I’m Squinting

Which hurts more? Losing a contest in a blowout that’s decided well before the end of the first half or coming back from behind only to fall just short in the closing moments? I guess it’s kind of like serving a tour of duty in Vietnam. If you’re going to die, it might as well be early in your tour. That way you don’t suffer as much. But is it suffering or is it hope?

There was a moment there, near the end, on our last possession with the game tied up, when I dared to hope. It was the third and four play on the fifty, in fact. Before the snap, I pictured it clearly. We’d pick up the first down, continue to run the clock, picking up ten or more yards in the process and then trot out Blair Walsh, the best kicker in the SEC. He’d line up the field goal, nail it and win a game we had no business winning. It was so clear to me that this was how events would unfold.

It’s not easy to determine if how things actually unfolded this past Saturday afternoon on that third and four play on the fifty can be qualified as being the exact opposite of how I pictured it unfolding. But, in this case, I think it’s safe to say that it was pretty damn close to being the exact opposite. And, just like that, hope turned back into suffering. But here’s the thing.

In order to not have succumbed to a broken heart during the Goff and Donnan years, one had to learn various survival traits. These traits differed from fan to fan. Some sought solace in drink. Others developed ulcers in place of broken hearts. Me, I learned to not have my outlook on life determined by the actions of teenagers (this isn’t actually true, but it sets up the joke that follows so nicely). Hell, if I wanted to do that, I’d have gotten married and had kids. Or, at the very least, looked into adoption. And let’s face it. Every day I hesitate in doing this is a day older that 18-year old Korean girl I’ve got my eye on adopting gets.

So that must mean that only hope remains. And, believe it or not, there is plenty to hope for as the season progresses. The defense has improved from one week to the next and it has certainly improved its play from last year. Our young quarterback is growing up right before our eyes and it’s likely that we’ll have him for another three seasons. Yes, questions still remain regarding our offensive schemes and play-calling but, you know what? I left suffering behind two paragraphs ago. If faith is blind, then hope is surely its hard-of-seeing geeky cousin with the fogged up, oversized glasses.

Go Dawgs!


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