Game-day traditions are a big part of college football. Even though fans of rival schools like to trade trash talk about each others’ traditions, there’s an overall appeal to the colorful spectacle and sometimes heart-pumping excitement of the various rituals. You don’t have to be a fan of Ohio State to appreciate their band’s dotting of the “i” or the many quirky traditions of Texas A&M.
The Sporting News’ Dave Curtis and Matt Hayes have each listed their top 10 game-day traditions, and UGA mascot Uga placed high on Hayes’ list, coming in at No. 2 behind the Saturday night atmosphere at Death Valley in Baton Rouge.
I must admit, I never really thought of Uga as a game-day tradition — more like a 365-days-a-year tradition — but I can see how a visitor to Sanford Stadium would come away most impressed with what many outside the Bulldog Nation consider the best mascot in college football.
We discussed UGA game-day traditions last summer, and I noted out of the many things I get a kick out of on fall Saturdays in Athens — from the kids waving at the team buses rolling by on Lumpkin to the ringing of the chapel bell after a win — my particular favorites are the Dogs walking toward the east end zone while the Redcoats play “Krypton Fanfare” during the warm-ups, and, most of all, the spine-tingling solo from the trumpeter in the southwest corner of the upper level stands before kickoff.
At the time, I asked in a poll what your favorite game-day tradition was, and the solo trumpeter finished first, with 49 percent of the votes, followed by the Larry Munson pre-game video, the team’s Dawg Walk, ringing the chapel bell and the Krypton Fanfare.
Ah, yes. Just thinking about all of that has me hankering for September.
Of course, that doesn’t mean some game-day traditions in Athens couldn’t stand some tweaking.
The one that immediately comes to mind is tailgating, which has become an increasingly troubled proposition in recent years and stands to get even hairier, pardon the pun, this season with the severe limitations on when and how and with what fans can set up on the North Campus quads. It’s unfortunate, but the pig sty that fans were turning the campus into pretty much has quashed attempts to have a tailgating atmosphere along the lines of the Grove at Ole Miss. I’m not sure what the solution is there, but I have a feeling making folks pay to tailgate in the quads might be where we’re headed.
And as I noted last year, the problematic physical layout and very limited sight lines of the Dawg Walk in the Tate Center parking lot keep it from being a must for many fans. I realize the coaches probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about a lengthy walk for the team on its way to the stadium, but if there was a way to have the Dawg Walk wind through a more open area of the campus than that rather cramped parking lot, I’m sure many more fans would enjoy the chance to see the players up close before a game.
Got any ideas along those lines or concerning improving tailgating? Or are there any other game-day traditions you think could be improved? Anything new you’d like to see established as a tradition in Athens? Is there something you’d like the Redcoats to add to their game routine? Feel free to share your ideas. …
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