Great Moments In Cocktail Party History, Part 2: 1997–The Drought Ends (At Least for One Night!)
Here’s Part 2 in my Three-Part Series of Great Moments (at least for Georgia!) in Cocktail Party History. Enjoy!
GA/FL 1997: The Drought Ends! (Well, At Least for A Night….)
It was a game that CBS was reportedly reluctant to carry, as they were expecting a 20-point blowout and therefore a ratings disaster. It was a 20-point blowout, alright. It’s just that it didn’t go the way that was expected. Not by a long shot.
Georgia finally had their way with the seemingly unstoppable Gators after having dropped seven consecutive games in Jacksonville, beating them 37-17. It was a game they’d been picked to lose by 20 points. Only to win by….20 points.
Back then, beating Florida seemed like the lofty pinnacle that no Georgia squad would ever reach, the ultimate pipe dream. When the Steve Spurrier came to town in 1990 (or the “Evil Genius”, as he was often called), Georgia lost control of the series they used to own, and couldn’t buy a win for the next seven years. So this was an inspired win for the ‘Dawgs, a victory that revved up a fan base in a way that hadn’t been seen in Athens for many years. It was the only win that a Jim Donnan squad had over Florida. Best of all, it was the game that caused Steve Spurrier to say….
“They’re just better than us. That’s all you can say.”
(That quote rapidly sprung up on t-shirts all over Athens shortly thereafter.)
Sadly, the glory was short-lived, as the series would turn back to the Gators in 1998 and stay there for the next…six…years…..
But this night sure was special! Check it out! (And note some of the names on the field being mentioned, such as Mike Bobo and Kirby Smart…no need to look for them in the “Where Are They Now” files!)
NEXT: You Say You Want A Celebration?
–Jennifer Rohner, Chief Cultural Correspondent