September 10, 2005

Down "Between the Hedges"

Like I have mentioned, my wife is a huge Georgia fan and for a surprise I took her to the Boise State - Georgia football game. Well, the game turned out to be a dud because BSU decided to be in a giving mood, turning the ball over six times in the first half. That was all the Dawgs needed to go onto a 48-13 victory. However, below are some pictures from the event.

First, let me say that to this point, I have attended games at the University of Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, the University of Alabama, and Mississippi State University. My experience is quite limited and as you can tell, I was born and raised on SEC football...the best football in the land, gosh darn it!

Going to Athens, we wanted to experience everything that Georgia did as a tradition. First up is the Dawg Walk. Thousands of people lined up next to Sanford Stadium at the main gate entrance and the players are dropped off from their area hotel in full pads and gear ready to go. We stood underneath Sanford Drive, one of the main arteries through campus. Here the Dawgs go marching in right next to the student center.

The beautiful part is that while your waiting for the team to make its entrance, you wander around and next to the underbelly of the student center you find UGA VI! Sonny and Cecilia Seiler of Savannah, Ga. have been the owner of the UGA mascot line since 1956. They even have a book and DVD about all the adventures they have had with the all-white English bulldogs. The dog is so revered, its as if he is everyone's dog. The amazing thing as well is to be able to talk to the Seiler's. They are the most downhome people you will meet. I introduced Miss Cecilia to Elizabeth and it was as if I was reuniting lifelong friends. Cecilia is a wonderful lady and she will talk with you all about UGA. I told her we had driven through the night to be at the game and specifically to get a picture with their dog. She mentioned that she loved visiting Lexington last year, her first time, and that she eventually wants to go to a Kentucky Derby. I am trying to contact the PR people at Churchill Downs to make it happen. She even said she would trade Masters' tickets for the event. (Make it happen C-D people!)

So we get inside the stadium and it was HOT! It was a typical, sunny, Georgia, early-September Saturday. Our saving grace was that we on the North Side of Sanford with the three-tiered deck. After about a quarter, the sun was obstructed by the newly constructed walkway that leads you further upstairs. Thank you, God!

At kickoff, the capacity crowd was all in their seats. (Take a lesson UK fans.) You begin to look around and you dont feel as if you have 92,746 people in attendance. Having been to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, you feel as if there are more than 103,000 with you. I guess its the design of the two stadiums, Neyland is much more vertical whereas Sanford spreads out. I just wish someone would have spread out the seats. We were jammed like sardines, but eventually the game loosened and the frat boys and girls headed home to resume the party and we had plenty of room.

The game has been well documented. The Dawgs attacked and Boise State's quarterback Jared Zabransky looked like a high schooler, throwing those four first-half interceptions. Half were good plays by the Dawgs and the other half were ill-advised, floating passes that anyone could have swiped. It was 24-0 at half, 45-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Basically, the place was empty for the last quarter and we just enjoyed sitting there talking about the day and how perfect everything had gone.

It felt a little weird wearing red, but then again as a rabid UK fan, I have nothing against Georgia and their fans. Now, Tennessee and Florida are an all together different situation. But there I was decked out in the red, block G cheering on the Dawgs. It was a great time and I am sure we will be going back.

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooo Dawgs.....sic' em.....woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.