Now is as good a time as any to address the overwhelmingly pervasive get-you-back mentality that persists generally in sports, specifically in the current Georgia Bulldog SEC race.
You know what I’m talking about. Rewriting history. Tying up loose ends. Adding a little more drama to an already-dramatic moment. Imagine if Brad Lidge was pitching in the bottom of the 9th with one out, men on first and third with a two run lead in Game 7 of the NLCS with…Albert Pujols coming up to bat. This situation is what every die hard Lidge fan prays for. Or how bout if, a few years ago but after the Subway Series “throwing half a bat” incident, Piazza came sprinting from 3rd on a Clemens wild pitch only to have a freight train/blockade circumstance awaiting him at the plate with Clemens covering home. I guarantee you every Seattle fan out there, as depressed and maligned and in-mourning as they are, would rather face Pittsburgh again in a See-What-You-Can-Do-Without-Handing-Out-Fellatio-To-Refs-Like-Prescription-Pills-At-A-Nursing-Home rematch of that inglorious Super Bowl than any other NFL team.
That’s just the way it is. It’s a little thing in sports Sue likes to call Relivin da Dream.
Which brings me to what I think is somewhat of an odd collective viewpoint from the Bulldog Nation. As Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn inexplicably states in the 9th inning of a very important – albeit completely fictional therefore somewhat less relevant – game against the White Sox to decide the pennant in Major League II, “I want Parkman.” Uh-oh.
Not-Fictional-Therefore-Not-Ridiculous Manager: "Hey, Ricky. In case you didn’t notice, this guy fucking killed you when he was on OUR team. Remember when you said, ‘If you can get a piece of it, you can rename it?’ and he knocked the shit out of the ball? And now your Eliminator is called The Masturbator? Now you wanna walk this guy and load the bases, all so you can get to Jack Parkman and his vagina drenching shimmy? This guy owns you. You’re fucking crazy. And an idiot. Get off the mound and hit the showers.”
To which Vaughn replies, steadfastly and this time with a little more power behind it, “I WANT, Parkman.” And of course in one of the dumbest moves in managerial history Tom Berenger lets Vaughn intentionally walk a guy to get to Parkman. "Alright. Go get 'em Rick. I'm just a first-year co-manager hoping to still play ball, what the fuck do I know?"
Why? Why would he want to do this? Other than his face-saving turn to prove his true character to the token hottie-who-also-cares-for-orphans (as opposed to the token evil hottie-who-only-cares-about-money), it’s because Parkman is, in this example, Wild Thing’s Jack Parkman. The Yankees are and will always be the Sawx’s Parkman, although recently the Sawx have been the Yanx’s Parkman. If this is getting confusing let me spell it out for you: Your ultimate shot at redemption on any particular level (season, series, career, etc.) lies in your team or player snatching ultimate revenge from that respective entity’s primary antagonist. If you’re a huge Ultimate Warrior fan, you’re “I Want Parkman” moment is for Warrior to come back and beat Hulk Hogan in a no-holds barred matchup that leaves Hulk bloodied and in a stretcher. If you’re a Yankees fan, it’s coming back against Boston down 3 games in a 7 game series to clinch the pennant at Fenway. You want the odds stacked as much against you as possible in the “Parkman” moment because, the moment is measured in terms of degree of impossibility and a revenge scale.
The entire Bulldog Nation right now is saying “I Want Parkman.” Maybe not exactly in those words, but every Dawg fan I’ve spoken to clearly wants to face Alabama again this season. As a matter of fact, I haven’t found a Dawg fan that doesn’t. I can find more people that have put thought into who they want to vote for than who they want to play in the SEC Championship game.
Consider this, in its awesomeness, 2003 Bulldog schedule:
@Clemson W, 30-0
Middle Tennessee State W, 29-10
South Carolina W, 31-7
@LSU L, 17-10
Alabama W, 37-23
@Tennessee W, 41-14
@Vanderbilt W, 27-8
UAB W, 16-13
Florida L, 16-13
Auburn W, 26-7
Kentucky W, 30-10
@Georgia Tech W, 34-17
LSU (SEC Championship) L, 34-13
Purdue (Capital One Bowl) Orlando, Fla. W, 34-27
Ignore that Middle Tennessee game. And that UAB score. And the guttural last dying moan for the season Florida score. And oh, that Clemson game. The first and last time I will ever play “Take a Shot of Tequila for Every Point We Score!” I believe I passed out in the bathroom somewhere in the middle of the 3rd, somewhere between 13 and 16 shots. Most drinking games that ended in mild to severe discomfort I will continue to recommend, from Circle of Death to The Century Club, but I strongly discourage you from this “game,” unless you want to be floored in front of a toilet, barely spewing out incomprehensible “I still haven’t puked!!” screams over and over again while your friends take turns ignoring you and stepping over you to pee. It ain’t pretty.
But take a look at that schedule, and I bet you can see where our “Parkman” moment was that year. It’s easy to see, of course. Never mind that we played LSU the 4th game of the following year and drubbed them 45-16, providing me with my favorite moment in Sanford Stadium ( fast forward to 4:41) when Brandon Coutu kicked off into the endzone up 31-10 in what was supposed to be a power struggle. The loudest I have ever heard that stadium, poor Xavier Carter took the kickoff deep from the endzone and, obviously rattled from all of the noise, stops at about the 3-yard line, takes a few steps back and downs it as if he were acting out a touchback. Unfortunately, he had already left the endzone and he downed it at the 1-yard line.
This game, while of course worth mentioning, represented in marginal importance fashion the very rare “I Get Parkman” to the “I Want Parkman” dichotomy, where even after you get your unlikely setup, you get another one guaranteed. The whole year after that close loss to LSU early in the 2003 season, you could hear the Bulldogs talking about how bad they wanted their Parkman in the SEC Championship game. If only a few calls had gone our way, if only we had stopped LSU after a 93-yard screen pass to Tyson Browning tied the game, instead of letting fucking Mack Mauck hit Skyler Green with the game-winning TD with 1:22 left, if only if only if only, we would have had that game. Get ‘em again in the Championship game at the Dome and we’ll see what’s up. We’ll be hungrier, have the home team advantage and, of course, our team will want it more.
Well you know what happened? We DID win enough to back into the SEC Championship. And we DID end up drawing LSU as our Western opponent. And by God, we got our Parkman. And…well…Parkman renamed the Georgia Dome the Masturbator. They killed us 34-13, and every Georgia fan that had been looking forward to that game for 3 months felt completely destroyed and alone. How could this happen? This was our Parkman moment!
And yet 5 years later, history could
But the pervasiveness of this sentiment is simply too much to be ignored. Every, and I mean every, Georgia fan I’ve spoken to wants Oh-Bammer in the Championship. Damn be the gods and let furl the war banners. Call to arms all men of age, dammit we got these fuckers this time! This is so irrational from so many angles I can’t even begin. But, I present to you that the best
Which is why while I am still taken aback at the startling disregard for recent history – especially in Parkman situations – throughout Bulldog Nation, I do not try and change their minds. I will not, cannot, shalt not Sam-I-Am. Y'know why?
‘Cause I WANT, Parkman.
/hoping this post does not disrupt the course of karma trade winds