Often times that choice is dictated by events here requiring my attendance, such as homecoming weekend at Illinois, since I have obligations that weekend. Other times, it is purely a function of when is convenient to travel with three kids. When the Ms. and I looked at Georgia's schedule this year, something particularly insidious got in the way of Georgia Florida this year...the Fall wedding. Yes, we have two weddings in the fall this year. The one last weekend was fine, since it fell on an open date. The next one in two weeks is not ok, since it falls on Georgia's homecoming. The timing is the issue. Hauling three kids to SE Georgia to my folks with weddings in far flung reaches book-ending that trip is lunacy.
So, that being said, I am confined to Central Illinois for this one. Distance either gives you some perspective on things or at least gives you the opportunity to view things (relatively) dispassionately, since no matter what happens in Jacksonville on Saturday, I don't have to put up with Florida fans. Now, before you get all hater on me, just understand that I know plenty of Florida fans and generally find them to be a pleasant lot, if for no other reason than they know not to give me lip. Give me a Florida fan over a Notre Dame fan every day, but one. That one is the important one, though.
Yeah, that's the day.
There is something very special about Georgia-Florida, something that brings out the worst and best in both groups. By knowing I cannot go, I can go about my week with only the stress of a big game looming. I don't have to get my game face on to deal with jort wearing Santa Fe Community College dropouts who happen to own orange and blue. I now now why those folks are so hateful.
Of course, this is photoshop. No one actually goes to school at Florida.
Two years ago, I had an epiphany. It took moving from Athens twice to understand the true cause of the hatred Florida fans have for Georgia fans.
No matter what happens in the game, we get to go back to Athens. They have to go back to Gainesville.
I hate losing to Florida more than I hate losing to any other team. The reasons are varied and they have been debated before, but my disdain for them pre-dates when they think college football began in the early 90s. Losing to Tech sucks. Losing to Tennessee and Auburn hurts. Losing to Florida is a gut wrenching, soul sucking rollercoaster ride without a seatbelt. Always has been.
But one thing has always provided salve: getting to go back to Athens. It may be a cop out, but it is my cop out, so I'll take it.
Hate week has started, y'all. Let's get it on.