Ok, I know many of you are very puzzled as to the subject line of this one. But, I had a very strange thought earlier....
2005 - The last of the "Great" seasons under Richt (I've explained previously why 2007 is not included...and if you haven't been a longtime reader of my blog, hit the navigation bar over on the right and do some research!). The team drops a close Florida game (due to DJ's injury) en-route to an SEC Title game appearance against LSU.
We beat Lester Miles and Company, and earn a berth to the Sugar Bowl. Is it possible that this simple fact was the undoing of Mark Richt as the Head Coach at UGA?
I offer you this: At some point during the week leading up to the Sugar Bowl, an operative in the team hotel (and an LSU fan to boot) absconded with Mark Richt's hairbrush, or perhaps just a few locks from its bristles. The hair was then air-freighted to Baton Rouge, fashioned into a voodoo doll of some sort and a curse was levied against Mark Richt for the remainder of his tenure in Athens.
You may recall, the Sugar Bowl was displaced due to damage at the Superdome sustained during Hurricane Katrina, and was played at the Georgia Dome instead. This means that the Dawgs had to return to the scene of their victory over LSU - and the place where the cosmic spirits would be most surely aligned against them - "Returning to the scene of the crime", as it were. During the first half, the Dawgs came out and laid a fat egg on the field at the Georgia Dome, but against all Creole odds, fought back to within striking distance. Then, the curse took hold, and the Dawgs somehow allowed a fake punt to beat them when everyone who'd ever heard of the sport of football could tell you the fake was coming.
2006 - The team plays like a group of kids lost in the wilderness. After enough damage is done, they storm through the end of their schedule, giving the UGA faithful hope for a renewed glory.
2007 - Georgia uncharacteristically loses to South Carolina and follows that up with a complete dismantling at the hands of a not-very-great Tennessee team who uses a cunning deployment of play-action rollouts (sneaky sneaky) to dominate. Again, Georgia storms back at the end of the season, but is looked over in favor of ...wait for it....LSU when the BCS ballots are counted. Still, with Richt in charge and the strong finish, Fans believe 2008 will be a year they've all waited for.
2008 - The Dawgs begin the season at #1, yet after winning 4 straight games, slide in the polls before being crushed by Alabama at home. Surprisingly, the Dawgs are able to beat the Death Valley curse, and whip the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. Some would go on to say that this was purely because Jarret Lee himself is the most cursed player in college football, after he bookends the game with Pick-Sixes to Darryl Gamble. The difference in the game? 14 points. Early damage lasted, though, as the Dawgs drop two more games in the second half of the season (including Richt's only loss to Georgia Tech), and suffer through the kind of losses to injury usually reserved for undermanned batallions on the battlefield.
2009 - Newly annointed "Team Player" Joe Cox tosses the ball to the defense almost as often as the endzone, and the Dawgs are unable to muster any kind of true challenge in the SEC east. Notably awful is a loss to Kentucky whose 2nd half comeback is likely considered "miraculous" in Lexington...but looks awfully more like "accursed" in Athens. Even worse is a penalty levied against AJ Green for "excessive celebration. This penalty occurs during a game against...LSU...and defines what will become a forgettable season of mistakes.
2010 - The bad gets worse as Georgia loses its best offensive playmaker for four games at the start of the season to possibly the weakest NCAA investigation of all time. A spell appears to have been cast over the defense which makes receivers running wheel-routes completely invisible. A young quarterback looks amazing against low-level talent, but consistently falters against winning teams - call it a "big game" curse, if you'd like. Still, the young talent on both sides of the ball gives hope of a better future.
2011 - Well, it sure ain't started well.
I'm just saying...if there's some bad ju-ju floating around, we might want to find out who was working at the team hotel in Atlanta back in 2005.