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It's time for Georgia to have their day against Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game

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  • Georgia Bulldogs
    Georgia Bulldogs
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  • Nick Saban
    Nick Saban
    American football coach

Did you hear the one about the Georgia fan who updated his will on his deathbed?

“I want the Georgia football team to be my pall-bearers so they can let me down one more time,” he said.

Why do guys like to date Georgia coeds?

They never expect a ring.

Forgive me, Dawgs, but some things never get old. In Florida, it’s joking about Georgia football. No doubt, Kirby Smart has helped make the Gators a punchline of late. But Georgia’s championship drought has always given Florida fans the ultimate comeback.

In case you haven’t heard, it been 41 years now. That’s one more year than Moses wandered the desert.

We are T-Minus 36 hours until the kickoff against Alabama.

Why not? I mean, Alabama’s won about 21 national championships since Nick Saban arrived. It needs another trophy like Elon Musk needs another billion dollars.

Bulldogs running back James Cook and offensive lineman Justin Shaffer celebrate Cook's touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines.
Bulldogs running back James Cook and offensive lineman Justin Shaffer celebrate Cook's touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines.

A national championship would mean everything to Georgia, which is exactly why some UF fans don’t want the Bulldogs to get it. They’ve been conditioned to hate all things red and black.

Larry Munson’s voice. Hedges. Squatty dogs.

They forever want to “hang half a hundred on ‘em,” as Steve Spurrier said and did when the Gators invaded Sanford Stadium in 1995.

Understood. But for purely humanitarian reasons, imagine walking in a Georgia fan’s shoes the past 41 years.

Four decades of heartache for Bulldog fans

“We always say it takes a strong heart to be a Bulldog fan because we’ve had our hearts broken so many times,” Sandra Petrousta said.

She’s an upstanding citizen, good neighbor, hard-working mother. The kind of person you want to be happy, despite the fact she’s also president of the Georgia Bulldog Club of Jacksonville.

Petrousta can’t help it. She was raised in Macon, grew up listening to Munson on the radio and was a student at UGA in that magical autumn of 1980.

It all culminated in the Sugar Bowl. Herschel Walker dislocated his shoulder on the game’s second play. He sucked it up, gained 150 yards and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 17-10 as President Carter looked on.

“Dawgs! Dawgs! Dawgs!” screamed the headline in the next day’s Atlanta Journal.

“Sugar is Sweet as Irish stew,” blared the Athens Daily News.

“World Ends,” said the Gainesville Sun.

Not really. I’m not sure what the local headline was, but Gator fans had to figure more bad news was on the way since Walker was just a freshman.

Next season, the Bulldogs were No. 2 going into the Sugar Bowl but lost 24-20 to Pittsburgh. The next year, Georgia was No. 1 but lost 27-23 to Penn State in the Sugar Bowl.

The heart-breaking tone was set.

Since 1981, Georgia’s .725 winning percentage is the best by a Power 5 team that hasn’t won a national championship. Of the 15 teams with the best winning percentages, only Boise State and the Bulldogs haven’t won it all.

Florida’s won three national championships. FSU has three. Bama’s lost count. Heck, Georgia Tech has one more (the split 1990 title) than Georgia.

Fans live with the agony of 2002, when Terrance Edwards dropped a sure touchdown pass in the 20-13 loss to Florida. The Bulldogs went on to finish 13-1.

“They’ve ripped our hearts out of our chest and stomped on our heart and ruined our national title,” Munson said.

TITLE GAME: Keys to the game for Alabama and Georgia

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Saban has crushed Georgia too many times

Nobody’s done more stomping than Saban. There was the 2012 SEC championship game, which ended with Georgia on Alabama’s 5-yard line. The Tide won 32-28, and either team would have gone on to crush Notre Dame in the BCS title game.

And, of course, the 2018 national championship game where Tua Tagovailoa hit DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard TD in overtime.

More heartache. More jokes.

Will it ever end?

“I’m a little gun-shy after Atlanta,” Petrousta said. “But I’m feeling really optimistic.”

Atlanta is where the Crimson Tide beat Georgia 41-24 last month. But in 24 bowl-game rematches over the years, the teams that lost the first games are 15-7-2.

So there’s that. There’s also the good wishes and cheers from rival fans.

Okay, it’s probably asking too much for Florida fans to ever cheer for Georgia. But try to remember, Bulldog fans are people, too.

After 41 years, their poor hearts have been stomped on long enough.

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: CFP: Time for Georgia's title drought to end against Alabama