Hating Georgia is for the Young and Old

Another ‘strong’ guest post from our friend the Unsportsmanlike Gentleman he’s the creator of the widely famous Muschamp Intensity Meter

I’m 29 years old. I’m too young to remember Florida football before the program’s Golden Era that began in 1990. My memories of the Gators in the ’80s are confined to Emmitt Smith and the two or three games my parents took me to and that’s all. The Florida Gators became my favorite drug after the ’91 Florida/FSU game. A thrilling, hard fought 14-9 victory for Florida. I was 9 years old and I lived and died with every play on that final series like everyone else who watched.

During the ’90s, Florida beat Georgia with relative ease and I just thought that was the norm. I didn’t understand why so many older Florida fans took so much pleasure in watching Florida dismantle the ‘Dawgs. My hatred in the early ’90s was primarily focused on Florida State. At least half my friends in school were FSU fans and incessantly ran their mouths about the Noles. I hated them–my friends and FSU.

My hatred shifted toward Tennessee during the late ’90s and early ’00s (I hate you, Travis Stephens. Now and forever. I hate you so much. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO RUN FOR SO MANY GODDAMN YARDS THAT NIGHT?????????). I still didn’t have much hatred or even dislike for Georgia. I was told again and again that Florida/Georgia was a huge rivalry, but it didn’t feel like a rivalry. My emotions were the same against Georgia as they would be against Kentucky or Vanderbilt. I had no reason to hate Georgia.

Then 2007 happened. Georgia finally gave me a reason. With six minutes left in the 1st quarter, Knowshon Moreno scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and his Georgia teammates stormed the field igniting not only a wild celebration, but a hatred deep inside me that I have never felt for an opposing team–professional or collegiate. My first reaction was to throw the remote through my television. My second reaction was to strap on a helmet and hit anyone wearing red and black. Chicago Bulls fans, Atlanta Falcons fans, Arkansas State fans–if you were wearing red and black at that moment you would not have been safe around me. I wanted to run outside and look for lady bugs just so I could stomp them. I heard Chancellor Palpatine behind me saying, “Yes, let the hate flow through you.”

Forget about whether Georgia’s dance party was classless or if it was a great motivational tactic by Mark Richt because I don’t care about that. The act itself, seeing the entire team celebrating the first touchdown of the game, pissed me off. Not the game-winning touchdown, but the FIRST touchdown of the game. Few, if any, remember that Florida scored in three plays on a 40-yard pass from Tebow to Louis Murphy on the very next possession. The majority only remember that Georgia stormed the field and in the end, won the game. That’s fine because that’s all you need to remember.

In that moment, everything about the rivalry became crystallized for me. I suddenly realized why Gator fans much older than myself hated Georgia more than Tennessee or FSU. I understood why Steve Spurrier wanted to rain fire down upon the ‘Dawgs every time he coached against them. My appreciation for Spurrier running up the score in ’95 immediately increased, which I didn’t think was possible. All because I now HATED the Georgia Bulldogs.

For me, the 2008 Florida/Georgia game was one of the five most satisfying Gator games of my life, right behind the three national championship games and the ’97 FSU/Florida game. From the very first play of the game to the very final play, it was the perfect revenge game. But one win isn’t enough.

Every year since ’07, I’ve wanted Florida to not only beat Georgia, but absolutely humiliate them in the process. Florida could win 800-0 and I would scream for 801. I’m glad Urban Meyer called those two timeouts at the end of the game in ’08. I’m glad Florida blew them out again in ’09. I’m glad one of my favorite Gators of all-time, Chas Henry, sent them home crying last year. And I hope the misery for Georgia continues until the series ends because I will never forget that moment in 2007. I hope you don’t either.

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5 Responses to Hating Georgia is for the Young and Old

  1. Mason says:

    I remember that play like it was yesterday but for much different reasons than you! I, a life long Georgia fan and 2000 UGA Grad, was watching that game with a number of UF Housing Staff in the Tolbert Area RLC Apartment where my wife, Georgia, daughter Ellie and I were hosting a viewing party. I remember many of the early afternoon conversations with our guests focused on how big & bad UF was and had been in this series since the early 90’s and how this year would be no different! I also remember Moreno scoring the touchdown, Vern Lundquist saying “We may have 15 hankys in the air on this one…” and most of all the stunned faces of my friends and colleagues, who were trying to grasp what was happening! I don’t know if they were more frustrated with me or the Dawgs actions. I’m sure it was a little bit of both as I was so proud of what the Dawgs did that day.

    For me, it more than made up for the Spurrier years and having the ability to watch the celebration over and over has made the last three losses to UF sting less! Trinton Sturdivant’s shuffle, Marcus Howard’s chest thumping, Richt’s smug sarcastic clapping on the sidelines…it all still brings a huge smile to my face! To this day the only people you find complaining about the Georgia celebration are Florida fans! Deep down, I think that the thing that makes them so angry is knowing that someone else was the the crown of King Asshole that day, a title they had held since Spurrier returned to coach!

    I look forward to a great game this weekend and have a good feeling that Richt has something up his sleeve! But nothing will ever top the Celebration in 2007, a moment I will never forget either!

    • FisheriesDawg says:

      +100, Mason. This 2004 UGA grad was living in Gainesville at the time and about to start graduate school at UF. I got back to Gainesville from Jacksonville in time to attend a Halloween party and I didn’t have to say a word. Trinton and the gang (and Knowshon’s legs) had already said it all.

      (BTW, it was fortunate I didn’t say a word that night because the two years I was in graduate school (08-09) were two of the worst football seasons I’ve ever lived through; I picked one of the worst times I possibly could have to attend UF)

  2. JortsTorture says:

    Glad to have you aboard the UGA Hate Train, TUG.

    The cesspool of the south!

  3. Dave Linvale says:

    Storming the field was stupid. What did it even mean? Which leads to my next question, why did it tick off Gator fans so badly? Was it the fact Georgia ended up winning the game for the first time in, well, darn near forever?

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