“Cocktail Party” (poem) by Han Vance

Writer (author/journalist/poet/blogger) Han Vance won the Harriette Austin Poetry Award for ATL Fire (published by Silver Stone Press in 2015) and is the aspiring Georgia Bulldogs Poet Laureate.

Cocktail Party
(C) 2006 HV
This is what it comes down to. This, and Auburn, but this sets up the Auburn game. For the Auburn game to be truly huge, the Dawgs have to win this game. Every year…And, we have won it exactly 2 of the last 16 godforsaken years. Our Quarterback is a soon-to-be brilliant freshman.
Theirs? A senior.

They have an unstoppable running Quarterback to bring in to change it up, also a freshman. The White Bull I like to call him, Tebow. It will be Tebow vs. our guy for around the next 3 years, but our guy arrived early because our senior got hurt, and then could not get it done. Theirs could. He starts. The White Bull plays too, but their senior starts. Our freshman will play the whole game.
Back to us: Who are we?

An offense without an identity, prone to drops, turnovers, low point production, questionable shotgun draw hand-offs, at questionable times! We lost to VANDY!
Yet, we are in this game. The Gators have been beaten once already, could have dropped more games. We are 6-2; they are 6-1.

We are the nation’s oldest state chartered Public University. We Are Georgia! Our record against them in football is very good…just not in the past 16 years. My whole damn adult life, I am only 36. I did not start college, at Georgia, until I was twenty. Do the math-Do the math…

18 my senior year. 19 my year I never went, that wasted, lovely year. Then 20…Georgia…Dawgs fan…We drop 14 of 16 to the Gators.

And through every loss, I get the same sick feeling in the pit of my belly: Losing, Momentum Slipping…missed chances.

The Agony of the other side cheering. The disappointment: Pain. When we won 2 years ago – we lost last year – but 2 years ago, at home, in Marietta, watching, with Johnny and August, we were not overjoyed: just relieved Greene and Pollack beat them once, during a good run. Because when the sun finally set…When you felt that beach breeze, that river breeze, if you were there. And the lights were on…and the stadium glowed, in person or on TV.

And…it was a House of Horrors, a Florida FreakFest, at our expense. It was a sickening, sinking feeling. Especially in person, like this year, this was a year – like only two others so far – I would be down there. First time: Me and Johnny, Dawgs not good, Gators great, and they crushed us.

The second time, we ended up 13 and 1, number 3 in the country, and we dropped a touchdown, we threw a pick 6, and we lost…again.

Is it really great to be a Gator Hater? Yes, Especially, if we win.

If not, Cocktail Party.

World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, and friends, and Amelia Island, and girls, and excitement, and adult beverages, and rushing, surging, cheering, bouncing up – and – down, barking, laughing, Go Dawgsing, but, when the lights come on, if we are exposed, again, and lose again, I will get that sick feeling. Someone will say, “You should have expected this.” I will say, “I did.”