Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome to Smurfville

As a first time reader of the BIE blog a few years back, I was immediately intrigued by the great exiled one. Here was a guy who understood what I was going through. Exiled. Displaced. Alone in a sea of misinformed and ignorant football fans. Far away from my Georgia and SEC brethren, I too took the role as ambassador of all things southern, though probably not as graciously or as with as much patience as Bulldog in Exile. If you're far away from home and if you've moved away from Georgia & your beloved Dawgs, and especially if you left the south, you can relate too. You know how torturous it can all be and that's probably why you are here on the blog. I hope to continue the tradition and standards of the blog. Its cheaper than therapy and I'm honored to have been chosen to carry the torch.

When BIE told me he was moving back to Athens, my reaction was first, denial, then anger, followed by jealousy and finally acceptance. It took me some time, but I couldn't be happier for him and his family (but honestly the pictures on twitter from campus make me mad all over again-- there is such a thing as rubbing it in BIE!!) I too hold out hope that one day I'll be able to post on these very pages that I am returning home. Back from the cold, back from exile, to a place where I can hear the crickets sing at night, where they refill your tea without asking and where I hear the soft sweet accents that I miss so much. Jerry Reed's "Eastbound and down" will be cued up and ready for that very day. Meanwhile, I'll try to educate my kids-- make sure they don't call coke a "pop", say "yall" as much as I can, and color their life with the G, stories of summer thunderstorms and their great grandmas homemade peach ice-cream.....Yes, life out here in the territories is a little dryer and a little colder, but I'll get by with a little help from this blog.

Quick notes of comparison for you ( I promise not to make this an Idaho educational site, but its important to understand the context!) Idaho did not become a state until 1890, some 105 years after our great University of Georgia was founded. UGA first played football in 1892 while BSU began 76 years later in 1968 and as a junior college no less. BSU sports the most hated color combo of every Dawg fan on the planet and they play on that damned ugly field. Do you know how hard it is to live in a place where the preschool teachers try to paint my daughters fingernails orange and blue before each smurf game? Even the local news teases every segment by relating it to the plight of the Broncos........".... tonight at 10, a coyote was spotted in the foothills, how will this effect Boise States BCS hopes? Tune in to find out!"

So most BSU fans will have to excuse me when I think of them as johnny come latelys. So fresh to the college football scene most kids out here think that football began when Ian "Rudy" Johnson proposed at the Fiesta bowl. They refer to themselves as "Bronco Nation" but to be honest it has more of a village-y feel. I've never seen a fan base so self-aggrandizing and so polarizing. Seems like you're either with them or you're agaisnt them. In my experience a rather large portion of them are woefully misinformed when it comes to the big picture. As you might imagine, as the self proclaimed biggest Georgia fan in Idaho, the next few weeks will be trying for me as we lead up to the rematch. I am alone in a sea of blue & orange here with only a few Idaho Vandal fans on my side to help me debate and inform. Vandal fans don't get a lot of respect around these parts; they are on the losing side of their rivalry with BSU, but they are a scrappy lot and they have my respect. In a a way they are the equivalent of GT fans back home, they live vicariously through anyone who can beat BSU and they have a healthy amount of disdain towards their instate rival. (don't misunderstand me, in my exile I have not found a fondness for GT)

I was still living in Atlanta back in 05. My wife and I invited her Boise side of the family and their friends to SEC country for the big game. Our tailgate started on a fine dew dropped September morning. After nearly 9 hours of tailgating and at the point in the day when your bourbon has little bits of grass and dirt floating around in the bottom, I made a grand promise to all those in earshot. I stood on the back of my car with flag in hand & declared Georgia would win the game that day by at least 22 points. Furthermore I would buy all bsu fans at our tailgate a keg of beer each if this did not happen. In return they all had to promise to buy me a keg each and have them waiting for me when I moved to Idaho. (I believe even the local Boyzee news was there to film this declaration, but the footage has mysteriously disappeared) 4 quarters and 6 Zabransky pics (or was it just two quarters?!) later I would have my sweet victory. (and a 35 point margin of victory to boot) The post game tailgate continued late into the night as a cold realization spread among the smurfs; they were completely out of their league on that day.

" We were completely out of our league today...kudos"

What some of you probably remember is that this was quite a bold prediction at the time. The 4 letter network, heck even some Georgia homers that day were calling for a Georiga loss. We had some mighty big unknowns going into that game and the nation was hot with bronco fever. Were it not for a good helping of confidence from my friend Elijah Craig, I would not have been so bold. What a great day of redemption it was for the Dawgs. It was DJ's coronation and I still remember big Leonard Pope, seemingly 8ft tall, towering over the boys in orange pants that day. No doubt it'll be different this time around. 6 years of success and an increasing number of Pac-12 tier 2 recruits has helped to reduced the size advantage we had over the smurfs back in '05. They are a shifty bunch, and they are riding an even higher wave of support and confidence. Meanwhile Dawg nation is licking its wounds. The bowl game loss in Memphis was not a confidence booster. There are questions marks from the O-line to the receivers to the DB's, and we are putting a lot of pressure on Isaiah to give us the running game we've lacked since Knowshon left for Denver.

I feel quietly confident for this rematch however. I mean imagine the symmetry of the situation. In 2005 the loss to Georgia marked the beginning of the national narrative for Boise State, we've got the perfect opportunity now with another victory over the Bronco's to put the narrative to bed. It makes for pretty perfect bookends and it sure would make life here a whole lot easier for me this fall. For now nothing bothers these fans more than a quiet confidence, so I think this time I'll just speak softly and hope the dawgs bring the big stick. I'll hold out on the score predictions for 2011 rematch today, but if you catch me outside the Georiga dome around 6pm on Sept 3rd, Im sure Elijah will be speakin to me!

What an honor it is to be contributing here. I look forward to a fun ride. If you are a fellow Dawg in exile, or even a Dawg back home, send me pictures of your Georgia flags from wherever they may be flying. I've got a project in mind and I need your help.

My last tailgate as resident of Georgia
I am your Displaced Dawg
I am, your DisplacedDawg


  1. Well written!!

    SO far, all the Boise fans I have encountered in the blogosphere have been somewhat cordial. I honestly feel the ones who have not are actually Techies vicariously living through a UGA opponent, as you mentioned. I look forward to reading your entries this summer..

    Good luck out there! And remember, do not try and be a hero... just serve em' some sweet tea and grits.

    GO DAWGS!!!

  2. Boise - wow you couldn't have gone much further! Then again there have been Saturdays around Oct. 31 when I would have rather been in Boise. You can say I'm ready to turn that series back right side up. Go Dawgs!

  3. Nice first post. Already improving the place.

  4. Welcome to the blogosphere D.D.! I look forward to seeing what you do with this place!

    BiE, I'd say "I wish you well" but you're in Athens.... so it's kinda like telling Satan to "go to hell."
    Enjoy it big fella, you deserve it.

  5. Calling the Bronco village self-aggrandizing is an understatement. It is a fact that (for BSU fan) the game was invented in 2005 when they beat an Oklahoma team with a backup QB and a running back who re-broke his collarbone on 2 miracle trick plays. I’ll make it simple—they think a 10-1 season in their “conference” is the same as a 10-1 SEC conference. The most un-football-educated “Fans” in the entire football universe. Go Vandals!!