Please meet Aloysius, our new mascot, sports correspondent, and Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion.
Aloysius is honored to hold the position of Executive Director of Sports Information. In his own words, “This is a sacred trust that we’re all merely stewards of.” He has promised solemnly that he will not take up with any women who wear red panties.
Aloysius is definitely a joy and pleasure to have around. Although I am going through lots of honey these days. It is an insurmountable challenge to keep honey in the house; Aloysius consumes the stuff in prodigious quantities. And it has to be pure clover; Aloysius has let me know in no uncertain terms. One time I ran afoul of him in this regard, and he kind of growled threateningly at me. I got the point.
Aloysius is a friend and distant cousin of that bear that got loose on the square in Dahlonega, Georgia several years back and had a festival named after him. He is also a distant cousin of the bear that was in the news out in California a couple of years back that got loose and hung from a bridge until he was rescued. So Aloysius has a bit of a dangerous streak in him. Who knew?
Aloysius is a big UCLA fan. (Wonder why?) So he was in very high spirits a couple of weeks back when USC got put on probation by the NCAA. Although he wishes that they had gotten the death penalty.
He is also an avid golf fan. His favorite golfer is Jack Nicklaus. I have asked him why, and he always talks about the many impressive tournament wins that Nicklaus has had over the course of his career. But I suspect there’s more to it than that. I mean, if you were a bear, wouldn’t you love a golfer whose nickname is “The Golden Bear”? (I kinda suspected this when I told Aloysius that my high school’s mascot was the Golden Bears and he beamed at me proudly.)
Aloysius had a great time watching Tiger Woods not win the US Open a couple of weeks back. (And I must also note that he is very much looking forward to watching Tiger Woods not win the British Open this week.) All through the course of the tournament, he kept saying to me in that low, gruff voice of his, “Tiger Woods is not a patch on Jack Nicklaus’s [expletive deleted]. If I ever see him out in the woods, I’ll eat him up.” Don’t be fooled by that cuddly, loveable teddy bear exterior. Underneath it all, he is a bear.
I also feel compelled to mention that Aloysius is no fan of Lebron James. He thinks Lebron James is a narcissist of the first order, and that ESPN lost all credibility by pandering to him when he wanted to do that TV special to announce his decision. He is not impressed by the fact that Lebron turned down more money from Cleveland in order to go to Miami. I know. I’ve had to sit here and listen to him talk about nothing else for the last week.
Every so often, Aloysius will wake me up in the middle of the night mumbling in that low, gruff voice of his, “Joel Osteen” or “Justin Bieber” or “Lebron James” or “Willie Martinez” and smacking his lips as he sleeps. When this last one happens, I shake him until he wakes up and tell him, “It’s okay. Willie Martinez isn’t at Georgia anymore.” At which point he lets out a low groan and drifts back to sleep.
Which brings us to Georgia football.
2010 is a good-news, bad-news year for Georgia. Good news: Georgia returns 10 starters on offense. Bad news: The quarterback ain’t one of them. Bad news: Georgia loses six starters on defense this year. Good news: They also lose Willie Martinez. Hopefully this will translate into a net gain for Georgia.
My feeling is that it will. Todd Grantham, the new defensive coordinator, is one of the sharpest young defensive minds in all of football and is widely regarded as an up-and-coming superstar. He definitely evokes visions of a ferocious defense capable of causing mayhem in opponents’ backfields. Hopefully this vision will be realized as the players grow comfortable with his system. Aaron Murray, the new starting quarterback, will also represent an upgrade over Joe Cox, as the season progresses and he becomes more comfortable running the offense in real-live game situations.
And now I will let Aloysius wield the vaunted bulldog tooth and make the predictions. What follows from this point forward are his words, not mine. (Okay, I may interject a thought here and there.)
USL: I had an aunt who went to USL back in the day. Every time her parents called, she was at the library. Yet she managed to flunk out after her first year. Her parents were at a loss to figure this out. Turns out, “The Library” was the name of the big college bar in downtown Lafayette where all the USL students would go and get wasted.
Speaking of college students going to the bar and getting wasted: If things continue at the present rate, Georgia is projected to only have 5 players eligible for this game. That will be enough.
Prediction: Georgia 45, USL 19.
South Carolina: Give South Carolina fans props for being eternally optimistic. No matter how bad their team was the year before or how bad their team is expected to be this year, they always believe that this is the year that they will break through and contend for a championship. And this may actually be the year for them. They have a lot of returning starters this year, while a lot of the other teams in the division have some big question marks, so things are shaping up for South Carolina to be a potential contender this year.
Aaron Murray is going to learn some hard lessons over at the Dead Cockroach about life on the road as an SEC quarterback.
Prediction: South Carolina 13, Georgia 3.
Arkansas: This will be the first real test of Todd Grantham’s new defense. If Ryan Mallett gets going and Aaron Murray has trouble keeping up, this could get ugly.
Prediction: Georgia 34, Arkansas 30.
Mississippi State: Obscure sports factoid: For the second consecutive time, Mississippi State faces Georgia in Starkville with a coach who is one year removed from his debut season.
Prediction: Georgia 41, Mississippi State 17.
Colorado: Another obscure sports factoid: Coach Dan Hawkins has two consecutive losses to Georgia in which his teams have scored exactly 13 points.
Prediction: Georgia 26, Colorado 13.
Tennessee: The whole world is saying that Tennessee will be lucky to win five games this year, though Tennessee fans are still hopeful that their team can do better.
Prediction: Georgia 24, Tennessee 12.
Vanderbilt: In order to improve upon a woeful 2-10 record last year, Vanderbilt desperately needs to get better on offense.
UPDATE: This changes things, doesn’t it?
Prediction: Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 13.
Kentucky: Joker Phillips steps up this year, and will try to keep Kentucky from becoming a joke. (Hah!!! Made a funny!!!)
Prediction: Georgia 34, Kentucky 28.
Florida: No Tim Tebow? No Charlie Strong? Urban Meyer resigning, then unresigning, then taking a leave of absence which turned out to be not much of a leave of absence? No problem.
Prediction: Florida 49, Georgia 13.
Idaho State: Georgia gets well quick.
Prediction: Georgia 48, Idaho State 17.
Auburn: Whoever made out Georgia’s 2010 football schedule should be dragged out and shot. 10 consecutive weekends of football without a bye week? What was this person thinking? And isn’t there some kind of SEC rule in place now where teams are not allowed to take the week before Thanksgiving as their bye week in years where there is only one bye week?
10 consecutive weeks of football without a bye catches up with Georgia in a big bad ugly way.
Prediction: Auburn 34, Georgia 23.
Georgia Tech: You don’t lose five underclassmen to the NFL draft without having a serious dropoff.
Prediction: Georgia 27, Georgia Tech 16.