If you are walking the streets of downtown Atlanta tonight, you will see people walking the streets dressed up as Darth Vader or Gandalf or their favorite characters from Harry Potter or Star Trek. DragonCon, a sci-fi/fantasy convention which has become a huge deal in downtown Atlanta, is happening this weekend. I am fairly certain that Georgia’s game plan for their season opener is going to rely very heavily upon Boise State being freaked out by DragonCon.
If you watch the game tonight between Georgia and Boise State, you might be fooled into thinking that the game is being played by escapees from DragonCon. Don’t be. Nike has just come out with a new brand of football uniforms (probably made by workers in Vietnam at 39 cents an hour) and they are trying to promote them by getting college teams to wear them for one game this season. Georgia and Boise State have agreed to take them up on this.
This is a huge game for Georgia. It isn’t very often that the heavyweight goes into one of these made-for-TV opening week showdowns with more to prove than the welterweight, but here we are. Boise State can lose this game and still be 61-5 under coach Chris Petersen. They can lose and still have beaten Virginia Tech on the road last year. In short, they can lose and still be Boise State.
For Georgia, it’s a different story. If they lose, the questions will start all over again. Questions like: Is Mark Richt the right man for the job here at Georgia? What does the future hold for Georgia? Does Georgia even have a future? Is Georgia even relevant anymore?
Granted, Georgia could lose this game and still finish with 9 or 10 wins this year. They could lose the first two games and still win 9 or 10 this year.
But still, here we are.
Things actually said by actual people about Georgia: “For a university that puts so much into its football program and says to hell with everything else, their football team sure does suck.” “The community would be much better served if they would just tear it all down and build high-rise condos or something in its place.”
Based on what Georgia has done in the last couple of years, these remarks are richly deserved. But Georgia has a chance to alter the perceptions that lie behind these remarks, and a win tonight would be an excellent way to start.