Have you only imagined it, or have you taken steps to achieve it?
Have you come close to achieving it, only to fall short?
This is the story of the 2012 Georgia Bulldogs. At some point in their amazing, unexpected 11-1 season, the Dawgs came within the scent of a long-held dream. They smelled the national championship. They smelled it from just a few yards away last Saturday – just a few yards from a winning touchdown in the Southeastern Conference championship game against Alabama that would send the winner to the national championship on Jan. 7 in Miami.
They fell just a few yards – or, more accurately, a few seconds – short, giving Alabama a 32-28 win when a Georgia receiver caught a pass and fell in bounds and the clock ran out on a season that will be forever remembered in Dawg Nation.
Recriminations were quick, even in a press conference. Why wasn’t the ball grounded to stop the clock? Can this team just not win big games?
As if an 11-2 team that fought valiantly to the final second against a worthy foe, and nearly triumphed, is a bunch of losers. As if an average coaching staff could’ve gotten them there.
We’ll have none of that, thank you.
We salute the 2012 Georgia Bulldogs as one of the finest collection of men that this historic institution has ever amassed in uniform. And that game Saturday, win or lose, was one of the greats of all time in Georgia and SEC annals.
Down four points late, and pushed back into their own end of the field, the Bulldogs clawed their way to the brink of a legendary win.
If you’ve never been there, and few of us have, it’s hard
to imagine how difficult that feat is – or how decimating
the fall when the dream slips away.
Now that the heartache has lifted somewhat, only pride should remain – and the gratitude of fans who have been taken on the school’s wildest ride in decades.
“You know what? We spent ourselves in a worthy cause,” summed up Coach Mark Richt.
So what’s the coach doing about it, other than preparing for the Capital One Bowl Jan. 1?
“We’re already out recruiting. We’re getting back to work.”
This is what you do when you feel a dream slip through your fingers. You get up and start chasing again.
It’s a lesson for us all.