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

Smack

May 9th, 2010
11:12 am

TN fans write on this blog because there aren’t points taken off for spelling or grammatical errors.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

May 9th, 2010
11:13 am

Dawg98, so you’re implying that you’re one of the players that Coach Goof talked to in his postgame speech? In 1991? Or did it take you 7 years to get your general studies degree?

virginia dog

May 9th, 2010
11:14 am

in 1971 i scored a TD before the UGA / Auburn game. Too bad i was 11 and a member of Athens “Y”. Unfortunately UGA made Pat Sullivan into a Heisman award winner that day and forced the dogs into a brother vs brother Gator bowl.

BuLLdawg

May 9th, 2010
11:14 am

vols have not been ranked better in the Final AP Polls ANY year since 2001.

who cares what their fans say ?

Fulmer out-lived his welcome ?

Fulmer stole the job in the 1st place.

Fulmer was a fatt-butt joke of a coach from the get-go.

Had you not paid Tee Martin, from Alabama, $7,000 in 2 wire-transfers to the 7-11 within 2 weeks of him winning the National Championship, your 1 NC would not be tainted.

As it is, he LIED ABOUT IT FOR 7 YEARS.

Then, talking in the 3rd person, Tee Martin admitted :

“Now, I would NEVER take that $7,000 in the 2 wire-transfers to the 7-11. That was a DIFFERENT Tee Martin back then. Tee Martin is a Christian now, and Tee Martin, today, well I never would have taken that money if it were now.”

Tainted.

I think he thought he come clean about it, thinking I guess that the statute of limitations had run out.

BuLLdawg

May 9th, 2010
11:38 am

vols fan

That was the 1950’s I was talking about the Auburn game. Not the 60’s as you said. And, it was an SEC Championship. We were 10-1 and SEC Championship, back when 10-Win Seasons meant a damn thing.

Know why the Gators NEVER talk about old games ?

Because they LOST them all.

Like the 4th and dumb by Dickey in JAX at the Gator Bowl when we came back and beat Florida.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 9th, 2010
11:52 am

You’re right BuLLdawg. Not much to talk about before 1990. But we’ve got PLENTY to crow about the last 20 years. Wanna discuss some of that?

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 9th, 2010
12:07 pm

Actually, I looked it up, BuLLdawg. Seems since 1950, UF is 34-24-1 against UGA. How far you wanna go back? I think 60 years is long enough!
I will admit to being used to seeing the Dawgs beat the Gators routinely in the 70’s and 80’s when I was growing up in Jacksonville.

Cuz

May 9th, 2010
1:25 pm

I have many great memories in Sanford Stadium. I was there for the Wonderdawgs of 78. The Blunderdawgs of 79 and the Superdawgs of 1980. But my absolute favorite memory is having my daughter Baylie win the AJC Ultimate Fan Contest. The attention and love she got that night is indescribable. Her picture was on the jumbotron right before the game and I just caught a second of it because you could not hear the stadium noises inside the skybox. The entire AJC staff and Bill King were as gracious to us as anyone could ask. Thanks for making my favorite memory the memory of a 13 year old girl whose struggles in life were eclipsed that day. She was on top of the world, and so was her Dad.

Buckhead Bulldog

May 9th, 2010
2:12 pm

My funniest moment/memory(?) of Sanford was when my girlfriend and I were so bourboned out at a UGA/OleMiss game in the late 80’s that we left at halftime. We get home to our apartment, it was still early Sept and warm, so we went to the pool. At the pool, I hear Munson on the radio, and I ask the people who had the radio if that was a replay of the game. They looked at me with a ‘whoa’ look on their faces and said it was the SECOND half. Whoops!

If I’m in Sanford….all is good!!!

yellowjacket82

May 9th, 2010
2:25 pm

I grew up a UGA fan. I remember attending the UGA-Alabama game in 1976. Both teams were undefeated and the Dawgs took the Tide to the woodshed…21-0.

Unfortunately, once I entered GT in 1978 and became a Tech fan, there have not been many favorite moments Between the Hedges.

Dorsey Hill

May 9th, 2010
5:12 pm

The 1991 Clemson game is one of my fondest memories at Sanford. Why it gets overlooked, I’ll never know. Clemson was #6 in the country and we hadn’t beaten Clemson since 1985 having lost 2 close ones with Coach Dooley and an embarrassing loss at Clemson in 1990 (34-3) under Coach Goff. The series seemingly had begun to be dominated by Clemson.

We were struggling to become relevant again after the Jan Kemp scandal. Tech had won a National Title in 1990 (we went 4-7) and had beaten us twice in a row. We had won 10 games and lost 13 combined in 1989 and 1990.

Zeier was a freshman with great promise and Garrison Hearst and Andre Hastings were Sophomores. We had beaten a not so great LSU team earlier that year and two weeks before the game we lost 10-0 in Tuscaloosa vs. a very good Alabama team, a game in which Zeier had fumbled twice inside the Bama 10. The week prior we had struggled mightliy to put away Cal State Fullerton. Fullerton, whose colors, being very similar to Cedar Shoals High School, inspired our cheerleaders to begin a sarcastic chant of “Beat the hell out of Cedar Shoals, go Dawgs go!” We had shown some life but also some glaring weaknesses and no one gave us a chance to beat Clemson.

Not long before kickoff, the Atlanta Braves had clinched the Western Division championship by beating the Giants. The entire Sanford Stadium crowd was doing the Tomahawk chop and chant, setting the mood for the night.

We whipped Clemson pretty good that night (27-12) sending them off with a long rendition of “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye!!!!” (While its hard to be sure of anything with the BAC that I was carrying I’m relatively sure that I started that chant in the student section and soon the whole stadium was giving Clemson a hearty sendoff.)

I do remember specifically seeing two students running past me through Oconee Hill Cemetary with nothing but thier socks on as I headed back to my apartment. (I think they must have lost a bet.)

In any event it was a great evening at Sanford Stadium and the highlight of the home games I saw as a student. The best part is that Clemson hasn’t won a game in the series since, going 0 for the last 5.

Finally, I do have to say that while I’ve seen great moments and bad at Sanford Stadium, win or lose there’s no place I’d rather be than Sanford Stadium on a fall Saturday with my fellow Dawg fans. In victory or defeat, its my favorite place in the world to be.

Small Johnson

May 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

Great memories for me was beating FL on a consistant basis and a coaching staff who believed they could. Anyone around to remember those days?

Bulldog59

May 9th, 2010
6:49 pm

Too many great football memories to list. Working my way thru school, working nights at UPS, UGA football was a real highlight of my years there. Watching Hershel on Saturdays, is hard to beat.

Sitting in Sanford Stadium in 1983 for my own graduation ranks up there.

My son’s graduation in 2008 rates at the top too. Although he finished a semester early and December commencement is done in Stegeman.

The graduation of my son’s girlfriend, in Sanford Stadium last May, also pretty special. She’s part of the family too.

You are right Bill, it’s not all about football.

BuLLDawg full of crap

May 9th, 2010
6:53 pm

Yeah bobo you just decided to walk in the Georgia licker room aftr Bama game. And grabbed QB’s jersey. LMAO!!! Puppy Dawg fever.

1eyedJack

May 9th, 2010
6:54 pm

There was one helluva party after that ‘76 Bama game too.

Dorsey Hill

May 9th, 2010
7:00 pm

Small Johnson,

Of all of the reasons that we are 3-17 in the last 20 years vs. FL, I’m not sure that anyone has ever suggested the possible causal relationship between the record and the subjective mental condition of the UGA coaching staff. I really hope that Paul Johnson doesn’t start thinking he can beat Georgia. You see the problem with revealing the most incredible football insight that I have ever seen (thanks, btw) is the possibility that some opponent may see your great genuis in print. I can just see the South Carolina coaches going: “Finally we can with the East so long as we think we can.” Hell, who knows maybe Vandy will win a National Championship based on the power of positive thought. Who knew football was so simple that we knew all we needed to know about it when we read “The Little Train That Could” in Kindergarten?

Larry Ballard

May 9th, 2010
7:13 pm

Herschel’s 76 yard run against South Carolina in 1980.

The field goal that beat Tech in Athens in 1976.

Legoland

May 9th, 2010
7:14 pm

This litle stroll down memory lane is all well and good, but…

Now that we’re officially in the off-season, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to take an in-depth look at UGA and have a free-ranging discussion about the problems at UGA and why the arrest rate of players is the highest in the country? it’s common knowledge that UGA is a party school, but have any football players every actually graduated with a real degree? Jan Kemp exposed the school and the coaches almost three decades ago, but there is no sign that anything has improved; if anything, the arrest rate shows that things are getting more outrageous every year while Mark Richt – a decent fellow with no coaching skills – has no clue what to do.

UGA has become a major embarrassment to all Georgians, and we want some answers starting now.

North Avenue

May 9th, 2010
7:18 pm

2008 – UGA begins the season ranked #1 in the country, ends the season #2 in the state of Georgia in one of the most humiliating collapses in collegiate history.

Hunk

May 9th, 2010
7:34 pm

Yeap–2008 was the same year UGA was #1 and Bama schooled Mo-Reno and Georgia. Lead 30-0 at half and the stadium was mostly empty except for Bama fans by the 4th Qtr. Georgia fans jizzed on themselves during the week leading to game. But it looked like a real funeral. Richt and his puppy dawgs got schooled on being ready when the whitsle blows and not during pre-week festivities. Lets see if Georgia pulls that black jersey crap again. Doubtful.

Dorsey Hill

May 9th, 2010
7:42 pm

Legoland,

Does Terry Hoage’s degree in Genetics with a 3.9 count? He was also a Rhodes Scholar. Do some research before you show that you are a bigger idiot that our dumbest football player.

AltamahaDawg

May 9th, 2010
8:32 pm

Wow, did hell freeze over? I can’t believe BuLLdawg actually shared a human moment about being a Dawg fan. And it didn’t even involve him braggin about Booing somebody.

George

May 9th, 2010
8:48 pm

Bulldawg…I was there, sitting in the upper deck on the north side. Someone stole the Bear’s hat immediately after the game. The city went nuts that night, but it was after a day game.

Vol Fan

May 9th, 2010
9:22 pm

I am back guys… Nice sweep at Foley today… I think we outscored you by more than 30 over the weekend… what was the last weekend yall won a series? who was it against?

AltamahaDawg

May 9th, 2010
9:44 pm

Legoland, I don’t care what they say about you. Anybody that carries 10 million proxies has got to be very important.

Vol Fan

May 9th, 2010
10:09 pm

Why am I here?
1. I live in GA.
2. I read the AJC… Barnhart rocks by the way. Good product of yall’s school.
3. We had a series against you that just concluded. Just talkin smack. Perhaps yall don’t like it when the opponent talks smack during the game(s). Makes sense… yall are quiet when you’re losin’.

Vol Fan

May 9th, 2010
10:10 pm

What happened to the pride of the 80’s? Yall just ain’t the same.

Dawg98

May 9th, 2010
10:44 pm

Diamond Dog’s Parole Officer,

The fun we had unleashing a year’s worth of payback on Clemson in ‘91 pales in comparison to the fun we had with your mom at the post-game celebration at MacWhorter Hall. How ‘Bout THAT Dawg!

Vol Fan

May 9th, 2010
10:51 pm

Now that I’ve got some of yall’s attention today. I got a serious question for yall and there aren’t any blogs for this.

I have hired UGA graduates just out of school since the 80’s for sales positions and yall have been good to me. But yall have changed over time and it has concerned me. Yall have gotten a little less country and become a little nerdy. Sales numbers and learning curve just not the same as before. About 2000 I started experimenting with Tech and that was a mistake. Just as nerdy, but they left too soon for other employers before I could make a buck after training them. But hey their business school was rising so I gave it a chance. Never again. I thought maybe it was a generational thing, but then I started giving Georgia Southern a chance about three years ago. I’ll be darned, they seemed just like the UGA kids of the late 80’s and early 90’s. A little more country and a bit more common sense.

Then I saw two things this year that just left me slack jawed. 1) The Can’tucky game. Yall had a chance to tie the game and the students were leaving… on national TV.

2) Turner field baseball game. I love baseball as you can tell. I go to that game every year. Good SEC/ACC matchup. But this year Tech matched yall in attendance. Once the families started to leave when yall were still winning… there were only Tech fans and students to boot. Then it dawned on me… the UGA kids didn’t show up like they had in years past.

What the hell is up with these yuppy nerds? Yall are going soft!

I don’t know if its the Hope scholarship, Damon Evans, or CMR, but yall just ain’t the same Dawgs of the 80’s.

Any theories?

RED DOG 77

May 9th, 2010
11:59 pm

The happiest University of Georgia Football moment, acually lasted it seemed, oh, about one, no two, mabe three weeks, when I didn’t see a single post from “Little Miss Debbie Downer” aka………….”YeLLow JackET ” aka………. ” BuLLdawg “………………Now those were indeed, “The Good Ol’ Days “

RED DOG 77

May 10th, 2010
12:07 am

Oh ” BuLLdawg “………….I’m hiding behind my keyboard, like a coward, as you say….Betcha can’t find me…………You must be eatin alot of those Varsity hotdogs, and rangs………cause thats an awful lot of gas you been posting today…….er….yesterday, bye now !

BuLLdawg

May 10th, 2010
1:27 am

P.O. RED DOG 77

George, get over yourself. Go back read it again and tell me where I said the game was played at night.

Cuz

May 10th, 2010
3:55 am

One of my all time favorite moments.

http://blogs.ajc.com/junkyard-blawg/?s=baylie+symms

thanks Bill.

Bulldog59

May 10th, 2010
6:48 am

Vol Fan, you’re asking UGA about pride? Really?

UT hired P.T. Barnum to run the football program and he left it in shambles, in the middle of the night by the way, stating his famous line, “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

It sank so low, UT couldn’t coax any big name coach to take the job now, even with all their millions to throw at him.

Dawg Fans will have another favorite moment coming this season when DD and the Vols come to Sanford.

Hopefully you have some favorite moments of your own from Neyland, b/c you won’t get any new ones for the next 2-3 years. 7-6, get used to it. DD is in way over his head right now.

hank

May 10th, 2010
8:27 am

No doubt the 1977 homecoming game. As I recall, the Dawgs lost to Kentucky 33-0. Still, the Prince Charles/James Brown thing was cool. When the Prince was introduced, the students on the bridge unfurled a banner that said “Prince Charles Does It Dawg Style”. Now that was funny.

AltamahaDawg

May 10th, 2010
10:08 am

Are you sure that you didn’t really go to that game, then later when it turned out to be a good game, you blew your top telling everybody not to get on that bandwagon, you and only you had been to the game “all along”? I’m just saying.

mhk52

May 10th, 2010
10:32 am

My first game at Sanford in 1999 when UGA beat LSU 23-22 when Witherspoon knocked away a two-point conversion with no time left on the clock.

Lowest point was a few weeks later when Auburn spanked us 38-21 when UGA’s defense made Ben Leard and Ronnie Daniels look like Montana and Rice

Some other good ones…LSU 2004 when all the Tiger fans began pouring out of the stadium in the second half. Boise 2005 when DJ got his first start. Sanford was rockin when they announced the starting lineup that night.

Bud Kilmer

May 10th, 2010
10:41 am

Stick to the basics!

How2fish

May 10th, 2010
10:43 am

Sitting on the tracks watching the 76 game vs Bama..next season sneaking in the empty stadium with Becky Williams to this day I have no idea how we managed that..still a great non football memory for sure…watching a bunch of buddies from UT get off their rented bus prior to the 2000 game in Athens UT had won I think 10 in a row and these clowns were singing the “Oh its great to be a Georgia Bulldog” song as they exited the bus..they were NOT singing after the game..it was glorious! A lot of great memories of games with a departed friend who was as Bull Dawg as they come and who I can’t help but think of every time I walk into the stadium .

bamafan

May 10th, 2010
10:43 am

Come on Bill! When UGA beat Bama 21-0 in 1976, it was daytime not “a special night.” Sanford Stadium didn’t get lights until 1982 or later. If I recall, the opening game of 1982 was an ABC night telecast and UGA had temporary lights installed for that game. Let’s not let our favorite memories change history.

The Ol Bawl Coach

May 10th, 2010
10:46 am

How about October 28, 1995 when I hung 52 on the puppies in historical Sanford Stadium.

How2fish

May 10th, 2010
11:26 am

The Ol Bawl Coach hey visor head…how’s that UGA series working out for you in the new gig?

How2fish

May 10th, 2010
11:29 am

bamafan you are correct it was a day game..but Bill is right also it really was a “special” night in Athens that evening..from what little I remember. I worked in a ATL bar at the time and we closed up and drove to Athens and got on the tracks around daylight I think the kickoff was at 1pm….it was a long day and longer night….man that kind of a party would kill me now!

Kelsey

May 10th, 2010
12:04 pm

My favorite moments happened on the football field. They were the years everybody counted Geogia out of the National Championship race.

1979, Georgia only won 6 games, nobody thought they had a chance to win it all. But they went 12-0 in 1980 with a freshman named Herschel.

2001 & 2006, same story. Both seasons, all the critics jumped ship on Richt and become his naysayers. He proved them wrong both times, rebounding faster than they thought possible to finish in the top 3 in the country in 2002 & 2007.

Georgia loves to play the Underdog. We love it when you count us out.

When Richt starts winning each game by more than 20 points this season, the refs & 100 penalties won’t matter, ESPN’s commentators & bias won’t matter, turnovers won’t matter. If you outscore oppoenents by 20+, those other things don’t matter.

The only thing Richt can control, is not ESPN commentators, not refs, not even turnovers, it’s the scoring margin, and as Florida proved in 2008, and Alabama in 2009, if you win by 20+, you can have a lot of stuff go wrong, and still be the Champ.

bigdawg

May 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

final play against USC last season…beutiful

Kelsey

May 10th, 2010
12:27 pm

A favorite moment was Herschel winning his Heisman.

One thing we havn’t had a while is a Hesiman Trophy winner at Georgia.

Will Aaron Murray, the nation’s top ranked QB, win it this year or next?

Can a WR, even one as good as AJ, win it, if so, what kind of numbers?

Can RB Washaun Ealey win it if Georgia wins the SEC? If so, what kind of numbers?

droopydawg

May 10th, 2010
1:05 pm

I would add the win over UT in Donnan’s last year (the torn-up-hedges game). It was my freshman year at UGA and rushing the field after that victory was great fun.

And despite all the hand-wringing and b**ching by the alumni, the hedges survived.

DawginLex

May 10th, 2010
1:13 pm

My favorite moments in toothless hillbilly wonderland called Neyland include the 3 straight beatings in 2001, 2003 and 2005 with the 2003 41-14 blowout being the best.

Dr. Phil

May 10th, 2010
1:36 pm

Kelsey, which Hershel are you talking about? The Midget will have to improve drastically over his last appearance in Sanford and Son Stadium to even beat South Carolina.

Steve

May 10th, 2010
1:58 pm

“The Ol Bawl Coach hey visor head…how’s that UGA series working out for you in the new gig?”

I took the satisfaction in beating the Dawgs in 2007 which ultimately led to them not being in the SEC Title game, probably a BCS Title Game shot, and perhaps winning a crystal football like their friends the Gators, Vols, Tigers, and Crimson Tide all have.