Hate not too strong a word for Dogs-Jackets rivalry

The No. 15-ranked Diamond Dogs’ 7-5 win over No. 7 Georgia Tech in front of 24,665 fans Tuesday at Turner Field was big for a couple of reasons, despite being one of those late-season midweek nonconference games that don’t really affect either team’s postseason hopes. 

First, it cemented Atlanta’s seven-year-old Spring Baseball Classic for Kids charity game as one of the nation’s best-attended college games, drawing the sixth largest regular season crowd in NCAA baseball history and the second largest crowd ever for the classic.

But more importantly to UGA fans, it was a win over our most hated rival and means the Dogs have won the last five classics in a row.

Any win over the insects, no matter the sport, is a big deal just because we hate them and they hate us. Whether it’s the “clean, old-fashioned hate” of sporting legend or the decidedly muckier version practiced by North Avenue posters to this blog, it still boils down to hate. 

Too strong a word? Maybe back in my Dad’s era when a lot of UGA fans considered Tech the second state school and would root for them except when they played the Dogs. But in my lifetime the rivalry has sharpened to the point where most fans for each school take great delight in any misfortune that befalls the other. The combination of a Georgia win and a Tech loss (preferably a blowout) makes for the finest kind of fall Saturday.

Now I’m not saying that Tech is our biggest or most important rival, especially in football. That hasn’t been the case since the Jackets bolted from the SEC. 

Just our most hated rival.

In my mind, our biggest rival (and one nearly as hated as Tech) is Florida. Especially in football, where the annual game in Jacksonville looms large in deciding the SEC East. And especially since the Spurrier era, when his obnoxious demeanor (and string of wins over the Dogs) let loose the inner jerk residing in most Gator fans. (I say most, not all, because my next-door neighbor the Gator is actually a really nice guy. Can’t say that about any Jackets fans I’ve known.)

So, as I’ve said before here, I’d list Tech and Florida as our top rivals, with Tennessee and Auburn in the next rank. (Once upon a time, Clemson was also at the top of that list, but we don’t play them that often any more.) While UT fans can be twice as obnoxious as Gator fans, particularly in Knoxville, that rivalry only really heated up when they became an every-year opponent in football and doesn’t yet match our thing with the Gators. Given a choice between beating either Florida or Tennessee in any given year, I think most fans would pick the Florida game in a heartbeat.

Auburn, of course, is our oldest rivalry, dating to 1892, and it’s an intense one for a lot of UGA fans, particularly those like my friends Steve and John who either have in the past or still live among the War Eagle types across the border. For many UGA fans, though, Auburn fans are more like our country cousins. The two schools share a lot of ties, have been known to hire each other’s graduates as coaches, and a lot of families are split, with grads from both schools. 

So I don’t really hate Auburn. (”You wouldn’t feel that way if you ever had to live over there,” Steve told me recently when a group of us were discussing our most hated rivals. And I’m sure he’s right.)

Beyond that, I don’t think hatred is really a word that applies to our other rivalries. While Gamecock fans seem to spend the entire summer keying on their September meeting with the Dogs, those UGA fans who don’t live near or among the eternally optimistic South Carolina faithful attach importance to the game mainly as our SEC opener and usually the first real challenge of the season (though far from the biggest one). So that rivalry is bigger in Augusta than in Athens.

As for our other every-year opponents, Vandy and Kentucky, they’ve never been good enough on a consistent basis in football for much of a rivalry to develop. And in basketball, while Georgia fans pack the Steg every year when the Wildcats come to Athens, it’s more of a David vs. Goliath sort of scenario than a true rivalry.

And while our rotating games against teams from the SEC West are important, aside from our permanent opponent, Auburn, no true rivalry has developed. If we played Alabama more often, that rivalry would probably zoom to the top, especially with Nick Saban there, because their fans are, let’s face it, clinically insane. But I don’t think UGA fans really work up a true hatred for Bama, at least not one to match our big four. And whenever we’ve played LSU, I’ve found their fans to be among the most likable I’ve encountered. They’re good folks to tailgate with, and coming out of the Georgia Dome after the last time the Dogs whipped them in the SEC championship, I actually had several of them say, “Good game.” One Tiger fan even high-fived me when he said it.

If that ever happened with a Tech or Gator fan, I’d be so stunned I’d have to double-check the colors they were wearing.

Then I’d rush off to wash that hand.

174 comments Add your comment

UGA_2001

May 13th, 2009
5:13 pm

Blah, blah, blah.

Florida is our biggest rival and it is proven every year. Your neighbor will be a nice guy until we turn the tables on them. Fla fans think we’re a joke right now which is why they are nice sometimes.

Tennessee fans twice as obnoxious as Florida fans? What planet are you from?

Sanford Drive

May 13th, 2009
5:16 pm

If we have ‘pack mentality’ then Tech has ‘trio mentality.’ You just don’t notice since you only have 3 fans.

Jacket since 1997

May 13th, 2009
5:30 pm

hate the pups, always have and always will..they will always be a second tier team in the sec as long as florida is around and they always need help to win their conf…never can win it outright…45-42 and many more to come THWG 4EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

Jacket since 1997

May 13th, 2009
5:33 pm

LIKE I SAID A SECOND TIET R TEAM…GATORS WILL WIN SEC AND NAT TITLE NEXT YEAR GO AHEAD AND GIVE IT TO EM….

MiltonDawg

May 13th, 2009
5:41 pm

97 jacket:
UGA won 2 sec conf champions in 7 years. How many does tech have? 38-3

MiltonDawg

May 13th, 2009
5:43 pm

i would say florida fans are the worst. tenn, aub, lsu are usually great people to be around with. tech has their moments, albeit very short.

MyWhiskeyClear

May 13th, 2009
5:56 pm

Milton, the answer to your question is 5. Tech has 5 SEC titles. They’re very old, but it’s more than many teams still IN the SEC…including yours.

Bill King

May 13th, 2009
6:01 pm

Wrong, Whiskey.

UGA has won 12 SEC football championships.

john

May 13th, 2009
6:06 pm

This could be a very good blog to discuss UGA sports were it not for the ignorant chick “ramble on” constantly spewing her venom. What is your envy of the UGA blogs ramblewoman? Looks to me like it’s you who is envious or you would not be here all day, every day, licking our boots.

MyWhiskeyClear

May 13th, 2009
6:08 pm

MyWhiskeyClear

May 13th, 2009
6:08 pm

sorry, i was thinking of national championships

john

May 13th, 2009
6:09 pm

Oh and those pee colored jerseys last night definitely win ugly uniform of the year. LMAO.

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 13th, 2009
6:28 pm

Again if you didn’t see it Bill I hope you had a REFLECTIVE MOM’S DAY. Keep up the good work and Backing your team and giving FANS something to CHAT or ARGUE about. I enjoy the cahnce to blog about Tech & Uga. Blessings and best Wishes. You better have put Flowers for MOM. Love you Dawg hate you Dawg. LOL keep it up.

Cuz

May 13th, 2009
6:29 pm

One of my best friends in my church is a Tech grad. He went to Tech the year before I went to UGA. Since I graduated in ‘83 you can imagine how many Sundays after a UGA-Tech game we have had. Whoever wins, we have a good natured needling. Durning the rest of the season, the few minutes before church we break down our respected weekend games. I have depended on him, just as he has depended on me. A rivalry sure, pure hatred, I just have better things to be concerned about. Most all of the junk I read on here from Tech I take with a grain of salt, so should be my comments regarding the Institute.

With that said, when do we order the Turner Field commerative 7-5 rings?

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 13th, 2009
6:32 pm

I can only comment a couple more times, cause mommy’s gonna call me when my mac&cheese is ready so I can watch more “Anime Porn” YAAAY.

You UGA fans better watch out when I get my robot built. I’m gonna send the design to Paul Johnson then he’ll make a whole team of cyborgs. Then we’ll beat UGA every year!! HEHE snort snort.

“OK Mom I’m coming” !!!!!

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 13th, 2009
6:49 pm

BILL BILL BILL 12? let us count. 42, 46 split with UT, 48, 59, 66 split with BAMA, 68, 76 split UK, 80, 81 split with BAMA,82, 02, 05 so that is 12 but 4 split championships so that is 8 or do you count Ga. Tech’s 1990 National Championship Real, after the Buffs had 5 downs to get a fake TD? Let us split hairs equally. agree?

Phoneguy

May 13th, 2009
7:02 pm

I live near Tennessee/Georgia line, and trust me, Vols fans are obnoxious. I LOVE when the Dawgs beat em’.

Saint Simons

May 13th, 2009
8:29 pm

45-42!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Cuz

May 13th, 2009
9:26 pm

7-5!!!!!hahahahahahahahahahahahh!!!!!!!

You know you give the Island a bad name. Next time I am on the Island I am going to drag you down Mallery. Stop in Brogens and have a beer. Drag you through the park. Let you play on the swing sets. Drag you down the pier and drop you in the Channel. I’ll make sure it is a Saturday so you can count it as your bath.

Maddog

May 13th, 2009
11:43 pm

RAMBLESteveKneejerkONSuperior – so you’re able to get more tickets to the UGA game? LOL!! What a load of crap. Wait a minute – maybe you’re right. The interest in GT football IS kind of low so I guess there will be extra tickets to purchase for your big in state rival – probably right up to game day. Especially considering that sardine can you call a stadium.

Saint Simons

May 14th, 2009
9:03 am

Brogens!!!! gay bar!!!!!!!! hahahahahhahahahaahhahhhaaha

Cuz

May 14th, 2009
10:19 am

Well those gays must swing both ways. The girl I was with was flaunting all she had, and she had plenty. Nice to know you are up for a bath though. You stink up the blogs.

Saint Simons

May 14th, 2009
10:29 am

cuz you thought he was a girl!! hahahahahahahhahahahahaahahaha

Rock Conner

May 16th, 2009
10:49 pm

I know rivalries. The first high school football games I attended were in Pensacola, where hate of the other team is both family value and church doctrine. Then I attended football games to watch my sister march in the band representing a certain winning high school in the lovely burg of Valdosta. I lived in Los Angeles where the roots of all evil were the baseball team from San Francisco, the basketballers from Milwaukee, & the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. I played high school football in Alabama, where no matter your affiliation, the phrases “Roll Tide” and “War Damn Eagle” cranked up invoked fight or flight responses among the natives. I attended LSU, where we celebrated the annual Tulane University football slaughter by stealing that New Orleans university’s marble main gate sign & by selling “Tuck Fulane” bumper stickers.

I know sports rivalries as well as anyone, and I say that the mild interactions between UGA & Tech in all sports are schedule fillers, not hate filled rivalries. Where’s the animus, the vitriol? Why don’t bail bondsmen advertise fraternity specials for the weekend of the football game? Why don’t the referees have struggle to regain order when the team captains begin the violence at the coin toss rather than waiting for the kickoff? Why don’t bars have to identify themselves as gathering places for Dawg or Jacket fans, lest the supporters mix & tear up the place worse than Miss Kitty’s Longbranch on payday?

None of these things happen because UGA & Tech are two schools that play because of proximity & obligation, not because of rivalry or passion. There’s no harm in trying to foster rivalry, and I hope it catches on, but at this time it does not exist.