The late, great Don Williams sang “some broken hearts never mend and some memories never end.” Amen, brother Don.
Georgia fans may get past the Bulldogs’ devastating overtime loss Monday night to Alabama in the national championship game, but they never will get over it. As the immediate pain recedes, and new Georgia teams filled with new stars win big games and eventually championships, expect the hurt from this one, from this one that got away, to linger, ready to swell and ache and cause us grief all over again.
Some broken hearts never mend.
When I was a kid, my first favorite team was the St. Louis Cardinals. I vividly recall following the 1968 World Series between the regal, defending champion Cardinals and the gritty, upstart Tigers of Detroit. Anyone remember that Series?
It came down to Game 7, with glowering, menacing superstar pitcher Bob Gibson of the Cards (my favorite player) facing portly Detroit lefthander Mickey Lolich. Since World Series games started in the afternoon in those days, and since Game 7 was a school day, I suffered through an endless afternoon in an elementary classroom, fidgeting and fantasizing about the Cardinals whipping the Tigers. Surely, the great Gibson would strike out 17 Detroiters again (as he did in Game 1), and the Cards finally beat that big, fat feline Lolich.
After school let out, I made a quick rush to the bus, anxiously sat through the insufferable ride home, then dashed madly up the street to my house. All that hurrying and worrying brought nothing but my first heartbreak. I turned on the TV to find Detroit up 4-0 in the ninth inning. A Mike Shannon homer in the bottom of the inning gave but brief hope. The Cardinals and the unconquerable Gibson lost.
Some memories never end.
I got past it, but am still not quite over it.
Sure, the future in Athens looks bright.
Kirby Smart made greater strides in his second year guiding the ‘Dogs than even Nick Saban during his second season leading Alabama. Recall that the 2008 Crimson Tide rolled into the SEC championship game 12-0 and ranked No. 1. There, the defending national champion Florida Gators, kings of the conference at the time, handled Alabama 31-20.
Also remember the next year. In 2009, Alabama and Florida again met in Atlanta, this time with both 12-0. In the rematch, Saban and Alabama toppled Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer, and the Gators, confirming a changing of the guard atop the conference.
Could we soon see something similar playing out with Georgia and Alabama?
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