Confessions of a Georgia Fan: Clean, Old-Fashioned Indifference
I have a confession to make: I don’t hate Georgia Tech. I really don’t.
While Chad “The Intern” Floyd makes stellar points, few of which I disagree with, I can’t muster up enough emotion to actually hate Georgia Tech.
I know I’m supposed to hate Tech and I’ve earnestly tried. But I’m just not there.
Maybe it’s because Georgia Tech has won just six football games against the Bulldogs since I was born. Maybe it’s because the Yellow Jackets have defeated the Bulldogs just once in the past dozen tries. Maybe it’s because Georgia Tech’s best season of the past 20 years (an 11-win 2009 effort that put the Jackets, the ACC Champs, in a BCS Bowl) was crowned with a home loss to a mediocre Georgia tem led by the likes of Joe Cox and Washaun Ealey.
I just don’t hate Tech.
To be clear: I’m not a Bulldog homer of the “Tech can never touch us” variety. I’m not too ignorant to hate Tech, I’m just too uninterested.
At any given time, the Jackets can make a run (or 55 runs as Paul Johnson would have it) and take down the Bulldogs. I saw it firsthand in 2008 when Reshad Jones and company forgot how (or refused) to tackle. It’s always possible.
If ever there was a year for a Tech win, surely this is it. Georgia’s defense boasts the youth and inexperience that is the very antithesis of the discipline it takes to stop Johnson’s option rushing attack. Offensively, Hutson Mason is replacing Aaron Murray (a 52-game starter and the best passer in SEC history) and Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, Keith Marshall and Jay Rome are still injured. Tech is playing at home, Georgia is rebuilding in its 12th game of the season.
But, if I’m brutally honest, I don’t really care if Georgia Tech beats Georgia on Saturday. If the Jackets win, it won’t begin to register on the scale of disappointment that this season has framed. Losses to Clemson, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Auburn hurt much more than a hypothetical loss to Georgia Tech.
Losing (at some point or another) to injury the Dawgs’ top two running backs, top five wide receivers, backup tight end, starting quarterback and two starting safeties hurts much more than a loss to Georgia Tech.
And in fairness, wins over the likes of South Carolina, LSU and Florida established a hell of a lot more goodwill than a loss to Tech could destroy.
In some regards, a loss to Tech might actually be a good thing…at least for me. Maybe it would induce me to care a little more about this rivalry. Maybe a loss would prove more painful than I anticipate, and I could soon begin to foster some dislike for the Yellow Jackets. Maybe it would make me hate Tech, the way I’m supposed to.
Does even casually alluding to a loss to Tech make me a bad Georgia fan? That’s for you to decide. But, if at any point over the past five days you’ve thought, “I hate what happened to Murray, but I’m glad Mason is going to get more reps with the first team and a few starts under his belt before next year,” then you can’t judge me. I’m willing to accept a loss to Tech for the sake of renewing a rivalry in the same way that you’re willing to root for Mason in hopes of a stronger 2014.
I’m in favor of strengthening rivalries, and right now Georgia and Georgia Tech fans aren’t even playing on the same field. Most Tech fans would just as soon see Georgia lose on any given Saturday as see the Yellow Jackets win. In contrast, I actually root for Georgia Tech 11 weekends per year. I like seeing local teams succeed.
I’m cheering for Georgia on Saturday. I’m hoping Georgia wins. I think Georgia will win.
But if the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets manage to defeat a depleted Georgia team, I’m not going to be devastated. Maybe that will make this rivalry, which is so desperately devoid of parity, meaningful.
The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. I think that’s in a movie or a song or a book somewhere.
I don’t hate Georgia Tech. But I couldn’t be more indifferent.
That’s all I got/