Hello again everyone. Again, I apologize for being a bad blogger, but hopefully this will get you guys through until the next time I can blog again. For those wondering, the new job is going great and trust me when I say that while I miss blogging, it's nice to focus on work for a change and not get pissed off. That's not to say I won't be picking up the slack again soon. I have a good feeling that I will as soon as I get my sea legs in this new career.
Anyway, I wrote a series a while ago about the Top 5 Away Games I'd ever attended. In that series, I promised I'd write about the Top 5 Home Games at a later date. Well, I did, but I never got around to publishing it. So I figured no time like the present, and am giving it to you now for you guys to enjoy.
Games #5-2 are profiled below. The #1 home game (followed up by a repost of an honorary #1) will be up in a couple of days.
5. Arkansas 2001 –
The first game after 9/11. Not much you can say after that. The Redcoats held practice the next Wednesday following the attack as practices for the previous week were suspended along with all the sporting events. That Wednesday, we were told that the upcoming Saturday was not about football as much as it was about getting 92,000 back into their 9/10/2001 mindset. We had a special pre-game show that included common USA tunes and if memory serves me correct, UGA or Arkansas never ran out on the field. I believe it was the first time a Dawg team had watched the Redcoats perform live…not that it’s important or anything, but a random stat for you. I remember doing the Rooster Call that day and had printed out an American Flag on some paper and pinned it on my marching overalls under my uniform jacket. Once I got to the steps of the Tate Center, I took the jacket off and the crowd went apeshit. You couldn’t pay me to remember what I said, but it was as emotional as I have ever been. The “Money Shot Memory” comes when, during pregame, the Athletic Association had arranged to play Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” I’ll be honest, I’d never been a fan of that tune (and I still don’t think it’s the coolest thing ever), but on that day I listened to it on the field, crying, with my hand over my heart. Then I looked to the stadium and everyone was holding up those posterboard American Flags they were given as they headed into the stadium. It was the first time that I realized that as much as I love UGA and UGA football, that it was still just a game. For what it’s worth, we ended up winning.4. Georgia Tech 2006 –
UGA fans knew what was at stake with this game. Georgia Tech as good a team as they have been years and it was the last time Reggie “Incognito Dawg” Ball and Calvin “Can’t Catch When I See A ‘G’” Johnson were facing the Classic City Canines. Even though the Dawgs had kicked the sh*t out of Auburn the previous week, the Nerd Herd came out in force thinking the Dawgs were still down and they were ready to get to kickin’. On the line for this game was the Chick-fil-A bowl, which boasted a beefed up payout and the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd. The game was a defensive one as the Dawgs held the Jackets pretty much in check except in regards to the running game. We were getting very tired very quick and even though our offense had a certain “something” to it, we really weren’t clicking on all cylinders. Finally, a couple of defensive stops led to one of the weirdest defensive scores I’ve ever seen (Tony Taylor plucking the ball from the middle of a pile for the score), and put the Dawgs within striking distance of winning this one. Tech came back to score and things were looking bleak again. If you know anything about me, I HATE Georgia Tech with a passion and I can’t stand losing to them. I was getting a little worried, but I had faith in my Dawgs. The “Money Shot Memory” begins as UGA begins driving towards the South end of the stadium. A couple of key plays put us within scoring range and it was time to go to a 4 WR set. Stafford gets the snap, scrambles a little bit, and fires to a jumping Mo Mass for the score. The place goes crazy, we convert the two-point conversion, and the Nerds sitting behind us in the UGA student section mysteriously disappeared. It was a shame, too, because I wanted to have a small conversation with them about the game.
3. Georgia Tech 2002 – Thrilling victories? Last second scores? Yes, these are the things that make what one would call a “classic,” but hanging 51 on your top rival is definitely something that sticks around in my mind. From what I remember, it was a pretty cold day and I was looking at never marching in Redcoats again. For all intents and purposes at that time, I had enough disagreements with the staff within the RCB and I just didn’t know if I’d come back for my (second) senior year. I was hoping to go out with a solid victory and Georgia Tech is one of those games that gets my blood boiling at somewhere around 1000 degrees Kelvin. You know, somewhere around the temperature of the sun. Anyway, it was a real nice day. Not too cold, not too hot and I think it was a bit overcast, which is always nice because I didn’t have to wear sunglasses. The Dawgs were just way too hot early on and quickly forced turnovers and found the endzone like it was their job. And why wouldn’t they be kicking the snot out of the Nerd Herd? I mean this was the 2002 team of destiny that was on the outside looking in for a National Title shot, but was still very much in the hunt. We were out to make a statement and we did. The “Money Shot Memory” began in the 3rd quarter when you saw the Yellow River (written by I.P. Freely) start heading for the exits. Very quickly after halftime was over it was apparent that this was a game of men vs. boys and it turned into an excuse for some key reserves to get playing time for next year…for both teams.
2. UT 2000 – Can you say “long time coming?” UGA had been getting killed by UT for years, losing what I believe to be 8 straight in the series. Not since the Herschel days had we dominated any UT team. Phil Fulmer was 2 seasons out of a National Championship win and subsequently the world’s first BCS title. It was time for us to get a win and time for Jim Donnan and Quincy Carter to live up to the hype. The Dawgs were touted at the beginning of the year to be a very successful team after years of solid recruiting. All week long there was talk in the Red and Black about tearing down the goal posts. ESPN jumped on the bandwagon as well and picked up the game to be televised at night. So let me get this straight…1) talk of tearing down goalposts 2) ESPN night game 3) TONS AND TONS of hype all week long and finally 4) Some genius from UT talked some trash earlier in the week and it was prime bulletin board material. You put all this together and you’ve got Dawg fans that will not take a loss, and they will drink as much as necessary to make sure a victory is guaranteed. The score would indicate it was a close game the whole time, but UT was never really in it to begin with. UGA scored often enough and UT stalled offensively pretty much the whole game. The “Money Shot Memory” begins with a little less than 2 minutes left. A score plus onside kick plus another score is the only thing that’s going to give UT a “W” and the students have started gathering on the sideline. In Larry Munson’s words, “The athletic department is about to lose $11,000.” The common security you see at every game starting around 5 minutes left is nowhere to be found and it’s almost time to celebrate. UGA kills all of UT’s hope on a 4th quarter stop and the students begin pouring out on the field. Flash bulbs are going off, people are running to the goal posts….and the game isn’t over. The Dawgs start chasing students back. Coaches and fans are screaming at the top of their lungs for these idiots to move back out of bounds so the clock can run out. The crowd is seemingly uncontrollable and I can remember thinking to myself, “we might have to forfeit this game with 1:40 left.” The Redcoats begin chanting “GET OFF THE FIELD!” over and over again until finally the intoxicated mob realizes that it’s over when it’s OVER…not before. Order is restored, Quincy takes a knee (and not because he dropped his joint on the ground), and time runs out. Then, the hedges are destroyed, the goal posts come down, the Dawgs are mobbed, the scene turns ugly, a girl gets trampled to the point of hospitalization, and my roommate loses my UGA hat that he borrowed. In his words “it got knocked off as I was climbing the pole.” I miss that hat.
Well, there you have it. #1 should be up sometime in the next few days.
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, Fun while drinking, UGA Football