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

Kelsey

May 10th, 2010
3:09 pm

Which Herschel? The one who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated 9 times.

RED DOG 77

May 10th, 2010
10:47 pm

“BuLLdawg ” aka “Little Miss Debbie Downer ” aka “YeLLow JackET “…………P O RED DOG 77 ?…………….I’ve been called alot of things in my day, Mr. ” BuLLdawg “………But never, George……………George ? Which planet were you on when you thought that one up ?…….It would seem this George dude you refer to [ not reefer, by the way ]……….is yet another University of Georgia football fan or grad that just simply doesn’t like you………Gee ?…….Wonder why ?

RED DOG 77

May 10th, 2010
10:58 pm

Oh, and by the way, Mr. ” BuLLdawg ” I officially challenge you to a debate [ subject: CMR ] When we are 5-0 going into the UT week……….wanna know from you how bad you think UT is gonna whip us in Athens………Until then, I’ll probubly be hiding behind my keyboard, like a coward, as you say………….Regards, RED

Vol Fan

May 10th, 2010
11:13 pm

Sure the championship was tainted.. but no one was hurt by it. Yall’s chumpionship carries the tattered remains of Jan Kemp’s career. Cheatin’ is wrong, but trying to destroy someone is evil.

Still no one has any theories yet on why yall’s kids are yuppie nerds? They are going soft I tell you, when you see the lack of support. Jeez and it was a charity event too! How many $$$ did they cost CHOA ’cause they didn’t want to come out to support their team like past years.

If you don’t fix it it is going to get worse.

Keith Folds

May 11th, 2010
1:44 am

I was at all except the flea-flicker game and I saw that on TV.

AltamahaDawg

May 11th, 2010
8:50 am

Vol Fan, the Jan Kemp episode had ZERO to do with cheating. A HR blunder no doubt. Who was accused of cheating on anything? To “cheat” there needs to be some “rule” broken. If UGA was cheating, so was everybody else. At least that was the NCAA take on it.

If anybody got destroyed it was Fred Davidson of his own making.

As for Ms. Kemp, it’s too bad she had to give up her promising career as an obscure remedial English teacher to bear the burden of noteriety and cash.

Ron Mexico

May 11th, 2010
9:09 am

Hey GT Fan, – Done, considering we bulldawgs don’t care what Tech does anyway lol.

Probably the reason Hershel left college early

May 11th, 2010
9:16 am

Altamaha the jury found that the

Altamaha if that isnt cheating then what is? Of course passing a remedial reading course is too much to ask for, especially at the home of the humpers.

Jan Kemp (1949 – December 4, 2008) was an American academic and English tutor who exposed the bias in passing college football players and filed a lawsuit against the University of Georgia began teaching at the University of Georgia in 1978. In 1981 Kemp was one of the teachers who complained claiming that Georgia officials had intervened allowing nine college football players to pass the remedial English course, allowing them to play against Pittsburgh in the Sugar Bowl.

RaleighDawg

May 11th, 2010
9:46 am

I’ve told people thru the years that the loudest place I’ve ever been in was Sanford in 1976 when UGA scored on Bama just before the half. The place just exploded in noise. I remember parking about two miles away, getting out of my car, and hearing, what I soon found out to be, the crowd. Never felt that type of ‘charge’ before or since. Thanks for the reminder.

Bill King

May 11th, 2010
3:56 pm

Bamafan:

The “special night” I was referring to was the celebration after the game. It was wild in Athens and they had to close some streets.

AltamahaDawg

May 11th, 2010
4:02 pm

Found what? finish
I dont even really need to know what you found in wikapedia.
I know what the case was about.
Cheating implies that rules were broken that existed at the time. Did Bear cheat by having more than 80 kids on scholarship? That is the rule now now.

BTW if a “jury found” anything , I assume you mean in her wrongfull termination case, which is what went to trial. There was no jury on her claims of bias. I don’t think anybody actually disputed that there was.

Bill King

May 11th, 2010
4:06 pm

GCB:

The David Jacobs introduction was indeed a special moment at Sanford Stadium. Thanks for the memory.

Vol Fan

May 12th, 2010
12:06 am

That sugar bowl wasn’t the only game that players cheated there way into. The program had been rotten for years.

James T. Kirk

May 13th, 2010
8:38 am

The best moment was when our classy, intelligent, actual “student” athletes destroyed your weeds after we destroyed your rec football team a couple of years ago.

fwiw

May 13th, 2010
10:20 am

Favorite memory…

Seeing Jan Kemp sack UGA team by the final score:

Jan Kemp: $1.6 Million
UGA: 0

THAT, was a thing of beauty.

George

May 14th, 2010
1:33 pm

bamafan, Bill doesn’t wish to admit he was wrong. A “very special night” in the context that he used it, certainly implied the game was at night. I think any reasonable person would assume that.

GaDawg

May 16th, 2010
9:40 am

One play I have never forgotten was against South Carolina in 1967. Quarterback Kirby Moore ran, what I like to call, a QB sneak, from his own 13 yard line. He went untouched 87 yards for a TD. It caught the SC defense totally off guard. I still chuckle every time I think about that play!

GaDawg

May 16th, 2010
10:04 am

One more before I go. That same season, 1967, Spike Jones made a punt against Auburn that was officially credited for 87 yards. Standing in punt formation just inside his own goal line, his foot made contact with the ball at his own two yard line. The Auburn return man, who finally caught up to the ball, was tackled at the two yard line at the opposite end of the field. The ball actually traveled 96 yards That was one hell of a punt; one I’ll never forget!!!