Thursday, November 11, 2010
Georgia Preview: He Hate Me Wrap
If I'm Cam Newton, I request the Auburn equipment staff change my jersey to look like this guy...
Georgia week is an emotional week for many guys. Any given year, roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of your roster hails from the Peach State and loathe the Bulldogs fiercely. When I played, it became a mutual promise...the Georgia guys would say, "You play your ass off me this week, I'll do the same for you against Bama!" My roommate at Auburn (Whit Smith)was a Georgia boy...from Crisp County. He knew nothing of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry, but knew everything about the Georgia Bulldogs. I can remember the meaning this game had to guys like Takeo Spikes, Ben Leard, Brad Ware, Dontarious Thomas, Josh Weldon. It was the highlight of their Auburn careers, the reason most of them came to Auburn in the first place, and they wanted this game more than any other, hands-down...including the Iron Bowl. And where does the Newton family reside...College Park, GEORGIA! And Darvin Adams...Kennesaw, GA, Neiko Thorpe...Tucker, GA, Mario Fannin...Hampton, GA, Lutzenkirchen, Curry, McNeal, Whitaker, Isom, Mosley...all these guys will make sure there's no doubt what a win means to them.
Auburn will be ready to play this week, there's no doubt! This team will be galvanized, energized, pissed-off, emotional, and ready to explode on someone! Georgia is really the unfortunate player in the Cam Newton drama because Auburn will be looking to make a statement. Auburn coaches couldn't have manufactured a better rallying point, a more unifying nucleus, then what the media was done for this team. Taking the field in a rivalry game is one thing. Taking the field in a rivalry game with a national audience is a bigger thing. Taking the field in a rivalry game with a national audience with an opportunity to make your statement between the white lines, to raise your level of play to match your leader who's under attack by seemingly the entire college football establishment, with a chance to win the West outright and play for a title....I get goose bumps just thinking about it...I'd probably explode during Tiger Walk! So, in my opinion, Georgia doesn't stand a chance in stopping Auburn. Only Auburn can stop Auburn, and with the controversy swirling around these guys and the unity that creates, the focus it creates...Auburn will be as mentally and physically sharp as we've seen all season.
As for Newton...I'd probably play him at both QB and alongside Josh Bynes to let him take out a little frustration! Seriously, I doubt we see too many slides in the open field Saturday afternoon. Can you imagine how much he must be looking forward to putting on his uniform and just playing football. Besides all the media requests, the constant "breaking news" (can you imagine seeing reports about yourself constantly on national networks and not be allowed to defend yourself?), preparing for a Georgia defense, installing a new game plan, practicing that game plan to perfection...but the kid still must go to class, perhaps take a difficult test this week or two or three?, juggle community responsibilities he's involved with...we forget he's not just sitting over in the football complex where's he's shielded and protected...he's a student too...he has family issues, girlfriend issues, financial issues, spiritual issues just like every other college student does! He just has a national audience with many attempting to take the kid down...by any means necessary.
Auburn rallies around Cam and Cam plays with a cinder block on his shoulder from here on out. He smiles, he comes up with big play after big play, the defense raises their level of play to support their leader and Auburn continues on it's amazing season...