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Grandaddy's lesson can apply to the football field

Last week I finished my column by asking you to go back and read it again in two months. I figured by then there would be plenty of games to remind you of what I said. Do not look ahead in football. Courtesy of the Georgia-Colorado game played Saturday, you don't have to wait two months.

Only because Georgia's players did not quit or panic did that game not become lesson one as to why you don't look ahead. You will lose if you do!

Colorado came to Athens winless against not-so-stellar competition. They almost left town with a big smile on their faces and egg on Uga's snout. They were the first team that Georgia had played with a squad full of legitimate Division 1-A talent, and it showed.

Everybody around Georgia was more enamored with Ralphie, Colorado's female buffalo mascot, than they were the opportunity to play, coach, or watch a football game. Ralphie created a huge distraction around the contest as if it were going to be a circus. Rather than concentrating on the game, it appeared that the Bulldog players bought into the act. Ralphie's boys, Colorado's players, almost bit the Bulldogs on the fanny.

Who could blame Georgia's players? After all their freshman quarterback Matt Stafford had been anointed the second coming of Elvis by the talking heads at ESPN and every recruiting geeknik that reads Everybody was patting their defense on the back for shutting out two consecutive opponents. Heck, we now see that South Carolina almost lost to Wofford and UAB lost to Mississippi State after we shut them out. South Carolina and UAB are not very good teams right now, to put it mildly.

I got worried when the media was questioning Georgia's players about the real buffalo and not the human ones. Even our own Danny Verdun Wheeler got in on the act of responding to Ralphie questions from the statewide newspaper guys. They forgot to ask him if the defense would be ready for the bootleg.

Georgia came out of the locker room as flat as a flitter. Were they looking ahead to next week's road trip to Ole Miss and then to Tennessee? Probably. They woke up in time to pull the game out in the end, and hopefully they will learn from the experience.

As a fan, even I know better than to look ahead. I'm looking right now only at our trip to Oxford, Miss., to play the Rebels. It will be another installment of midnight football with a 9 p.m. EST kickoff. The football gods at ESPN in Bristol, Conn., make some strange decisions. I've taken a hotel room in downtown Tupelo so I can once again visit Elvis' birthplace. I'll bet Matt Stafford won't be there.

The Thomson Bulldogs will play host to Hephzibah and since I won't be there, I've already wished Coach Welsh good luck. My scouting report on Hephzibah says they have a passing quarterback that will hurt you if you don't put a rush on him. Coach Welsh knows better than to look ahead, so he'll have his Bulldogs ready to play.

Georgia Tech, now ranked number 24, has no reason to look ahead as they travel to 11th ranked Virginia Tech. They tell me that Blacksburg, Va., is a hard place to find, and, when you get there, the Hokies will knock your head off. I can see Tech hanging with Virginia Tech except for the fact that the Engineers North are so physical. The Engineers South will also be looking to redeem last year's 51-7 embarrassment.

Okay, now, remember the drill. Only look ahead when you are driving a car. It doesn't work for football. My granddaddy used to tell me it was a sin to plan to far ahead because we aren't promised tomorrow. He was not a football fan, but maybe he should have been.

Web posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006

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