Former star receiver Lindsay Scott, center, laughs while signing a copy of his book, “Belue to Scott!” during Tuesday’s visit to the Dougherty County Rotary Club, Scott was joined by the Dougherty County Rotary Club’s Crisp Gatewood, left, and “Belue to Scott!” co-author, Robbie Burns, right. (email@example.com)
ALBANY -- A week rarely goes by without Lindsay Scott hearing it -- "RUN, LINDSAY!!! RUN, LINDSAY!!!"
Legendary University of Georgia play-by-play announcer Larry Munson uttered those now-famous words in October of 1980 when Scott took a swing pass from quarterback Buck Belue and weaved his way 93 yards for a game-winning touchdown against Florida.
That play propelled Georgia to the 1980 National Championship and Scott firmly into Bulldog lore.
"People yell, 'Run, Lindsay!' at me all the time," Scott, 51, told the Dougherty County Rotary Club on Tuesday. "I just remember catching the ball and running. Back then wide receivers at Georgia usually only got three touches a game, so when I got it I figured I better do something with it because (the ball) ain't coming back to me."
Robbie Burns, the author of "Belue to Scott!", an account of the game, was also in Albany with Scott on Tuesday, and eloquently described the play as "more than a moment, more than a touchdown, more than a game."
The game, once dubbed "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," is now officially called the Florida vs. Georgia Football Classic. UGA holds a 47-40-2 lead in the series and dominated the games up until 1990, when Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville and proceeded to build a juggernaut.
Since then the Gators have reeled off an 18-3 record against the Bulldogs -- including an 8-2 mark against coach Mark Richt -- and Scott is not happy about it.
"College football is a game of flow and ebbs," said Scott, a Jessup native who now lives and operates a cleaning service in Valdosta, "And we haven't done to well against Florida lately. I'm ready for it to kick back over to our side, and I believe it will swing back to us starting Saturday."
Saturday's contest in Jacksonville is arguably the most important game in Richt's 11-year career. Despite two SEC titles, Richt hasn't fared well against the Gators, leading to grumbling among the UGA faithful.
After an 0-2 start to the 2011 season, the Dawgs have reeled off five straight wins to climb into a tie atop the SEC East standings with South Carolina. The Gamecocks, however, hold the tie-breaker by virtue of an earlier win over the Dogs.
A Florida win Saturday would virtually slam the door shut on Georgia's first East title since 2007.
"I agree that the heat is on Mark Richt," Scott said. "Losing to Florida is frustrating. Bulldogs want to win and for us to take that next step. The facts are that in the past 20 years, Georgia has not had a lot of success against Florida."
So how does Richt right the Red and Black ship?
"Beat Florida, win a big game," Scott replied. "Get that monkey off our backs. Just go out and win the game. Florida will still be there in the next 50 years, they aren't going away. Georgia is at a point where we know they can win, they just have to step out on the field and do it."
Still, one must wonder after the beatings of the past 21 years, if Georgia's players believe they can really beat the Gators.
"I remember in my day we expected to beat Florida," Scott said. "But that program has really taken off. Now, Georgia, in my mind, is in the same league with the big boys of the SEC -- the Alabamas, LSUs, Floridas and Auburns," Scott said. "We can play with anybody, but it's about time the Bulldogs won a big game."
And that opportunity will present itself at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla.