Every year my hate meter fluctuates somewhat. Not on hating the truly repellent things, like the University of Florida, Dennis Felton's "offense," or temperance. No, the fluctuating hate is at the margins and often temporary, but it is still a quality vitriol. Here are a few things I can't forgive for their actions last year.
- Alabama. - Some of you have always hated Alabama and will hate them forever. I didn't really mind them too much until last year because we had beaten them in thrilling fashion during the Richt era and they were sometimes good for a crucial win over Florida or Tennessee when the East standings were tight. This year's game set up perfectly for us: home night game, blackout, Bama showered bulletin board material at us, UF lost that afternoon, national television audience, USC lost earlier in the week, #1 was back in our grasp. It had the feeling of a coronation in pregame warm-ups. Then, this happened. Total despair. You won't endear yourself to me ever again, Bammers. On a related note ...
- Being #1 Before the End of a Season. - Georgia doesn't do well as #1, unless they are hitting forehands, riding horses, or doing somersaults. Need proof? Football started the season at #1 and produced one of the most disappointing seasons we are likely to ever produce. Baseball was #1 before, and briefly during, the conference slate. They ended the year with a 3-12 streak and didn't host a regional, which appeared to be a lock half way through the year. Even the golf team, ranked #1 for almost all of the year, almost choked away a spot for match play day before falling in the final four. If we are never #1 during a season ever again, I'm OK. I'll wait until the end of the season for that ranking.
- Rain - It makes the grass grow, sure, but rain really screwed us this year. First, with the SEC Baseball Tournament title in sight, the SEC umps marched Alex McRee to the mound under heavy rain in Hoover and no hope of a break in the weather. McRee gave up seven runs in the top of the first with water pouring off the bill of his cap. Then, the umps called a four hour delay and we resumed play down 7-0 without McRee. In the improved climate, LSU waltzed through the game and eventually took the title. We were still trying to dry off. It wasn't just baseball, though. In the NCAA tennis quarterfinals, the Dawgs had just finished taking the doubles point from Texas when a long line of Texas thunderstorms soaked College Station and delayed play until the next morning. Texas came out regrouped and ready. The Horns got four singles courts in route to a 4-2 win, ending the season for UGA.
Honorable mentions include: timeouts, Jeff Dantzler's designated driver, the Rally Rat, knee instability, and the inferno stadium bathrooms at Arizona State.
Any others that I should have listed?