Arts & CultureFlag Football

Georgia Fans’ Six Stages of Grief

Georgia was trounced 27-3 by the Florida Gators Saturday at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. If you watched, you don’t need me to tell you how ugly it was. If you didn’t watch, be happy for that little extra joy you have because of it.

Due to the circumstances, I won’t walk you through the game like I normally do in this space. Instead, I’ll guide you through the stages of grief I experienced following the crushing defeat in the hope that it might help you work through your feelings. Misery loves company, and it loves the Georgia Bulldogs.

Denial: This isn’t really happening. There’s about seven minutes left. Sony Michel can break a few big runs, and maybe we’ll bring Greyson Lambert back in, and he’ll turn the season around. An onside kick, maybe a special teams touchdowns, and we’re back in the thick of it. Mark Richt will show us all up and prove he’s actually the smartest coach in America. Brian Schottenheimer will… (Clock strikes 0:00.) Maybe there’s some scenario where we can still win the SEC East with three losses. If Florida loses to Vanderbilt and South Carolina and we win out? Nope. But maybe if… No…

Anger: Why in God’s name did we leave Faton Bauta in the entire game? The man threw four interceptions. Four! I know that Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey are hot garbage at quarterback, but Bauta is somehow worse. Are we really in such a bad spot that a third-string player is having the worst game any of our players have had this year, and we decide to leave him in the game? How did our program reach this point? We haven’t scored a touchdown in two games. It’s like we started Aaron Murray as a freshman, then decided we never had to recruit a QB again.

More Anger: AND HOW DID WE MAKE ANOTHER SPECIAL TEAMS MISTAKE THAT LED TO A TOUCHDOWN? This team isn’t good enough to win if we just give opponents points. And how about we tackle Kelvin Taylor for once in our lives. He’s almost single-handedly beaten us the past two years with 318 yards and four touchdowns total against us in that span. There’s so much talent on our defense, but he just prances right through it. With the high level we recruit at, HOW ARE WE SUCH GARBAGE!?!?

Bargaining: Is there any way Jacob Eason—the nation’s best high school quarterback and a Georgia commit—can just forgo his final year of high school and come in and start right now? Can we fire Mark Richt and get the trajectory of this program changed? How about we completely defund the football program and invest that money in a time-travel department? Would we have enough money to develop sufficient technology to allow us to travel back in time and win this game or, better yet, make it where UGA football never existed so no one ever feels this pain?

Depression: There is no hope, and there will never be any hope. We very well may lose to Auburn. Hell, we may lose to Kentucky. And Georgia Tech doesn’t look like the easy win it once was. Seriously, we could lose out and and go 5-7. What’s worse, even if that happens, we won’t get rid of Richt. Richt will lead us to mediocre season after mediocre season, and we’ll keep him in charge because of some misguided notion that he’s a “nice guy.” We’ll continue to be the one team in college football that everyone agrees should be a Top 10, but just isn’t. Football is dumb, and we’re all stupid.

Acceptance: I still love this team and program more than any sane person should love an institution. Despite my anger (and more anger), wild ideas about how I’d change the program and my constant cries to get rid of Richt, I’ll cheer just as loud this week as I cheered last week and every week before that. I hope the rest of Georgia’s faithful take the time to work out their rage, then join me as I continue to cheer on the Dawgs.

Now let’s go beat Kentucky.