Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post A couple of overrated storylines this weekend

Friday September 9, 2005

The Spurrier issue is overshadowing everything about this game. While it’s huge for the fans, it’s not for Richt or the team.

Revenge for 1995 is paramount to the fans. That blowout loss in Athens was the lowest of the lows in a decade of dispair against Spurrier’s Florida teams. Just the mention of the name is enough to send many Georgia fans into a fetal position, and they would be nervous if Spurrier brought a Pop Warner team into Sanford Stadium.

A friend of mine said that we’d struggle with Florida until we “beat the Spurrier out of them”. That was a great way to sum up the situation – the players on the Florida sideline knew they were in Georgia’s head, and Georgia’s players knew they were owned. Georgia fans still live with that damage when Steve Spurrier’s name comes up.

Fortunately, none of that is an issue for the current Georgia team. The currently players were 12 years old or younger in 1995. Richt and his staff (except for Bobo and Smart of course) were scattered across the nation. Only the 5th year seniors have gone to battle against a Spurrier team. While the Spurrier name surely brings recognition and respect, the current team does not have the Battered Fan Syndrome that comes from years and years of beatdowns.

That’s a very good thing. While they might not have the hatred and the zeal to run it up, they are able to approach this game with a much more level head than the fans. We want them to be fired up and motivated against a decent opening SEC test, but we don’t want the out of control emotions that come with rabid revenge on the mind. More importantly, they won’t get into a funk if they find themselves behind. Georgia overcame a 16-0 deficit in Columbia last year. Hopefully they won’t find themselves in that position again, but they’re much less likely to pack it in than a team that had lost years in a row to South Carolina.

Another storyline making the rounds is the myth that South Carolina always plays Georgia close. That might be the case in Columbia, but it’s not in Athens. In the past ten years, only the 2001 South Carolina win has been a close game in Athens. 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003 – all big Georgia wins.

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