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Final score: University of Louisiana at Lafayette 21, UGA 35. It wasn't that close.

ULL 21, UGA 35

Let's see, what else was memorable about the game? It was really windy. The pregame included another flyover (C-130?). By the time we took our seats, Isaiah McKenzie had already scored two touchdowns.

Hmm. Was there anything else?

Oh, right. Black jerseys. No big deal. Can we let that go now? Please?

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This is NOT a Georgia Bulldogs helmet.During this year's annual beating courtesy of the University of Florida, the Georgia Bulldogs wore black helmets and black pants. To avoid the public humiliation of losing to Florida at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party again (only 3 wins since 1989), we've taken to disguising ourselves as Division I-AA Grambling State University. Both the football game (final score UGA 17, UF 41) and the uniforms were unwatchable.

Please, never, ever, do that again Georgia. Ever.

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And while I'm bitching about black football jerseys, I may as well complain about black uniforms in general. (Let's just chalk it up to Bitch Inertia. "A complaint in motion tends to stay in motion.") Though I could be talking about the home uniforms of the New Orleans Saints, in this case, I'm referring to Spider-Man's black costume. Hell, let's go ahead and include every black super-hero costume. (Villains are excluded. They're supposed to be evil, remember? So Black Manta, you're excused from this conversation. Go rob a sandbank or something.)

See, once upon a time in 1973, Marvel got it in their heads to give Namor, the Sub-Mariner a black costume. Sure, it seemed innocuous enough at the time, especially since Namor didn't have much of a costume other than a green Speedo and some little wings on his ankles. However, the new costume failed the first test of superheroic costume design; namely, a good superhero costume design should identify the hero and his powers at first sight. The new costume was terribly ugly and seemed to say little more than "I, Prince Namor, King of the Sea, am ready to disco!" Not surprisingly, Namor's comic was cancelled soon afterwards. Though this swift cancellation would seem to have serve something of a mandate that the black costume was unwelcome, the damage had been done: at least one fan thought, "hey, a costume in all black would be great!"

Namor: Wearing black? Go jump in a lake.

By 1984, that poor, misguided child had grown up into a poor, misguided man, and Spider-Man was given a new costume. Replacing the famously creepy red and blue costume with a black unitard may be the greatest error in comic book history. Between issues, Spider-Man went from friendly neighborhood wall-crawler to mopey, self-indulgent anti-hero. It turns out that the black costume was really a semi-sentient alien symbiote seeking to devour Spider-Man. (I told you that black costumes were no good, Spidey. But did you listen...?) Yet the fans seemed to enjoy seeing a classic design, perhaps the most clever costume in comics history, carelessly discarded for a shapeless, colorless travesty.

Spider-Man: Good and evil.

This, of course, started a trend of new heroes dressed in all black. Soon every movie with a superhero in it featured a black costume. Batman and the X-Men cashed in their leotards for black leather. And the sickness spread. When Superman briefly "died" in 1993, we mourned his resurrection in a suit notable for it's lack of color. Gone was the traditional blue, red, and yellow. In the garishly decorated world of the 4-color funny pages, "black costume" equals "death" or worse, "cancellation." Still the fans cried for more.

Superman: Black is the new terrible.

A decade later, we should have seen it coming. Poor Superboy, once a rebel wearing a *gasp* black leather jacket (what a clever nod at the time: a super-hero who wore his tights underneath the mandated black leather!), was suddenly wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans by 2002. Not just black, but also not even a super costume! Horrors! Is this the logical conclusion for "realism" in superhero comics? If I were to suddenly gain super powers, would I be limited to what was already hanging in my closet? (Smallville, I'm looking at you!)

Superboy: Black is for funerals.

Fortunately, there may be a happy end in sight to this terrible trend. Shortly after Superboy turned his back on spandex, he was killed in a battle with an alternate-universe Superboy. And the murderous mirror universe twin still wore his classic red, blue, and yellow tights! It's pretty hard to cheer for the "hero" when the "villain" is meeting out the cosmic justice for blatant uniform violation. I guess when the good guys wear black, the bad guys have to change with the times. (Maybe you should still be paying attention after all, Black Manta.)

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Since I'm already on the subject of football, let me say something here: I hate black uniforms. I know I've mentioned this in regards to UGA before. But last week, Oregon wore all black uniforms for their game vs Arizona. (Oregon's uniforms had silver wings on the shoulders. I shit you not.) And FSU wore black jerseys in their game against Boston College. "Maybe this all-black thing is getting a little out if hand," I think to myself.

Then I read that FSU was wearing their all black jerseys as a favor to Nike. (Thank you for your honesty, Bobby Bowden.) It's not uncommon to hear athletic programs espouse such PR bullshit as, "we're doing it for the fans," or "black helps us recruit." Clearly, that's not true. They're doing it for Nike. (Nike has uniform contracts with all 3 colorblind schools mentioned above.) So that Nike can sell more jerseys.

While I'd like to call Nike the devil here, I'm not quite that naive. In a capitalist economy, the ultimate power is in the hands of the consumer: if you don't like something, don't buy it and they'll stop selling it. If Nike keeps making black jerseys, it's probably because many someones somewhere are buying them. So my gripe ultimately ends with those fools who would like to wear the jersey of their favorite player, but only if that player's team colors are black. That totally says just about everything about America's obsession of the individual over the team, doesn't it.

And if the people speak, the salesmen listen. I got the new NFL Holiday 2008 catalog in the mail today. Now, in addition to the abysmal pink jerseys ("with sugar glitter on front and back" -- I blame this sort of crap for my perpetual bachelorhood), you can now order "black & white jerseys." Sorry, Nike, but these jerseys are manufactured by Reebok. Which just goes to show you that for every bad idea, there's someone waiting to steal it.

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Everyone wears black to funerals.

Alabama 41, UGA 30

I've made it no secret that I hate the black Georgia jerseys. I hope that the memory of this week's debacle, a 41-30 loss to Alabama will keep them in the closet for a long time. The final score isn't even close to describing the 31-0 beating that we were taking by halftime.

Even the fans got on my nerve at the game. Though I was quite surprised that the crowd kept trying to rally the Dogs (we're usually so quick to throw in the towel when the chips are down), there seemed to be more jerks around than usual. Within reach or me were the drunk Georgia Tech chick who kept reminding us that she had seen more lopsided defeats at Tech, the asshole behind me who took a break from talking on his cell phone to insist that I sit down because he didn't want to have to stand to see the mess on the field, and the Bama fan dressed like Bear Bryant who kept chanting "overrated" and "blackout." Fun, fun, fun. I travel for hours each way to see UGA play this poorly while surrounded by these strangers? Something must be seriously wrong with me.

Still, I'm not too down on the loss. We started the season with a lot of hype, and if there's anything for which hype prepares me, it's disappointment. There's a long way to go yet this season, and if the Dogs can learn from this fiasco, we might earn a rematch in the SEC Championship game come December.

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Now back to football: UGA 45, Auburn 20. (Satisfying. Oh, so satisfying. It was the most points anyone had scored on Auburn since we hung 56 on them over a decade ago. And this is the first time that UGA has scored 40 or more points in a game in 3 consecutive games since the 1940s.)

UGA 45, AU 20

This was the last UGA game of the season that I will be attending. I'll be missing next week's game so that I can travel to the Dolphins vs. Eagles contest in Philadelphia. Fitting, I suppose, that the fans all wore black to the game this week to mark my passing.

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To be continued...


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