The Y2 Book of Ooga
Posted by saxondawg on 10:25 AM 29-Dec-99
I always lose track of the Hunkering Hermit this time of year. I’m busy with serious holiday eating, bowl-watching and more eating; Ooga’s out on the recruiting trail. We only use him with prospects in truly critical situations. For those of you without “sources” (and is there anybody left without “sources”?), here is Georgia’s normal 8-step recruiting procedure, moving from soft-sell to toughest cases:
1. Regional specialist at high school game
2. Position coach in home
3. Coach Donnan in home
4. Coach Garner in home
5. Coach Garner in church
6. Coach Garner in bathroom, handing prospect the tissue
7. A visit from Ooga
8. Nobody has ever gotten to #8.
Ooga is master of the “shake, rattle, enroll” school of football recruiting–by the time he finishes shaking and rattling the prospect, they’re ready to enroll. He’s not too long on the sweet-talk stuff. Matter of fact, when a freshman has to take a redshirt due to slow healing of spike abrasions, that’s a pretty good clue Ooga’s been in his home.
But this week finds Ooga in the Sunshine State for the Outback. I thought I’d track him down and get his thoughts on our matchup with Purdue. Of course, he never registers under his own name (he thinks it’s a hilarious gag to sign in as “Atilla” and reserve an extra suite in the name of “Huns”). Finally I found him checked in at the Surf and Stalk Inn in Ybor City, under the name “H. Unker.” (Good one, Ooga.)
When he didn’t answer my knock, I figured he must be out trapping his dinner. But it turned out he was–of all places–out on the beach. I walked by him five times slowly before I was certain it was really the Prophet himself. Maybe it was the Ray-Bans. Maybe it was the Speedo loin-cloth (he was clad in no other raiment; I suggest you not attempt this mental picture). Everyone else had moved their chairs and towels a good forty yards away, except for Larry Munson. Ooga was listening to Jimmy Buffett on a boom box and drinking something pink with a little umbrella in it. “Um . . . Ooga?” I asked, timidly.
“‘S’up, dude?” he drawled, slurping his drink.
I told him it was time to talk some football. Did he have any visions or revelations? A New Year prophecy of the Millennium? He paused a minute, dragged a forefinger through the sand, and said, “Chill, dude, okay?”
Again I looked closely to see if it was really Ooga. Munson was saying, “Turks, in the Holy City. Eleventh Century. Now there was a TOUGH one to beat. And you had to go on the ROAD and face those guys. DO YOU REALIZE we had to travel there THREE times? That was a WAR, that’s what it was.”
“Ooga, O Wise One,” I said, ignoring Larry, “Dawgnation needs you. Speak to me. What about Brees?”
“Yeah, how ’bout it?” said the hermit, giggling as the wind lifted his mane.
“Sixty-three degrees, coming off the Gulf,” said Jim from Duluth, who just happened to walk by at that moment. He was in a Speedo too, I’m sad to say.
“This is a big one, Ooga,” I persisted. “Don’t ease up now.”
“Yeah, Dude, whatever. Hey, man, could you turn up my blaster, dude? That’s my main man Ricky Martin!”
“Buffett,” said Munson pensively. “I just don’t get this Parrothead thing. Somebody explain that. And DID HE SAY, ‘Stepped on a pop top, blew out my flip flops?’ What was THAT all about? Fly-fishing. Now there’s a sport for you.”
Just then a HUGE wave, I mean a really big one, washed over us. It washed away everything–radio, deck chairs, Munson, even the little dab of Coppertone on Ooga’s nose. I think the Big Dawg sent this wave. It knocked Ooga back into character, just as I ran out of time and space here on the Vent. I caught a few words of the angry prophecy as Ooga was running out to sea, spiking sea creatures and surfers with his club. Again, sorry I don’t have room for detail, especially since it was awe-inspiring stuff–but you can be certain it involved the Great Wall of Stroud, Seymour the Sackmaster, and the “mangled, half-chewed arm of Drew the Dead.” I think there were six Los and five Beholds, if that helps you.
Bottom line, it looks as if the Dawgs will bark in the New Year.
Oh, and Munson wanted me to add this little prophecy of his own: “”Old Lady Luck will be HUNG OVER, just HUNG OVER, at 11 a.m. Saturday, and she’s gonna HEAVE! DO YOU REALIZE the Old LADY is gonna HEAVE all over that field.”” I’m not certain what that means, but Larry seems pretty firm about it.