .
(extremely awkward pause)
DD: OK, now I'm just embarrassed for you.
MD: Whatever. For those of us who have faith in the mighty Bulldogs, here's how it's gonna go: Florida's offense continues to suck, while A.J. burns the Gator secondary on a couple big plays. That forces Florida to move their defense back and Georgia gets to open up the run and the short passing game, and they hold off a late Gator rally to win, 31-23.
DD: That's a nice story.
DD: But tallying up our respective predictions, I see they average out to . . . a 25-24 Florida win.
MD: You Judas! I can't believe you still managed to screw this one up! I want a do-over on my prediction.
DD: Nope. Too late. You can put up another picture of painted-Gator-fan-chick, though.
MD: You know what? No. No. You don't deserve it. When Georgia comes home from Jacksonville victorious, you'll get to see my bare ass running up and down the street screaming and waving a Georgia flag, that's all you're gonna get to see.
DD: If Georgia comes home from Jacksonville victorious? I'll run up and down the street naked with you.
MD: I'm gonna hold you to that.
DD: Please don't say "hold," but yes, fine. Whatever.
MD: You got a deal.