Picking up a couple of tickets to the UGA-Bama game in Tuscaloosa looks a lot more daunting now. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that you must have donated at least $9,000 to the Athletic Association just to get extra tickets to the Western Carolina Game. Dolla, Dolla, Bill Y'all
I've tried my best to remember a Georgia victory that felt this good......I'm drawing a blank. Nobody gave these Dawgs a chance to beat Auburn, and I'm not gonna lie and say I did either. Oh, I said "we'll cover the spread". I even said something like," '86, '96, and now '06: all victories for the Dawgs on the Plains" to my brother. But I didn't Believe it. Fortunately, it wasn't up to me. It wasn't easy gettin up at 5 Saturday morning, cursing the early kickoff, driving down I-85 knowing there was a chance of rain. I didn't have to pay a dime for our tickets. My father bought two extras about 6 weeks ago, and he an my mother graciously sat in the upper deck, while allowing me, my wife, my brother, and his girlfriend to sit in their seats. They probably wouldn't have been so gracious if they knew what was coming. Auburn fans weren't too bad, I got a couple of "War Eagles!" on campus and a thumbs down from the Auburn fans we passed in Coweta County, but that's about it. After all, there was no need to rub it in. They were gonna kill us, and they knew it. Even the Auburn fans surrounding us in section 40 were kind. The group of young folks behind us (who had more mini-bottles of bourbon between them than a 747) asked "are we gonna have a good time?" before the game started. "Hell, Yeah" I'm not gonna go through the game play-by-play (as much fun as that would be). But despite the 30-7 score at halftime, I was cautiously optimistic. After all, I was at the Tennessee game, and had seen this team melt down first hand. The Auburn fans were curious too, "how did yall lose to Vandy....and Kentucky?" I didn't have an answer. Slowly the confidence built, and Auburn's hope began to wane. Even the rain was sweet. I counted today, and I've attended 39 games in Jordan-Hare, more than probably 90% of Georgia fans, and I've never seen that stadium empty that early. They were beat, and they just wanted to get home, get dry, and get drunk(er). As some Auburn fans were leaving, I did hear "I know how ya'll felt in '99" Had Georgia been 9-1 and ranked #5, this win would not have been so sweet. It truly was a situation where you have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs.....and I'm still flying. This win wasn't so great for me personally because I hate Auburn, heck I love Auburn. But beating them, beating them badly, when we didn't have a chance, and being able to smile, is a truly glorious feeling! I never know how to finish these things, so I'll finish with the best quote I've read this week.
"We have been saying all week,
'Somebody has got to pay. Somebody has got to pay" defensive end Ray
Gant said. "Somebody paid."
Due to the fact that I like to get into the stadium early, feasting on the flesh of the enemy
before the game appears unlikely. More likely a big breakfast coupled
with some level of nourishment from Sanford Stadium's fine vendors
should get me through the early afternoon.
Thinking of this reminded me of something that happend during one of
Georgia's early games last year. I was standing in line to order a
couple of hotdogs and drinks for me and Mrs. Engineer, when I heard the
people around me murmuring saying something along the lines of "that
guy is HUGE". I turned around to see Marcus Stroud, former Bulldog
defensive lineman and current Jacksonville Jaguar in line behind me.
Most of the people around me did not recognize him. So I introduced
myself and tried to carry on a conversation without being too
intrusive. Since the vendors near the bridge are not known for their
speed of service we had a few minutes to make small talk. As I was
about to order, I asked Marcus if I could pay for whatever it was that
he was going to purchase. Now I realize that he is a millionaire, but
as an expression of my gratitude for his service as a Bulldog I thought
it would only be right. He kindly accepted and laughed when I asked him
if he thought this would be an NCAA violation, "just don't tell
anybody" (so much for that now). After I ordered, I turned to Marcus
and he said, two hot dogs, a large Coke......and some Skittles. I paid,
we received our order and he shook my hand. I said all of that to say
this. Everytime I see the Jaguars play or when highlights of Marcus'
exploits are on television, only three words come to my mind.......
"and some Skittles".
I can't wait for football season to start.
Paulwesterdawg brought this up a couple of weeks ago, but it’s
an interesting question to consider.
What is Georgia’s
record in football games where you have been in attendance?
After reviewing the stats, my personal record is:
3-1 (Neutral sites)
The neutral site games include two Florida
games and two bowl games, while the away games include 5 trips to Auburn, a trip to Clemson (Auburn
with a lake), and a trip to lovely Starkville,
Mississippi last year (it seems I only attend games in a big metropolis).
Of note was the only tie on my record, it came at the end of
Ray Goff’s tenure with the Bulldogs when they tied Auburn on the plains in 1994. I would suspect
that a fair number of Georgia
fans have never attended a game that ended in a tie. This particular game was
like a win for a 5-4 Georgia
squad and a virtual loss for an Auburn team
that entered the game 9-0 (though, surprise, surprise, Auburn was on probation).
Like most college football fans, I’m glad the possibility of
“kissing your sister” was eliminated with the introduction of overtime, the
1996 game with Auburn
being a great example.
This also brings up my disappointment in the announcement of
the cut-offs for Georgia’s
away games this year. I had made plans to attend my first game in Oxford, Mississippi
and ordered tickets. Unfortunately, every other Georgia
fan was enticed by the draw of Oxford
and a cut-off of 12,850 points was set. Needless to say I haven’t been able to
attain that type of contribution level in the years since I’ve graduated. So if any affluent season ticket holder would
like to donate two tickets to me, I’ll gladly accept. Alas,
there is always Tuscaloosa
next year to improve the away game record…..