Oh, Atlanta #776

Despite the fact that it ended up being an epic game, I’m glad I didn’t go to the National Championship.  One, it was simply too fucking expensive.  Two, with the president coming in for it, it would undoubtedly become a bigger shit show than it normally would have been.  And three, I simply fucking hate crowds.

Don’t get me wrong, I still tried to get tickets from a company give away, but with hopes of winning them, and flipping them for thousands of dollars, to which I could use to spend on some actual home improvements, that’s how much they would’ve commanded.  But I had zero intention or interest of going to the National Championship despite the fact that it featured the hometown Georgia Bulldogs and was being played in the heart of College Football Mecca, here in Atlanta.

Crowds.  Fuck that.  I absolutely loathe crowds.  I’ve been to two Wrestlemanias and have zero desire to go to another.  I’ve been to Falcons games and Braves games, and I have little motivation to go to many more without good reason.  It’s a miracle I still bother attending Dragon*Con and it’s nearly 70,000 attendees every year, although afterwards every time I go through a spell of saying I don’t want to do it again.

But the National Championship game?  Short of Virginia Tech being in it, I can’t say that I’d want to go to one, even if it were literally within walking distance.  Articles like this one justify all of the reasons why going would have been a terrible idea; from MARTA shitting the bed like expected at the extremely high volumes of attendees, from the presence of the president and the Secret Service adding 50 layers of security to an already abysmal situation, forcing people to wait literally hours outside in the dreary rainy conditions.  Without question, I my day would’ve been ruined before even getting to my seat, which for many didn’t happen until the game had already kicked off.

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Different Georgia team, same choke job

The morning after, I’m a little surprised at how agitated I am by Georgia’s heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the National Championship.  It’s like there’s a part of me that should be satisfied because I was right, and accurately predicted Alabama would win in a low-scoring affair, and the pursuit of being right is the reason why predictions are made in sports.  But then there’s the part of me that still went on record stating that in spite of my prediction, I hoped that Georgia would win, because it sure would be nice to see a sports team in Georgia actually hoist up a championship.

Unfortunately, rooting for sports teams in Georgia is like rooting for the Buffalo Bills in the 90s; no matter how good they might be, they’ll never manage to get over the hump and never be anything better than second best (but also being capable of being absolutely anything well below).

Much like the Atlanta Braves have done countless times in the last 20 years, they failed.  Just like Atlanta United’s soccer team made the playoffs in their inaugural year and filled the city with hope and faith for some accolades, they too choked, losing to a lesser-heralded team, at home no less.  And just like the Atlanta Falcons choked away a 28-3 lead, the Georgia Bulldogs somehow found a way to lose their own championship game.

And it’s that Super Bowl that this game felt eerily identical to, in the way it played out, with Georgia jumping out ahead and holding the lead for the vast majority of the game.  Alabama, much like the Patriots, were pretty inept in the first half, but it’s the second in which legends are born and heroes are made.  Alabama came roaring back in the second half, and before we knew it, the game was tied closing out regulation.  The next thing we know, the team representing Georgia is standing under a deluge of confetti, heads down, as the other team begins celebrating their championship win.

I have no beef with Alabama, and everything about them is pretty awe-inspiring at this point, from the never-ending excellence of Nick Saban, to the story that college football fans are going to hear a LOT of now on, the birth and rise of Tua Tagovailoa, the true freshman with the cannon arm who came off the bench to lead the Crimson Tide back to the glory land.  The freshly-benched Jalen Hurts displayed a level of maturity, class and sportsmanship that couldn’t possibly be expected from a guy who went 25-2 and just got benched in the National Championship but still did, showing how much of a classy man he is.

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