It’s my favorite time of the year, preparation for what we call in our house, Thanksgiving Saturday. This is rivalry weekend when so many college rivals play each other for their last regular game of the season. In our house, a house divided between Georgia and Georgia Tech, this weekend is extra, well let’s just say, special.
For me (an avid Georgia Tech fan), this is my biggest game of the season. Although not a conference game, this is the one that says who ‘owns’ the state for the year and gives some bragging rights to Tech fans everywhere…for at least a little while. For Georgia fans, not so much. My husband constantly reminds me that although Georgia may be Tech’s biggest rival, Tech is far from being Georgia’s biggest rival. To him, Tech is just that pesky little insect that sometimes, but not very often, gets in the way.
Back in the day, Lewis Grizzard, one of the best, all-time funniest Southern columnists, coined the phrase, “clean old-fashioned hate.” If you’ve been to many of these games, you’ve seen it. Both sides will have those ‘rabid’ fans cussing, screaming and foaming at the mouth about the other. I’ve seen (and maybe even partaken in) my fair share of not so clean old-fashioned hate, but my old age has calmed me down….at least a little bit.
Georgia and Georgia Tech are only 70 miles apart but they seem a world away. So much about the original charters of these schools helped set them up for this great rivalry – Georgia the agricultural school and Tech the industrial school. There has been tremendous competition between the universities that stretch far off of the football field. The first game was played way back in 1893 not terribly long after Tech’s founding. There have been some great streaks by both teams during this time but Georgia is killing it overall with a 63-40-5 record.
From the Georgia Tech side, one of the great traditions for this game you will hear shouted all over the campus, all over the streets and in bars and houses everywhere. Someone will shout, “What’s the good word?” and all Tech fans in the crowd will yell back, “To Hell with Georgia!” You will see that abbreviated everywhere – THWG!!
On the Georgia side, they will try and pretend this game doesn’t matter. Usually it doesn’t. But they always want the win regardless because it just gets annoying dealing with Tech fans feeling ‘superior’ for yet another reason. When Georgia wins a game, students ring the historic Chapel Bell. That’s a really cool tradition in my book. But on game days when Georgia beats Georgia Tech, the Chapel Bell rings all night long!
This year’s game is interesting. Tech fans are cautiously optimistic and Georgia fans are hoping a new QB with no real play time can step up and win one for the team and for Aaron Murray who is out with a torn ACL. Tech Seniors have not won this game in their careers at Georgia Tech and most certainly want to go out with one. This may be the year that a typically outmatched GT team can find some Achilles heels in Georgia’s young defense and numerous injuries to key players.
I asked my husband for his best Georgia vs Georgia Tech memories and he said “every game I’ve gone to with you.” Ahhhh. Isn’t that sweet!!??!! Of course I called BS and he fessed up that one of his favorites was in 1977 when he was allowed to drive to the game with his little brother. He said it was bitter cold, both teams really stunk that year, Tech ended up with the victory, but he still remembers it with great fondness.
For me, one of my favorites was watching between the hedges and seeing Herchel Walker run over Tech players like they really were just pesky little insects. He was amazing to watch. My other favorite games were 1990, my freshman year when Tech went on to win the National Championship and between 1998-2000 when Tech won 3 in a row and I enjoyed watching the game with my soul mate for the first times (of course, it didn’t hurt that Tech won).
The holidays are fast approaching, here are some ideas for your favorite football fans.