How could game day in Athens be improved?

Would the Dawg Walk be even greater if more fans could experience it? (AJC staff)

Would the Dawg Walk be even greater if more fans could experience it? (AJC staff)

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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282 comments Add your comment

TuckDAWG

May 26th, 2010
11:19 am

TuckDAWG

May 26th, 2010
11:19 am

good article ppl need to stop ruining tailgating for the rest of us

1eyedJack

May 26th, 2010
11:20 am

Winning would be the game day tradition first on my list.

Dawg Tired

May 26th, 2010
11:23 am

I’m with 1eyedJack on this one. Win the damn game!

1eyedJack

May 26th, 2010
11:24 am

Maybe we could hire some Grandma’s with switches to hang out in the tailgating area and give them folks some “home training”.

Matthew 6:1

May 26th, 2010
11:33 am

Start by getting Tebow’s picture off of the UGA page.

NC Dawg

May 26th, 2010
11:38 am

I think it would be cool to play an edited version of James Brown’s “Get Up” during the Dawg Walk. It has a tendency to make you get excited and might do the same for the Dawgs.

UGA Student

May 26th, 2010
11:50 am

Get the dawg walk to go through the open area between the SLC and the new Tate center where there is plenty of space

11Dawg

May 26th, 2010
11:52 am

Last year, they were going to try moving the Dawg Walk to the area between the SLC and Tate II, but the logistics of getting the team and Redcoats to the stadium from there killed the idea.

258DAWG

May 26th, 2010
11:52 am

having the ability to go visit a few recent crystal balls would be #1 on my list. Hopefully we can start this next season!!

GO DAWGS!

RanDawg

May 26th, 2010
11:56 am

-This is not a “tradition” item,but the game experience would be much better if we had a fired-up,active announcer at the stadium during the game to get people fired up like they do at other stadiums….This would also make it a place the other teams don’t look forward to playing in.Actually telling people to “stand up–On your feet” for 4th and short would be much better than flashing it on the scoreboard…

Brian Scott

May 26th, 2010
11:56 am

The players’ entrance into the stadium could definitely be improved. Watch youtube videos of other teams’ entrances. Virginia Tech runs out to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” Clemson runs down the hill, Auburn runs out throw the interlocking “AU” and smoke, Tennessee runs out through the “parting T.” UGA’s videos are good, but the video finishes before the team runs out and the band plays. The Team needs to sync a run-out with the video at its climax…

Depends on who is actually tailgating or trashing

May 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

My first experience tailgating at UGA was in the mid 60s. For many, many years it was a staid, but relaxing and fun time. In the 80s, the rr tracks crowd brought forth a new style. They were the ones that threw trash out on the streets, and all over that end of the stadium. I suspect that 96% of them were local thugs ……….just getting drunk in a setting of college football.

When we attend a game, our SUV is always full of large trash bags that we use up and we actually take them BACK to our home in Atlanta.

I suspect that most of the trash leaving crowd are locals teens, red necks and folks looking to simply get drunk in public. I have never seen any trashiness when I was parked and eating burgers and sipping adult bevs in and around UGA.

Usually, a few RUIN IT for the bulk of the folks that do nothing but enjoy the Athens scenery.

Go Dogs

Phil C

May 26th, 2010
12:10 pm

Honestly, I think the pre-4th quarter “4 Finger Wave” is pretty weak and needs an overhaul. I love the music to Krypton Fanfare and Glory Glory, but this (3rd-4th quarter transition) is NOT the time to showcase either. The “wave” looks OK, but generally, the whole experience is quiet and uninspiring. If UGA is losing, the 4-finger wave does not change the mood of the stadium. Sometimes, it is even drowned out by whatever song n’ dance the visiting team is doing (especially in JAX).

Think about some of our main rivals — Tech has the Budweiser Song, UT has “Rocky Top”, Florida has that drunken sailor thing, etc.. I hate all of them, but they do a tremendous job to amp up their crowd and produce some sustained noise. Similar concept as “Sweet Caroline” at RedSox games or crazy techno crap played at European soccer matches.

Our problem is that the Redcoat Band doesn’t have a song that the entire stadium will loudly sing or cheer along with. Glory, Glory — while a tremendous fight song — gets played (in part or full) several times each quarter, and it doesn’t get a high participation rate of audible fan participation at any point. You can always bet on a few loud voices during the “And to hell with [team]” part, but that’s about it. Hence, it is NOT what we should be playing at the start of the 4th quarter (at least by itself).

Ideally, we would have something unique that ONLY gets played during the lead-up to the 4th quarter AND requires some sort of singing / synchronized cheering from the crowd. Admittedly, this kind of tradition can be difficult to start, but after several games it would make a big difference in stadium feel during the early 4th quarter. My 2 cents.

Doug

May 26th, 2010
12:12 pm

Spike

May 26th, 2010
12:13 pm

Give us better parking. I drive all the way from Florida to go to a game and cannot find suitable parking. I know this is a little off topic, but the parking problem is disgraceful.

murfdawg

May 26th, 2010
12:14 pm

1. NO MORE NIGHT GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

lance

May 26th, 2010
12:16 pm

Want to improve — Just WIN home games!

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:19 pm

2. Rent more portable toilets.

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:20 pm

3. Hire a clean up company to come in Sunday morning.

mikie g.

May 26th, 2010
12:22 pm

take florida’s qb’s picture off our Georgia site

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:22 pm

4. Instead of putting students in jail for underage drinking, jaywalking and other harmless misdemeanors, make the students show up Sunday morning and pick up trash for 4 hours. I think this type of life lesson would be more beneficial than calling daddy for $150.

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:24 pm

5. Have the service fraternities collect all the glass and aluminum, sell them and give the money to charity.

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:25 pm

6. Get rid of Michael Adams.

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:26 pm

7. Did I mention NO MORE NIGHT GAMES?

solutionDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:29 pm

I apologize for posting these one at a time. But I kept getting kicked out, until I figured out a way to mention portable toilets. And not using the F word and Michael Adams in the same sentence.

Dawgingatorville

May 26th, 2010
12:30 pm

The lone trumpitor has my vote.. In fact, they should delay the Munson video about 10 more seconds to allow the trumpit to be heard better.
And I will go a step further and say they put a microphone in front of him because if your near the student section you can not hear him.
That is the best tradition in college football. the ramblin wreck does not even rank!!

The Sham

May 26th, 2010
12:31 pm

I THOUGHT I’D BE CLEVER AND SAY THE BEST TRADITION WOULD BE TO “WIN” AND LET THE REST SPEAK FOR ITSELF. OBVIOUSLY OTHERS BEAT ME TO IT – BUT I CONCUR.

I’D LIKE TO THINK WE ARE ABOVE A SILLY GIMMICK LIKE SOULYA BOY’S SONG BUT I CAN’T REALLY THINK OF SOMETHING AS MEMORABLE AS THAT IN RECENT YEARS. THE LAST FEW YEARS SINCE HAVE BEEN LESS THAN EXCITING TO SAY THE LEAST. CRANK THAT (OR WHATER IT’S CALLED) WAS REALLY INTOXICATING (MINUS THE SEXUAL CONNOTATIONS) AND IT SERVED THE PURPOSE. PERHAPS THERE’S A MORE TRADITIONAL OR FAMILY FRIENDLY FIRE’M UP SONG THAT CAN BE USED?

OTHER THAN THAT – JUST WIN BABY!

DawginLex

May 26th, 2010
12:33 pm

8.) NEVER LOSE AT HOME

The Sham

May 26th, 2010
12:33 pm

OH AN PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – DROP THE UNIFORM CHANGES! THE PANTS AND HELMETS WERE ATTROCIOUS LAST YEAR AND THE BLACK JERSEY HAS BEEN OVERPLAYED!

RedPantsDawg

May 26th, 2010
12:40 pm

How about just winning the damn home games?

Jay Walker

May 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

I would like to see an area where vendors could set up tents to sell t-shirts etc in one location. Keep kids caught being naughty in jail and they can police the area on Sunday with a hangover.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

May 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

I got a good one; try holding serve at home against the likes of Vandy and Kentucky!

GoGators!

May 26th, 2010
12:54 pm

Start a new tradition, beat the GATORS!

win the game

May 26th, 2010
12:56 pm

bill, i think we have a winner…..nice segway into the beginning of your summer “top ten” lists.
i have a list of my own…potential top ten list articles for your summer………

1. top ten ways we could find our beloved college president another job.
2. top ten dumbest play calls by mike bobo. (#1 – passing on 3rd and short vs. tech with the game on the line and over 300 yards rushing.)
3. top ten dumbest posts by UGA rivals on your blog.
4. top ten best comebacks to the top ten dumbest posts.
5. top ten dumbest posts by UGA fans.
6. top ten roadtrip stories (have some other people write their best stories and post the winner….this way you could let other people write and just take it easy.)
7. top ten rivalry game stories (see #6)
8. top ten best watering holes in SEC cities (again…#6)
9. top ten best places to eat while following the Dawgs.
10. top ten WLOCP stories.

DawgSinceBirth

May 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

murphdawg: You must be over 50 and/or live in south Georgia….”no more night games!” You, as others have, put themselves ABOVE the program….NIGHT GAME ATMOSPHERES ARE UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! Come up with something better than that….Night games are BENEFICIAL to the Dawgs!!!! THEY the players representing our beloved school) are why we are there! Please give your tickets to someone else if you don’t want to come to night games….SICKENING!!!!

WonderDawg

May 26th, 2010
1:04 pm

“How could game day in Athens be improved?”

If Mike Bobo was calling plays in another city . . .

Class of '68

May 26th, 2010
1:05 pm

Too bad most of the old frat houses on Lumpkin Street are gone. How many remember the electric atmosphere at the ATO and Kappa Sig houses after a victory? Now, that was tradition.

devildawg

May 26th, 2010
1:07 pm

I love the solo trumpeter, but how long does something have to be done before it becomes “tradition”? I was in Redcoats for four years, and won the Sudler Trophy during my time there. They award that to the best college band program in the nation. But the trumpeter in the corner of the stadium is only 10 years old, so its not the most hallowed of traditions. I think the lone trumpeter on the bridge during pre-game, now known as the Dawg Walk, is a way older and cooler tradition. And the trumpet solo is short and Larry doesn’t cover it up, its over by then. Krypton Fanfare is cool for pregame, but for the 4th quarter, your right, its not that cool. LSU blows me away with the fan participation in band songs. But you have to have fans and a student section that are wanting to participate, and I don’t think we have that. The fans at UGA games just don’t get into that stuff as much as other fans do. Trust me, I watched it every game for four years. When fans don’t care that their band was named best in the nation, that says something.

MauiDawg

May 26th, 2010
1:12 pm

I always thought they should start the Dawg Walk on Baxter or Lumpkin and keep going through the Tate parking lot. They already have that section closed off and the bus could pull right up. Gives the fans and players more time to experience it.

jw

May 26th, 2010
1:13 pm

Get those old 80’s bulldog songs back on juicing up the pregame and game time festivities – can’t tell me they wouldn’t help a little – plus it would give the new dawg fans a taste of the old dawg way of life – might make the team fight and protect their turf a little bit better – don’t think this breed of athlete understands that NO ONE should come into your house and win – NO ONE!!!!!!!!! The transition from the BC (being champions) calendar to the AD (after Dooley) calendar isn’t going too well right now – need some hunker down and fight from the team!

Bill Fan

May 26th, 2010
1:14 pm

I don’t have a specific idea here, but I do know that UGA has one of the college fb programs in the country, so any changes need to be carefully considered. Avoid the silly and tacky and remember this is a big-time college team that ranks with OSU, USC, AL and other powers

Frank Lane

May 26th, 2010
1:15 pm

I think the dogs should come into the stadium to the music, “Let the dogs out.”

pcidoc

May 26th, 2010
1:16 pm

The perfect song/cheer
is for the redcoat band to play and the fans to sing “Who let the dogs out? Who ,Who Who Who!!!!
This would be an electric and intimidating feature that would get Sanford Stadium ROCKING!!!!

pcidoc

May 26th, 2010
1:17 pm

Sorry, Frank. Great minds think alike.

read n black

May 26th, 2010
1:19 pm

I did not read all of the post here so hopefully others have posted this and I am not the only person to see it. I don’t necessarily call this a “tradition” but it could become one in some form or another. As much as I enjoy the thrill of hearing the Redcoats perform the tradition Georgia ‘melodies’, I would love to see us become more “updated” in our selection of tunes/songs/etc. Our band does not play anything really inspirational or to generate enthusiasm with the fans. We hear the same songs every year, over and over, with nothing new. It is a disgrace to see GA Tech’s band, primarily made up on non-students, perform things like “I put on” (in our stadium) and “Zombie Nation.” We play nothing energetic or recent. I would also like to see more song clips during the game that energize the players and fans alike, much like we did while Moreno was here. I feel we have gotten away from that in the past couple of years.

jaxdawg

May 26th, 2010
1:24 pm

I vote for solution #4 about the drinking tickets. Make them clean it up as punishment, they are probably the ones that created the problems in the first place.

Rebo

May 26th, 2010
1:32 pm

Let’s face it: Sanford is a dive. If it weren’t for the fact that the Dawgs play there, it would be a crummy fan experience. From the aluminum bleachers that require you to fight for butt space during crowded games (this is the only reason I buy the seatback thingies – to mark my territory) to the crappy concessions, it’s pretty obvious the fan is an after thought. I don’t know how many times I have been in line to buy stale popcorn, wishing the old TV above the concession stand was actually working so I could see the game. Also, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to get cash BEFORE you go into the stadium as the odds of finding one of the few ATM’s in working condition are pretty slim. For the first game of last season, they had ONE working ATM which of course had a nasty line. How does this happen on opening day?? So how would I improve the fan experience? I would find someone else to run the facilities.

RxDawg

May 26th, 2010
1:38 pm

DawgFan

May 26th, 2010
1:39 pm

Negative on the “Who Let the Dogs Out” pcidoc and Frank Lane. Great song…but gets annoying FAST. After the first couple games, it would only make the crowd angry and therefore, you still get no participation. I think a song more along the lines of “Back in Black”…or “Enter Sandman” would get a better response over time for the team’s run onto the field.
I also agree that we need a special tune or cheer or SOMETHING for 4th Q. Krypton is fun, but overplayed.