Well, a week from the moment I’m writing this my wife and I will be strolling down Lumpkin Street on our way to Sanford Stadium for the the Dogs’ season opener.
I’ve never understood those folks who are still showing up after the game has started; I like to get to the stadium about an hour before kickoff so I can chat with the other fans who sit around me, soak up the game day atmosphere, watch the players warm up and get on my feet and yell as the Redcoats strike up “Krypton Fanfare” and the team walks toward the east end zone.
A friend asked me yesterday if I still get excited about the first game of the season after all these years and I said that while the prospect of seeing the Dogs play Louisiana-Lafayette might not have me at a fever pitch, the answer is definitely yes.
My pulse still quickens as I turn the corner onto the Sanford Drive bridge and the stadium looms over me. I still get a surge of adrenalin on hearing the first strains of Bulldog music from the Redcoat Band. And when that lone trumpeter gets up in the southwest corner of the upper deck and plays the opening strains of the “Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation,” a chill literally still goes down my spine.
As I wrote five years ago Sunday when the very first Junkyard Blawg post was published, I’m a lifelong Dog, born and raised in Athens, and I don’t remember a time when the Bulldogs weren’t an everyday part of my consciousness.
What a wonderful part of my life UGA has been.
As my brother Jon, a former Redcoat, likes to say, “Once a Dawg, always a Dawg … how sweet it is!”
Steve Spurrier raised a lot of eyebrows with the Gamecocks depth chart released Friday. At quarterback, it said Stephen Garcia OR Connor Shaw, the latter a true freshman. Count me among those who figure the Ball Coach is just playing mind games with Garcia — and, perhaps, with opponents. When the Dogs come to town the second week of the season, I think there’s absolutely no chance they’ll see South Carolina starting a true freshman at quarterback instead of the talented but erratic Garcia. … If you’ve visited Athens since 2003, you’ve seen those colorfully decorated fiberglass bulldogs stationed all around town as part of the We Let the Dawgs Out program sponsored by a local woman’s club. Now The Athens Banner-Herald reports you can bid in an online auction for one of those statues, which you’re welcome to leave sitting on public display or take home for your own as of Oct. 2. About 22 of the 40 statues, including “Caesar Dawgustus,” who sits on College Avenue downtown, are already sponsored and likely will stay where they are, the report says, but others will go up for auction on eBay as of Sept. 18, with proceeds to be donated to AIDS Athens. Of course, before you plan on taking one home and parking it in your front yard, you might want to check with your neighbors. … Speaking of bulldogs, a friend who raises them passes along a gossip update about the search for a new Uga mascot. He says that two different all-white males in the Uga bloodline who are old enough to serve now as mascot have been offered to the university, but Sonny Seiler, who has overseen the mascots since the 1950s, rejected the offers. Seiler reportedly has identified an all-white Uga relation who’s likely to be Uga VIII, but not until midway through the season, meaning interim mascot Russ will reign at least until then. (I still think if he’s undefeated come homecoming, Russ might get to stick around for the whole season.) My friend says that anyone who gets a pup in the Uga line has to sign a contract in which Seiler gets first pick of any all-white male offspring. (No, he doesn’t personally have all the prospective Ugas running around his Savannah home.) There are also restrictions that prevent owners of the dogs from publicizing the fact that they have an Uga relation or from cashing in on that connection. After all these years, Seiler has his territory well marked, it seems.
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