It’s a given that Georgia fans hate to see the Dogs lose to Georgia Tech.
They are, after all, our in-state rival, and you always hate to lose such a game. But aside from bragging rights, UGA fans don’t attach nearly as much significance to the rivalry as do the folks from North Avenue.
We also hate to lose to Florida, Auburn or Tennessee. In fact, the Florida rivalry has a pretty strong claim to being the biggest one in the eyes of Bulldogs fans.
Whereas with the Techies, there’s no question at all who ranks No. 1 in their thoughts 365 days a year: Georgia.
It’s an obsession at Tech. I understand they indoctrinate incoming students at orientation with the importance of hating the school in Athens. They have “to hell with Georgia” in the official lyrics of their fight song. (UGA’s fight song makes no mention of Tech, and even the unofficial version sporting a “to hell with …” line sung by the student section substitutes whoever the Dogs are playing that week.)
Tech puts fans in the stands up on the Grant Field scoreboard video screen during a game to recite their mantra, “to hell with Georgia.” They put Bulldog stickers in some of the urinals at Grant Field. First thing Paul Johnson did after coming to Tech was declare that beating Georgia would be paramount for his team.
How large do the Dogs loom in the Jackets’ consciousness? They actually engraved the score of last year’s win over Georgia (Tech’s first in eight years) on the rings given to players the end of the season!
The lopsided nature of the results in football over the past four decades have also ingrained an insecurity in Tech fandom that even Johnson taking the Jackets back into the Top 10 can’t erase. Amid the usual trash talking this week in comments posted by Tech fans on Georgia blogs have been a surprising number of folks worrying that the Dogs somehow will pull out another win this year, despite the Jackets being the clear favorite.
I think an upset win by Georgia this year is unlikely. The 2009 Dogs are just too deeply flawed. But it could happen. And if it does, Dogs fans will be thrilled and surprised. But it will be just another Georgia win over Tech. The universe restored to its normal order.
If Tech wins, it’ll be just one more disappointment in an ugly season for Georgia fans. But in the Tech world, it will be time to put up a statue or something.
Their hatred of the Dogs is what defines them. After all, you can’t spell Georgia Tech without G-E-O-R-G-I-A!