Georgia football-Covid Vaccine
Kirby Smart received his first show of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Riley: What I learned about Georgia football, the past year and ‘Ode To The Mets’

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An Ode to Ode To The Mets

I’m not sure at what point Ode To The Mets became my comfort song during the COVID-19 pandemic. The final song on The Strokes’ most recent album came out last April and through all the difficulties this past year has brought, it’s been a constant.

Much like 2020 and the early parts of 2021, I would not associate happiness with the song. With lines like “Old friends, long forgotten” and the melancholy tone of the song, it isn’t exactly a bop or joyfully experience. At one point, singer Julian Casablancas remarks “I’ve got it all,” only to be at the bottom of the ocean by the end of the song.

Sounds a lot like the last year for not just me but a lot of people.

Yet through the mostly downs and occasional ups, I continued to play the song. Whether it be from wondering if there was going to even be a college football season this past summer to finding the simple joys of just seeing friends at a park, I found myself listening to this song far more often than anyone should.

It got me through so many days, good and bad.

Maybe with how Georgia’s 2020 season played out, it shouldn’t be surprising that I found myself listening to a downer of a song so often. It wasn’t all that fun seeing Georgia lose to Alabama and Florida.

So naturally, when I hopped in my car after getting my second vaccine shot on Monday, Ode To the Mets was the first song I put on. If I had gone this far with the song, I figure why not play it one more time, while wearing an Ode To The Mets shirt my roommate had gotten for me as a Christmas gift.

Even as more and more people, such as Georgia coach Kirby Smart himself, get vaccinated the pandemic is still very real. While Smart and other Georgia assistant coaches were able to get vaccinated during spring camp, a few players themselves still contracted the virus or were sidelined due to contact tracing.

“We’ve lost some guys different parts of spring for Covid,” Smart said  “And that’s been frustrating because when they get Covid, they going to miss at least three practices sometimes because of the space we have in between them.”

RelatedGeorgia coach Kirby Smart: ‘COVID has played a part’ in spring drills

The Georgia head coach had previously said he plans for players to begin getting vaccinated now that spring practice has ended. Smart also added players will receive certain incentives for getting the vaccine as well.

“Ron [Courson] and his staff is doing a great job of bringing in people familiar with the vaccines and have a very good understanding, the doctors, that can talk to our team and educate them on the benefit really for their families, for the group as a whole and safety purposes,” Smart said on April 3. “We’re trying to encourage that.”