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Who would win a Georgia football version of Survivor?
There is not a television show that I love more than Survivor. The show, which began in the summer of 2000, is currently in the midst of its 40th season. And as it has shown time and time again, it can produce absolutely thrilling moments.
It has long been one of my favorite shows and in a time when nothing really feels normal, still being able to tune in with my roommates at 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights, as well as the countless other friends who watch, is an incredible luxury and something I truly appreciate it.
And given the competition you see on the show is more often exciting than a regular-season NBA or MLB game, it is definitely sports.
And seeing as how there isn’t a ton of sports news to write about at the moment as everything is still in the shutdown, I figure why not imagine what a Georgia football edition of the iconic game/reality show would look like.
So that’s what we’re doing today on Good Day, UGA. We’re going to put together how a season of Survivor would play out if it involved current members of the Georgia football team. Obviously the season would take place in the offseason so players would be able to get back and get prepared for the upcoming season.
Depending on the season, 16-20 players are dropped on a remote island and forced to live off minimal supplies. The players are initially split into tribes and compete in challenges that are usually a combination of physical and mental abilities. The tribe that wins the challenge is safe, while the losing tribe heads to tribal council to vote out one of its players.
At a certain point, the two tribes merge — though sometimes they split into three tribes before merging to further muddy voting lines. Once the tribes are merged, it shifts to an individual game, where only one person wins immunity — the immunity challenge — and everyone goes to tribal council together. Traditionally, once the tribes are merged, the eliminated players from that point form the members of the jury and observe what happens in ensuing tribal councils.
Also, there will be a hidden immunity idol, which prevents a player from being voted out if played at a tribal council, hidden at each camp. Once an idol is used, it will be hidden once again, putting it back into play.
Once the merged tribe has dwindled to just three — though sometimes two — remaining players, the members of the jury vote to determine the winner.
With the rules of the game established, we’ve decided to split the tribes into offense and defense. And it will be members of the 2020 team. Because if Jake Fromm ever went on Survivor, I’d imagine he’d have a very good shot of succeeding there.
The offensive tribe: Jamie Newman, Zamir White, James Cook, Kendall Milton, George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock, Ben Cleveland, Jamaree Salyer, Trey Hill
The defensive tribe: Richard LeCounte, Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, Monty Rice, Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith, Travon Walker, Julian Rochester, Malik Herring
And Kirby Smart will obviously play the role of Jeff Probst, the best game/reality show host to ever do it.
Day 1: The tribes are thrown immediately into an immunity challenge to start things off. Five members of each tribe must dig up a bag buried somewhere over the stretch over 50 yards. Then the remaining five members solve a puzzle with the pieces that are retrieved from the bag.
The defensive tribe easily tracks down the bag and relies heavily on Dean to put the puzzle together. He solves the puzzle fairly quickly, leading to an easy win and sending the offense to tribal council.
Day 3: After stewing over the defeat, a clear voting alliance between the running backs and offensive linemen emerge. The six agree to stick together and vote out Newman.
Day 5: The move to vote Newman backfires almost immediately for the offensive tribe, as the next immunity challenge involves navigating an obstacle course to retrieve a bag of balls and then knocking a pile of blocks completely off a table. They really could’ve used Newman’s arm here. LeCounte and the defense do just enough to pull out another immunity victory.
Day 6: The alliance of six once again sticks strong and elects to vote off Pickens, citing Blaylock’s loyalty as a positive going forward, stemming from his time as a recruit with the Bulldogs.
Day 8: The offense falls in the immunity challenge once again where they could’ve used Newman. The two tribes were required to swim out, grab a number of sandbags that were to be used as projectiles that would be shot from a slingshot to knock down targets. The offense falls rather easily once again.
Blaylock appears to be toast, but he, fortunately, finds a hidden immunity idol at the challenge.
Day 9: Blaylock plays coy that he has an idol, easing his tribemates into a false sense of security. He plays the hidden immunity idol after the votes are cast. Every vote had been for him and is thus canceled. Blaylock placed his one vote on Cleveland, sending home the senior lineman in stunning fashion.
Day 10: Realizing that the defense is dominating too easily, Smart decides to switch up the tribes in random order. The three new tribes, called Herschel, Knowshon and Todd, are as follows:
Tribe Herschel: Zamir White, James Cook, Kendall Milton, Julian Rochester, Eric Stokes
Tribe Knowshon: Jamaree Salyer, Dominick Blaylock, Nolan Smith, Travon Walker, Nakobe Dean
Tribe Todd: Trey Hill, Richard LeCounte, Tyson Campbell, Malik Herring, Monty Rice
Smart also announces that after the following ensuing immunity challenge, two tribes will be going to tribal council. The challenge requires players to navigate a mud-soaked obstacle course before putting together a puzzle. Tribe Herschel ends up winning the challenge, as the three running backs make quick work of the obstacle course.
Day 12: At his new camp, Hill knows he’s clearly on the bottom and spends the two days after the challenge searching for an idol. Unfortunately, Rice is able to find it first and none of his teammates know about it. Hill is voted off, continuing the onslaught against the offense.
Meanwhile, on Tribe Knowshon, Blaylock bonds with his 2019 classmates and ends up convincing them to vote out Salyer. At this point, there are no offensive linemen left in the game.
Day 14: At the next immunity challenge, the top two teams will be safe, meaning only one team will go to tribal council. And that team ends up being tribe Herschel, as they’re unable to solve a word puzzle in a fast enough manner.
Day 15: Stokes and Rochester both realize they’re on the chopping block and spend their time trying to break-up the running back alliance. But after seeing what happened on the other tribes, the three agree to stick together and elect to vote out Rochester.
Day 17: The three tribes arrive ready for their next challenge, only to learn that they have made it to the merge. While enjoying a celebratory feast, Blaylock finds another idol, this time buried in a napkin.
After the feast, the 12 remaining players compete in a Georgia football trivia contest to determine immunity. LeCounte ends up winning, securing his safety at tribal council.
Day 18: Realizing that the running back alliance is a very potent threat, the remaining players all agree to target them. They agree to split the votes, placing four votes on White, but five on Cook. He will be the first member of the jury.
Day 20: The next immunity challenge requires players to try and stay on a pole with narrow footholds for as long as possible. Blaylock is just barely able to outlast Stokes, giving the wide receiver protection at tribal council.
Day 21: While White seems like a dead man walking, an emboldened Blaylock is able to convince his fellow 2019 signees to pair with the two running backs and give them a 6-5 numbers advantage. Smith, Walker and Dean agree, with the three agreeing to make a pact to go to the final three together.
At tribal, after spending all day saying it was going to be White, LeCounte is blindsided and sent home, due to him being a strong social player.
Day 23: This time, players are required to unscramble a word phrase — Ain’t nothing finer in the land —and Dean once again makes quick work of the puzzle.
Day 24: Rice, Stokes, Campbell and Herring all search for idols and Stokes comes up with it. Realizing the other six can’t split the votes, the four know that if they play the idol right they can send someone else home.
Stokes believes that Herring is the target and after the votes are read, he plays the idol for Herring. But it turns out that Campbell was the target, and he is sent home.
Day 25: The immunity challenge once again requires players to finish solving a puzzle and once again Dean makes quick work of it. The inside linebacker continues to grow as a threat.
Day 27: Stokes realizes the only way to stave off elimination is to convince Milton and White to flip, making it a 5-4 swing. Seeing clearly that the 2019 prospects are sticking together, they agree to do it and blindside Smith since they cannot vote out Dean.
Day 30: To win immunity, players are required to hold one of their arms over their head. The arm is chained to a bucket of water. If the bucket tips over, you get doused and you’re eliminated. The young Milton wins the challenge, just beating out White.
Immediately, after the challenge, the tribe heads straight to tribal council, giving Dean no time to look for an idol or scramble. The puzzle wizard is sent home, leaving Walker and Blaylock as the only members of the 2019 class still in the game.
Day 31: This immunity challenge requires players to balance a ball on a paddle while standing on increasingly narrow footholds as the challenge goes on. Blaylock wins once again, keeping him safe from elimination.
Day 33: While Walker is unable to find an idol, Rice finds another one, giving him two and essentially guaranteeing he will make it to the final six if he plays things right. While Walker seems like the easy vote, Blaylock uses the idol he previously found at the merge to save Walker. Walker and Blaylock both voted for Campbell, sending him to the jury. Rice played one of his idols for himself.
Day 34: In a throwback to an early Survivor and Fear Factor challenge, players are forced to eat various types of bugs. The last one to finish each round is eliminated. Walker ends up winning, just beating Blaylock.
The remaining players go to tribal council that night and the running backs and the 2019 signees both agree to vote out Rice after his idol play at the previous challenge. However, Rice plays his second idol and saves himself while Milton is sent home.
Day 35: With six players remaining, it is once again another puzzle challenge. This one doesn’t move quite as quickly without Dean there to dominate. Blaylock ends up winning the challenge, but this ends up putting a large target on his back once again.
At tribal, Rice, Stokes and Herring vote for Walker and Blaylock, Walker and White vote for Rice. With neither side willing to flip votes, Smart pulls out three rocks for White, Stokes and Herring to draw. Rice and Walker are safe since no conclusion can be reached. Two of the rocks are red and one is black. Drawing the black rock eliminates you. Feeling good about the odds, the players go to rocks but White ends up being the player who draws the black rock, sending him home.
Day 36: It’s once again a balance challenge, where players this time have to keep a wooden Georgia bulldog figurine balanced at the end of a long stick. Blaylock wins again. This clearly saves him from going home but makes it an easy decision for Rice, Stokes and Herring to vote out Walker. With no idols left in the game, Walker goes home.
Day 38: Heading into the final challenge, it’s clear that if Blaylock can win he has a great chance to win the game, as the jury is littered with former allies. The final challenge is simple. The remaining four players will put one hand on the immunity necklace. The last player with their hand on the necklace wins.
After hours, and hours on end, it is down to Stokes and Blaylock. Blaylock pleads with Stokes to make a deal with him to get to the end, but Stokes refuses to listen. Blaylock can’t hold and gives Stokes the necklace. At tribal council that night, Blaylock is voted out as it’s clear he’s the biggest threat to win the game. The final three is Rice, Stokes and Herring.
Day 39: At the final tribal council, Rice, Stokes and Herring all make their pitches. Stokes trumpets his strong social game and overall positive attitude on the island. He highlights how other than Blaylock, he didn’t make any enemies. He also found an idol and won the final immunity challenge.
Herring plays up how he didn’t rock the boat and made no enemies during the game. However, jury members quickly pick apart how he never won a challenge nor did he excel at the political aspects of the game.
Jury members are at first skeptical of Rice’s game, given he wasn’t as strong a social player as Stokes. But he points out that he found multiple idols and unlike Stokes, was able to correctly identify when to play them. Rice also gets a strong vote of support from Blaylock, who says that other than himself, Rice played the best game.
The nine jury members all cast their votes. Smart then takes a series of jet skis and planes to get back in front of a live studio audience in Athens, Ga. to read the final votes.
In front of a packed Sanford Stadium, Smart reads votes from Cook, White, LeCounte and Campbell, all in favor of crowning Stokes.
But Blaylock, Walker, Smith, Dean and Milton all voted for Rice, giving him the title of Georgia football Survivor winner.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- CFP management committee message: Students must return to campus before football resumes
- Georgia football podcast: Assessing Jamie Newman’s chances of being ‘the next Joe Burrow’
- Where Georgia football 2021 recruiting targets, commits stand in latest rankings update
- Former Georgia star Mecole Hardman and track standout Matthew Boling engage in Georgia-Texas debate
- SEC Network analyst Chris Doering shares ‘what Georgia desperately needs to find out’
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