Kickoff, 3:34 p.m.
My attire includes a black and red golf shirt with a Georgia emblem, a tattered Georgia visor and khaki shorts. I'm not wearing shoes and I'm lying on my bed, channel turned to the Georgia/Tennessee football game.
First play from scrimmage, 14:10 left in the first quarter.
I have the TV sound muted and the Georgia Bulldog radio network blaring from a nearby radio. On the kickoff and first play (a dismal 2-yard run), I notice the sound is ahead of the action on the TV screen. This is usually the case when I take this approach, but it's only maybe a second or so off. Today, it's about 40 seconds ahead.
That much delay is completely distracting, so I turn up the TV sound and turn off the radio.
The Bulldogs, for some unfathomable reason, try two bombs on their next two snaps - very unsuccessfully. I turn back on the radio and try to withstand the annoyance.
Tennessee gets the ball, 13:53 left in the first quarter.
The Volunteers methodically roll down the field effortlessly, scoring with 8:44 left in the opening period. I immediately turn the TV volume back up and turn off the radio.
Trick play to wide-open Volunteer receiver, 14:50 left in the second quarter.
Sitting on my bed in Homerville, I was actually closer to this receiver than anybody on Georgia's defense. As he catches it and leisurely saunters down the sideline, I remember that I always wear this same shirt to the Georgia/Florida game, and we always lose. It's bad luck. I take it off and watch the extra-point shirtless.
Tennessee blocks a Georgia punt, 13:15 left in the second quarter.
The Georgia visor is discarded, thrown through the bedroom door and into the hall, giving our cat a heart attack. My five-year-old son wanders in to see what the commotion is about. He's supposed to be taking a nap. I tell him he can come in and watch the game with me.
"Do I have to?"
"Yes," I demand, and he sits next to me on the end of the bed.
Next Tennessee drive, 8:13 left in the second quarter.
After another unproductive series by the Dawgs, Tennessee gets possession at their own 35 and quickly orchestrate a four-play, 65-yard scoring drive. After the extra point, the hosts lead 28-0.
I conclude that my shirtlessness is not helping the Dawgs, and possibly blinding them with the glare, so I grab a blue T-shirt and place it on my torso. Shoelessness may not be helping as well, so I slip on some flip-flops. I bring in a chair to sit on, and position my face about 11 inches from the screen.
Halftime. Georgia has two first downs and 28 yards rushing.
I decide a change of venue is in order. I find my daughter in the playroom, watching Disney channel, and order her into my bedroom to watch her program. She briefly resists. I squeeze myself into a mini-recliner in the playroom to watch the second half.
Georgia starts their first drive of the third quarter at their own 26.
The new locale seems to be working as the Dawgs drive it down the field and score with 9:39 left in the third period. My son wanders into the playroom to see what the commotion is about.
"Leave immediately," I tell him.
"Do I have to?"
"Yes," I demand sternly. He does.
Tennessee starts ensuing drive at their own 35.
Again, the Vols start breezing down the field. I get desperate. I see an old cowboy hat in my kids' "play clothes" basket. I put it on. I go find the radio and plug it back in. I beg my son to quit reading a book to come watch the game with me. Nothing works. They score with 2:29 left in the third quarter to make it 35-7.
After my son watched me shout instructions to the Georgia defense during that hope-deflating drive, he earnestly posed a question to his old man.
"Daddy, why are you yelling at them? They can't hear you," he said.
I bowed my head in defeat. "I don't know."
"Can I have my cowboy hat back now, Daddy?"
"Do I have to?"
I should have worn my red pants.