ESPN’s SEC and ACC bloggers had an interesting exchange this week in which they argued the relative merits of UGA and Georgia Tech.
The discussion was prompted by a reader named Tom in Denver who is moving to Atlanta and wanted to be sold on which school he should root for in place of Colorado.
ACC blogger Heather Dinich had the unenviable task of making the case for the Yellow Jackets, and she mainly concentrated on similarities between Tech and CU, like both teams wearing gold and sharing the 1990 national championship, which she noted “is 10 years more recent than the last time the Bulldogs won a national crown.”
Ouch. That’s about the only blow she landed, however.
As for Tech football, her backhanded sales pitch was that “it’s not a bad product on the field. Georgia Tech has played in 14 consecutive bowl games. It’s been 17 years since the Yellow Jackets had a losing record in conference play. And personally, I like Paul Johnson’s offense. It’s unique, it was the best rushing team in the nation last year, and defenses never know when they’re going to get hit with a play of over 20 yards.”
SEC blogger Edward Aschoff made a much more convincing case, but then he had a lot more to work with.
Among the reasons he cited that Tom should switch his allegiance to the Dawgs and not the Jackets was that this year’s team “has the ability to not only win the SEC East but could be a BCS buster for the team that comes out of the West. Following the Bulldogs this year won’t lack excitement, especially with the SEC’s best quarterback in Aaron Murray running the show.”
Also mentioned: SEC coaching dean Mark Richt being “a classy guy,” Uga being “one of the most popular mascots in all of sports,” a rich tradition, playing a game “Between the Hedges,” the annual trip to Jacksonville and “Finally, I think it says everything about the two programs when Bulldogs fans buy Georgia Tech’s season tickets just to get a seat for the Georgia game.”
Good job, Edward. Those are some pretty good reasons to be a Bulldog fan.
But there are many more. In fact, a couple of years ago I wrote a series of blogs listing many of them. So here, in no particular order and compiled together for the first time, are 101 Reasons to be a UGA fan:
1. “It’s Saturday in Athens!”
2. Uga and all his predecessors. The most recognizable — and, as Sports Illustrated said, the best — college mascot in America.
3. “The ball ain’t heavy.”
4. Erk’s bleeding forehead.
5. The Arch.
6. “There goes Herschel.”
7. The most beautiful stadium in college football.
8. The “G” helmet design — even better than Green Bay’s original and the best-looking in all of football.
9. Hines Ward.
10. Silver britches.
11. It’s still “10 to 9″ in Dallas.
12. Ringing the Chapel bell after a victory.
13. David Greene and “70-X-Takeoff.”
14. A favorite headline: “Unbeaten, untied and unbelievable!”
15. North Campus in the spring. Or fall. Or any time, really.
16. How many other teams have a Beatles song named after them (”Hey Bulldog”)?
17. “Run, Lindsay!”
18. We don’t wear orange! Or blue, green, purple or yellow (ugh)!
19. A drive down Milledge Avenue during Pledge Week.
20. “Between the Hedges.”
21. You can’t spell “Sugar” without “UGA.”
22. The electricity in the air when you step on the Sanford Drive bridge before a game.
24. Dan Magill and the loudest tennis crowds in America.
25. Sinkwich and Trippi in the same backfield.
26. “Glory, Glory Dixieland.”
27. Red and black, the best color combination in sports.
28. Verron Haynes in the checkerboard end zone.
29. Teaching a child to say “Go Dogs!” (Especially if he belongs to your Gator neighbor!)
30. Vince Dooley’s sideline body English.
31. Kevin Butler kicking it “a hundred thousand miles” against Clemson.
32. The Gym Dogs’ 10 national championships.
33. Foley Field’s six College World Series banners (twice as many as the school in Atlanta).
34. A jersey number retired for good reason.
35. “Keep your seats everyone, the Redcoats are coming!”
36. Dominique Wilkins.
37. Kudzu Hill.
38. Jake “the Snake” Scott.
39. Uga V lunging at Auburn’s Robert Baker.
40. A crisp fall day in Athens — as close to heaven on earth as you can get.
41. “Oh, look at the sugar falling out of the sky!”
42. UGA is the only school to have three different Super Bowl MVPs: Jake Scott of the Miami Dolphins, Terrell Davis of the Denver Broncos and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
43. An undefeated, untied national championship season.
44. Uga V on the big screen in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
45. How many schools had a song written and performed for them by James Brown?
46. “Cowboy” and “Moonpie.”
47. “I rose to the occasion.”
48. Greeting the heir to the British throne at halftime with “Damn good prince!”
49. Tarkenton to Herron for the SEC championship.
50. “How ’bout them Dawgs!”
51. The Water Girl.
52. The flea-flicker over Alabama!
53. Five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards.
54. The “Give us your lunch money, nerds” banner on Kudzu Hill.
55. Wally’s Boys.
56. Herschel Walker gaining 150 yards playing with a dislocated shoulder against Notre Dame.
57. “Pop” Warner coaching UGA at Herty Field.
58. Andy Johnson leading the Thanksgiving night 1971 winning drive against Tech.
59. The original Junkyard Dogs defense of 1975.
60. Sonny Seiler.
61. David Pollack stripping the ball and scoring in Columbia.
62. “Let the big Dawg eat.”
63. Kicker Bobby Etter picking up a bad snap and running it in for a touchdown against Florida.
64. We don’t have to advertise to sell out our stadium.
65. Munson breaking “a metal steel chair.”
66. Richard Tardits.
67. Hairy Dawg.
68. Memories of the fans on the tracks.
69. Longtime trainer “Squab” Jones.
70. Gordon Beckham.
71. “General” George Patton.
72. That Bill Bates moment in Knoxville living forever on the video screen at Sanford Stadium.
73. “Get the picture … ”
74. Bill Goldberg.
75. “If your blood runs red and black … ”
76. Belue off the bench.
77. “Man enough” against Bama.
78. The Dawg Walk.
79. Joel Eaves.
80. “Ain’t nothing finer in the land …”
81. Reggie Ball wore a Tech uniform.
82. “Going back to Athens town.”
83. The annual performance by the Redcoat Alumni Band.
84. As the late, great Athens Daily News once put it: “Oh, Hot Diggity Dog, Mr. Dooley, You Have Wrecked Ole Tech Again!”
85. Scott Woerner.
86. Being a part of the luckiest 92,746 folks around on a fall Saturday.
88. Clisby Clark’s “Bulldog Bite.”
89. Bill Stanfill introducing himself to Steve Spurrier at the Gator Bowl.
90. “One and done, baby!”
91. “Between the hoses” at Auburn in 1986.
92. Dooley’s shaved head in 1976.
93. There’s only one “hobnail boot,” and everyone knows who wore it!
94. Great names: “Catfish” Smith, Jiggy Smaha, Happy Dicks, Buzy Rosenberg, Bucky Dilts, Hiawatha Berry, Wycliffe Lovelace.
95. “God is a Bulldog,” as Bulldog legend Dorsey Hill famously noted to Lewis Grizzard when UGA moved to No. 1 in 1980 with the help of a Georgia Tech tie with Notre Dame.
96. Theron Sapp, the Drought-Breaker.
97. Terry Hoage.
98. The Diamond Dogs’ College World Series championship trophy (you won’t find one in Atlanta).
99. Mark Richt.
100. Four-plus decades of Larry Munson.
101. The solo trumpeter in the southwest upper deck.
Feel free to list your own reasons!
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg