Favorite moments Between the Hedges don’t just involve football

As proud families of some 4,000 students fill Sanford Stadium again this evening for graduation, it reminds me that for many UGA families, one of their best memories Between the Hedges doesn’t involve football.

Many families have fond memories of graduation day at Sanford Stadium. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Many families have fond memories of graduation day at Sanford Stadium. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

I know that’s certainly the case with me, as my own son walking out onto the field in the procession of graduates in 2007 as we watched from the East end zone seats is one of my favorite moments at Sanford Stadium — even more so than my own graduation there in 1974.

James Brown provided a great UGA memory. (Associated Press)

James Brown provided a great UGA memory. (Associated Press)

Just about all the rest of my Sanford memories do involve football, of course. Here, off the top of my head and in no particular order, are some of those favorite moments I’ve experienced in the stadium. …

The flea-flicker play to beat national champion Alabama in 1965. One of the most unexpected and exciting plays in college football history. The Sanford Stadium crowd was almost as stunned as Bear Bryant and the Tide.

Prince Charles and James Brown in the house. The 1977 Homecoming game was lousy, but the student body chanting “Damn good prince!” for the prince of Wales coming onto the field and then James Brown performing “Dooley’s Junkyard Dogs” at halftime with the Redcoats (with my brother Jon bracing the stage with his back as the Godfather of Soul did those splits) definitely made that day one of the most memorable at the stadium.

The Dawgs bursting out onto the field in those black jerseys against Auburn in 2007. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sanford Stadium crowd more excited.(And yes, Bama fans, we all know your team won the next time the Dogs wore black Between the Hedges. But that’s a subject for your own favorite moments blog.)

Herschel Walker running 65 yards for a touchdown against Georgia Tech in 1980 to break Tony Dorsett’s freshman rushing record. A wonderful way to finish off the regular season in a year that saw the Dogs win the national championship.

Kevin Butler and The Kick in 1984 against Clemson. The Dogs had battled back and with 11 seconds left, the game was tied at 23 and Georgia had the ball at the Clemson 45 when Vince Dooley decided to send his kicker in to attempt a 60-yarder for the win. “Heck, any time we got past the 50, Kevin would stand right in front of me on the sidelines,” Dooley recalled later. “He always wanted to kick the game-winner. What I remember most about that Clemson kick is that he could have made it from 70.”

Herschel Walker sets a record against Tech. (University of Georgia)

Herschel Walker sets a record against Tech. (University of Georgia)

The electric atmosphere at kickoff of the 1976 game against Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide, which the Dogs won 21-0. As I’ve said before, that was the loudest I ever heard Sanford Stadium before they enclosed the East end zone. A very special night.

Matthew Stafford against Auburn in 2007. (Associated Press)

Matthew Stafford against Auburn in 2007. (Associated Press)

Colorado’s Ralphie rumbling onto the field surrounded by his handlers in 2006. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opposing team’s mascot draw the kind of reaction that big bison got. That’s one of the things that makes college football special. Not all the great moments are about scoring or tackling.

The clock ticking down to zero in the 51-7 win over Tech in 2002, popularly known among UGA fans as just “the butt whippin’.” A perfect ending to an SEC championship season.

Buck Belue to Amp Arnold in 1978. The making of a Bulldog Nation folk hero, long before the throw to Lindsay Scott in Jacksonville.

Those are just some of the many moments burned into my memory from more than four decades of spending time at Sanford Stadium.

Feel free to share some of your own favorite moments. …

168 comments Add your comment

Frank

May 8th, 2010
11:55 am

Great memories all, and 1st once again.

Carl Spackler

May 8th, 2010
11:57 am

Reading about Cuz and his daughter last year!

Delbert D.

May 8th, 2010
11:59 am

Pictures of Herschel and Stafford on the same page is an insult to #34.

John

May 8th, 2010
12:13 pm

Nobody cares Frank.

GT Fan

May 8th, 2010
12:58 pm

2008 45-42 nuff said.

Shane

May 8th, 2010
1:02 pm

John Dewberry running thru a hole you could drive a truck thru in 1984 as Tech whupped the mutts 34-18. The all bark-no bite rednecks sitting behind me yelling for me to leave and me turning around and telling ‘em I wasn’t going anywhere. Chickens–t fans throwing ice and cups at me and then not owning up to it.

Shane

May 8th, 2010
1:05 pm

Shawn Jones hitting a long TD pass in the 2nd quarter to add to the lead as rednecks around me called for Ray Goff’s head in 1990. Classy Bobby Ross calls off the dogs in the 2nd half to only win 40-23 on the way to Tech winning the 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!

patrick

May 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

Delbert……… one won a trophy…one got picked first overall in the NFL draft. One made a million dollars a year as a rookie…one made over ten million.

Who is embarrassed?

patrick

May 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

Shane….being at the top of a UPI poll is not a national championship

patrick

May 8th, 2010
1:20 pm

Its akin to being at the top of Readers Digest poll

Frank Lane

May 8th, 2010
1:24 pm

The most electric moment I ever spent there (have been going since 1945), was OLYMPIC Gold Medal soccer match between USA women and China. I am getting goose bumps just writing about it. LARGEST crowd ever for a woman’s sporting event anywhere in the World.

Pago Pago Dawg

May 8th, 2010
1:33 pm

Being in Sanford Stadium watching the USA women win the gold was pretty neat. Also when Fran drew up that td play in the dirt beating Auburn and going to the Orange Bowl, Jan 1.,1960.

Dawg Days

May 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

2002 was a great year……if it wasn’t for those darn Gators we would have played for the title and possibly have a Crystal Football in Athens. Congrats to the Grads, now comes the hard part…….finding a job.

Denver Dawg

May 8th, 2010
1:55 pm

Me throwing ice and cups at Shane in 1984…

Jealous

May 8th, 2010
2:07 pm

You Tech fans crack me up. I especially love when you guys brag about GT’s academic prowess. I’m curious, in what engineering field did Reggie Ball decide to major? Sanitation?

Innocent Bystander

May 8th, 2010
2:09 pm

I was at the ‘65 flea flicker game-the only time I ever saw my father jump up and down. The great ‘76 win over Bama was followed by a terrible and unexpected defeat at the hands of Ole Miss the very next week I think. Just goes to show how deadly overconfidence is in football. One great thing about the upcoming season. I very much doubt we’ll be overconfident.

1eyedJack

May 8th, 2010
2:54 pm

I had the pleasure of being on the 50 yard line at the 1976 game against the Crimson Tide when the dogs whupped up on the highly ranked Hepfalumps during Bear Bryant’s last trip to Sanford Stadium.

phil collinswirth

May 8th, 2010
3:20 pm

The most electric and memorable moment in Sanford Stadium for me was the 1959 Georgia vs Auburn game in which Fran Tarkenton connected with Bill Herron for a touchdown to tie the score at 13, and then Durwood Pennington, “The AUtomatic Toe”, kicked the extra point for the win with less than 30 seconds left on the clock for the win and Georgia’s first SEC crown in over 12 years.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

May 8th, 2010
4:09 pm

1995 UF-UGA game played in Athens…. What a great game!

Jayna

May 8th, 2010
4:35 pm

Nice article, It ceratinly makes you think about special moments at Stanford Stadium and Special times with friends. I remember some times from a viewing point just outside the stadium too, the infamous TRACKS!! Kevin Butler contributed to some of the most exciting Clemson games I can remember, while both teams were competing for NC for a couple of years in the early 80’s, that was a run to remember!

Shane's mother

May 8th, 2010
4:39 pm

Is that where you got all thouse bruises from shanes???? I told you to take off you glasses before you tlak smack to those bulldog boys, You little tech boys got no business on the field with them men anyway!!
34-24 shane……0-2 in bowl games with you special offense hang it up son!!!!!!!

BurningRedBleedingBlack

May 8th, 2010
4:40 pm

Congrats to all in the bulldog who are grads today !!!!

motown hound

May 8th, 2010
4:46 pm

Transferred is as a Junior 1976 and my first GA home game with pint of rum and iced cold coke. Priceless!

Delbert D.

May 8th, 2010
5:00 pm

patrick – Walker, all about “team.” Stafford, spoiled brat.

KornDawg

May 8th, 2010
5:01 pm

I attended my first UGA home game in 2001, so my list of moments is relatively short. The team running on to the field in black jerseys vs. Auburn was incredible, and the absolute whoopin’ the Dawgs put on LSU in 2004 are the two that stand out the most for me. I’ve never had more fun at a game than I did at those two.

Jackson

May 8th, 2010
5:15 pm

Alicia Bridges singing “I love the nightlife –I love to boogie” at homecoming halftime 1983??
or was it Laura Branigan “GLORIA”??… a Big blur

GT Dog

May 8th, 2010
5:16 pm

GT Fan and shane…you’re embarrasing the rest of the Tech people with your childish bs. Grow up, go to the Tech blog and support the team there. Is that hard to understand?

And before the UGA fans get too excited and start agreeing…you guys stay the he11 off the GT blogs.

Delbert D.

May 8th, 2010
5:18 pm

patrick – UPI was the coaches’ poll in 1990. USA/CNN took over the coaches’ poll responsibility in 1991. Page 105 in “the book” is misleading unless one reads the fine print.

Nerd Slayer

May 8th, 2010
5:41 pm

Top 2 moments for me both involve tech. 1. 4th and dumb- I don’t think i ever heard so many of my fellow bulldogs laugh at the same time. The epitome of tech football.

2. 51-7 – Tech fans were leaving early and I even saw one of their fans crying. What a fun time to ring the bell.

Savannahdawg

May 8th, 2010
6:01 pm

Not a bad list. And as a ‘74 grad with a son who graduated in 2005 I unkownigly shared all those moments with you.

Hutson Mason

May 8th, 2010
7:09 pm

I get chills up my spine when another victorious opponent starts ripping out the hedges.I know I will see that many times before my career is over BABY!!!!!

Hutson Mason

May 8th, 2010
7:11 pm

Lets not forget the blackout against Alabama too many stories to tell.

jimmy

May 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

when did shane come out of the closet

Minnesota Dawg

May 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

How about in the early 80’s when Clemson and Georgia were highly ranked. They played a night game and Hershel was hurt with a broken thumb I think. He was questionable about playing. We faked the ball to him and handed it on a reverse to a wide receiver (can’t remember his name) and he scored, only to be called back. Yet, Sanford Stadium errupted.

Scott

May 8th, 2010
7:44 pm

The decoy reverse in the Clemson game was a great call to Tron Jackson.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

May 8th, 2010
7:56 pm

DENVER DAWG, DAMN THAT WAS FUNNY

PUT THEM GAYTORS IN THE DIRT!!

Good times in Sanford

May 8th, 2010
8:05 pm

The year 2000 win against Tennessee when the goalposts came down

Also the 2003 Auburn game when Odell Thurman intercepted an Auburn pass in the endzone and ran it all the way back for the score on the way to a 26-7 whipping

CharlieAlphaBravo

May 8th, 2010
8:08 pm

How about the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team winning gold in the ‘96 Olympics?? It’s not too often you see a crowd of 86,000 or so at a soccer game in Georgia…

Gt man

May 8th, 2010
8:24 pm

Watching Adrain Rucker carry 2 dogs into the endzone in Peppers first year and winning 34-14. Listening to “one” of Dooleys favorite excuses for loosing ” the field was muddy and slick”, and Pepper coming back with ” we both played on the same field”.

Shane

May 8th, 2010
8:25 pm

Watching Goose Godsey and his 5.0 forty yard dash outrun all of Ugag’s “5 star” recruits for a long TD in 2000. Seeing all of those shocked faces going up the aisle at halftime after GT took a 27-3 lead. Funny how they don’t ever bark in my face there, instead looking for some 5 year old kid or woman to bark in the face of.

Albert

May 8th, 2010
8:30 pm

Remembering all those “dawg” fans wanting the “Gators” to come to Athens, between the hedges, and Surrier destroying uga 52-17—–priceless!!!!!

Michael Scharff

May 8th, 2010
9:05 pm

Enter your comments here

Michael Scharff

May 8th, 2010
9:06 pm

Sorry – I didn’t mean to hit “submit” on a blank comment!
Anyway, Scott Woerner against Clemson, 1980!

Barry

May 8th, 2010
9:17 pm

How about Scott Woerner Homer Jordan pass in the end zone and taking it back 98 yards against Clemson in 1980? Or Herschel going the distance against South Carolina, outrunning 3 players having angles on him.

Frank

May 8th, 2010
9:25 pm

I just checked the all time Associated Press National Champions list and did not see gtu listed in any year EVER!!!

THWGT!!!

Dawg stuck in Bham

May 8th, 2010
9:28 pm

Early 80’s…Towards end of the game…me throwing a sugar cube randomly into air…it hitting a Techie in the eye as he left the game….the drunk UGA fans behind me that had imitated Al Ciraldo all game then verbally abusing the Techie as he left…the Techie pulling a knife in the fight….my dad jerking the whole family out to leave the other way..my uncle leaning over and quietly saying, “You know you started that fight”…me thankful that my uncle never told my dad…..a GREAT memory.

Barry

May 8th, 2010
9:38 pm

Enter your comments here

BobDog

May 8th, 2010
10:45 pm

I was there for quite a few of these. My favorite was when Prince Charles walked out from the endzone toward the bridge. As he walked out, some people on the bridge unfurled a banner that said, “Prince Charles Does It Dog Style.”

I agree, the 1976 Alabama game was the most electric I have ever seen Sanford until the black jerseys against Auburn.

FG

May 8th, 2010
11:09 pm

Brad Chambers

Vol Fan

May 8th, 2010
11:24 pm

Forget that past… how about that 25-5 whooping at Foley Field today. Nice graduation present for a nerd school. We are the real redneck school of the SEC! Vandy rejects!