Great Moments in Cocktail Party History, Part 1: 1985–The #1 Ranked Gators fall to Feisty Bulldog Squad (But The Goalposts Do Not!)
This is a special week every year for both Georgia and Florida Fans.
Both sides can say anything they want to about the rivalry, how it has been one-sided over the years, how other rivalries are bigger for both teams, how the series should or should not stay in Jacksonville. But I would bet that most of us who’ve actually attended this game know that there’s something enduringly special about the Georgia-Florida game. And no matter what kind of year either team might be having, it is inevitably a game to get up for. I’ve always thought of it as a bit of a gift to be a part of a school that has a rivalry so special that it has its own special venue, not to mention a title of its own (There are Iron Bowls Apple Cups, and Civil Wars out there, but how many other games are flat-out referred to as Parties?). I’ve always seen this game as a mid-season bowl, something extra special you get just for being a part of the Bulldog or Gator Nation. And there’s nothing quite like it in all of sports-dom, in my opinion.
This week I thought I’d take a break from my usual philosophical manifestoes and bring you some of the most interesting and fun wins Georgia has had over the last several decades. I’ve narrowed it down to three special games, ones that longtime fans may or may not remember but are worth revisiting. I hope that everyone enjoys this short series and maybe learns something they might not have known before (I know I did!).
So without any further ado, let’s get this (Cocktail) party started!
Georgia/Florida 1985–Georgia Topples #1 Ranked Florida (But Not The Goalposts…)
In the 70s and 80s, the Georgia/Florida series was well in the hands of the ‘Dawgs. It’s hard to imagine for those of us who came on board during the Spurrier era, but back then, Georgia was the “Monkey on the Back” of the Gators. But in 1985, things on the national stage were looking hugely promising for the Gators. Florida was for the first time ranked #1 in the nation and was seriously eyeing the National Title for the first time in their history. It seemed that the #17 Georgia Bulldogs didn’t really seem to pose much of a block on that road.
But then Game Day arrived, and the ‘Dawgs would not be denied.
Georgia handily defeated the Gators 24-3, a win that pretty well dashed the National Title shot for Florida (it went to Oklahoma that year). The Bulldog Dominance in the series would hold out for at least a few more years…. (that is, until Coach Spurrier would darken our doorstep five years later….).
And most likely to the chagrin of the Georgia fans who stormed the field that day, the goalposts stayed upright (thanks to the Jacksonville police).
Of course, Munson says it all better than I do….check it out!
NEXT: The Drought Ends…at Least for One Night!
–Jennifer Rohner, Chief Cultural Correspondent