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The Offseason

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We all cope with it in different ways.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone handles it in different ways.  Suddenly, your Saturdays are free.  What do you do with an entire day that used to be so preoccupied?  Maybe you’ve gone outside for the first time in a while.  Maybe you’ve said hello to those familiar looking people who live with you and call themselves your family.  Maybe you’ve kicked around the idea of starting a hobby…

You know, I’ve always wanted to try and play the guitar… or refinish the kitchen table… Or make it through Infinite Jest… I bet I could steal the T… Or do something besides sit on the couch watching Sportscenter on loop… It’s really not as good anymore without Stuart...

Maybe you’re like me and not quite sure what to do with yourself.  You might’ve even re-watched the whole Georgia game.  I know how it ends, and it still stresses me out.  You might’ve even re-watched most of the games on YouTube from the previous season.  Love you, GtBob.

The offseason is also the time for the what-ifs...  Even with the spectacular season of 2014 in the rearview. What if JT5 is healthy and we beat Duke?  What if we find a defense and beat UNC?  What if Smelter stays healthy and we upset the Noles?  What combination would have gotten us in the playoffs?  Can you imagine us in Pasadena against Oregon? Could I afford that trip? I need to make a budget for that in case we make it this year.

Then there’s recruiting.  How about that recruiting class?  Gosh that’s some momentum. Recruiting leads into spring practice.  Spring practice leads us into the annually rained-on spring game. Could the weather gods smile on us, like, once for this?

Next comes the NFL Draft.  I really hate the NFL… Oh look, Wide Receiver U I just put 2 more in the draft… and an O-lineman… Coach Cutcliffe is probably still going to try and negative recruit wide receptors against us somehow.  Idiot.

Then you hit the doldrums of summer.  There’s the inevitable letdown of trying to fill the void with baseball. For most of us, it’s the Braves… and well, we know how that usually goes.  You might even start hoping for a play at the plate so you can squint your eyes and pretend it's a football game. Tailgating on that scorching hot blacktop next to The Ted just isn’t as satisfying.

There’s no snarky radio show from CPJ.  There’s no setting an alarm Saturday morning, often earlier than your work alarm, to get to your tailgate spot.  There’s no bands, mascots, or everything else you’ve grown accustomed to.  You really need to buy a gold game day shirt for this fall. It’s the offseason.  It’s hot, humid, and lasts for what feels like an eternity.  There’s barbecues and fireworks mixed in there, sure… but you just miss that sweet sound of pads colliding in the Midtown sun.

Soon enough that first bit of crisp, fall air will greet you when you leave your house one morning on the way to work.  You’ll recognize it - don’t worry.  It appears like a long lost friend who’s waving hello – a friend letting you know that the offseason is almost over.  You’ve almost made it.

But until then, rest easy fellow Yellow Jackets.  We have bragging rights over everyone we care about all spring and summer.  Feel free to remind people of that. Rest in the knowledge that 30 is more than 24, JT5 returns, CPJ is still perpetually curmudgeonly and hustling people in golf all summer, and Bobby Dodd stadium is still waiting for you this fall, crested by the Atlanta skyline.