Momania Flashback: Saturdays in Athens not too kid friendly

This is the second in a series of stories to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Momania. We are flashing back to some of our favorite columns and blogs.

I wasn’t trying to attack the Bulldog nation with this Oct. 30, 2005 column complaining about my husband’s football addiction, but boy did the Bulldog Nation come after me!  Here’s a sample from one guy’s sports blog: “I hope this woman has received death threats.” I am wondering if I’m off the hook yet. At the request of our blogging community, I am also posting on the next blog down, my husband’s column from four years later explaining why he doesn’t like to take me to the games. I don’t agree with his full analysis but at least it gives you his perspective on the issue!

One of the few times we actually got to go to the game. We were well behaved -- although I may have complained some about the heat and sunburn.

One of the few times we actually got to go to the game. We were well behaved -- although I may have complained some about the heat and sunburn.

The kids with UGA in 2004 at the journalism school celebration. I think we may have actually gone to the game that year.

The kids with Uga in 2004 at the journalism school celebration. I'm not sure if we went to game or just the party beforehand.

It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

Yeah, it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog — if you’re not the one home alone with the kids.

My husband’s season tickets to our alma mater’s football games mean he gets fantastic Saturdays in Sanford Stadium with his best friend reliving his college days.

I know Michael works hard and deserves down time. However, if I said he had to take care of the kids for eight hours while I went shopping every Saturday, you better believe we’d have some problems.

I used to be included in these glorious game days. We would tailgate and cheer on the Dogs together. But after our first child arrived four years ago, my season ticket got transferred to my husband’s college roommate. The only game I ever attend now is homecoming.

Two seasons ago, I decided to take the 2-year-old and 5-month-old to visit a girlfriend in Athens during a game so I wouldn’t feel so left out. We drove over with my husband and his friend and dropped them off by North Campus. I was later told that wouldn’t happen again — the kids had ruined their buzz.

Last season, I had completely had it by the fourth consecutive home game. The house needed repairs. I had a terrible cold, and I just needed a break from the kids. I begrudgingly took Michael to a garage to pick up his car so he could head east to get trashed on Jack and Coke and bark like a dog.

As I drove home, cussing my husband, Mark Richt and the whole Bulldog Nation, I got pulled over for speeding.

As much as I want to be included in the game-day experience, I’m not quite ready to commit to the eight-hour odyssey that my husband turns each game into. He arrives early, drinks, eats and then stays late to sober up. Even if I was ready to devote that much time to a game, I’m not willing to spend $9 an hour for a baby-sitter.

Even though I don’t want to root against the Dogs, the better they play, the worse I get screwed. Game days turn into game weekends. When they’re winning, Michael wants to follow the team around the Southeast. And of course there is always the exciting annual drunken call from Jacksonville after the Florida game.

On the rare occasion that the whole family goes, there still are problems. The university insists all children, even infants, pay the full adult ticket price. However, it does very little to make the experience family friendly.

Drunks spew profanity and tobacco juice. Newer ticket holders like us are stuck in the hot sun. There is no place to take kids to cool off except the concourse at the top of stadium, which is full of smokers and drunk sorority girls.

There’s no official stroller parking, which makes it tough to get my 31-pound 2-year-old to the game. There also is no decent place to nurse. One year, a paramedic took pity on me and let me sit in the back of his ambulance to breast-feed and change Rose.

I don’t really want to go to every game, as much as I just want to tailgate in Athens. If the university wants to make even the littlest Bulldogs welcome, it would open up the Ramsey Student Center to season-ticket-holding families. The kids could play in the air-conditioned gym during the game, and the moms could chitchat.

Do you think it’s fair or foul for a hardworking husband to spend the weekend on sports? How can game day be family friendly?

Click this link for my husband’s column on why he doesn’t want to take me to the games.

Sunday’s Momania Flashback: Parenting Ethics Pop Quiz

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11 comments Add your comment

[...] Four years later, my husband got his chance to respond to why he doesn’t want to take me to the Georgia games. Here’s his side on the issue. This is a link to the original discussion. To read my side click on this link. [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania, ajcparenting. ajcparenting said: AJC's Momania blog: Momania Flashback: Saturdays in Athens not too kid friendly http://bit.ly/9ZOxxm [...]

Wink

October 23rd, 2010
8:15 am

Little kids don’t belong at a football game. When you have children you have to curtail some of your activities until they grow up. Deal with it.

Childfree and loving it!

October 23rd, 2010
8:56 am

A-MEN, Wink!

UGA Grandma

October 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

This season’s buzz (oops!) is all about off the field player behavior, lack of discipline, arrests, and, of course, the 4 straight losses. I think it would do the program a lot of good to enhance a family-friendly atmosphere. I enjoy going to the games, but always feel I have to protect my grandchildren from some R17 behavior from fellow fans–sloppy drunk, profanity, vomit on the sidewalk, etc. It’s too bad no one followed up on the Ramsey Student Center idea. As the children are older, it will get better. But take it from this veteran, if it’s not football, it’s hunting, fishing, golf… Boys are boys.

aboch

October 23rd, 2010
9:06 pm

The entitlement of this article is baffling. You are going to a college game, mind you one of the biggest party colleges in the nation and you demand that it be more kid friendly? There are students at UGA who can’t even get tickets to their own school’s games and you want stroller parking, an air conditioned gym, discounted prices, a seat in the shade, and freedom from the students. No one needs to curb their behavior because you had the genius idea to bring little kids to the game. Did you really expect to have a good time… really? You chose to have kids and you and your spouse are the ones who have to make changes, not everyone else.

BluebellJones

October 24th, 2010
9:44 am

Don’t go, then. Your children are too young for it. Wait until they are six or seven-that’s when I started going to Georgia games. I really don’t think the school cares about whether your small children are accommodated. No stroller parking? No shade for your snowflakes? What a whiner. Having children does not entitle you to special treatment. Also, your husband needs to sober up. He’s got kids. If he wants to get drunk while enjoying a football game I suggest he watch it at home.

smh

October 24th, 2010
11:15 am

I agree w/ Wink. Some events are not made for children. College football games fall into that category. Yes, my opinion. I stand by it :)

Photius

October 25th, 2010
8:32 am

Good lord, woman – #1 football games are not designed around small children. #2 it sounds as if you need to self medicate on valium and vodka.

TechMom

October 25th, 2010
5:04 pm

It’s not a young-child-friendly event and it’s not in the school’s interest to make it so when they can still sell-out tix. What I do agree with T on is that men feel like they should get to go to a football game/hunt/fish/whatever every weekend because they ‘deserve’ downtime. Great, doesn’t mom deserve downtime too? I just think that it’s much more common that moms are the ones who are at home with the kids so dads can go off and enjoy their “boy time”.

[...] Four years later, my husband got his chance to respond to why he doesn’t want to take me to the Georgia games. Here’s his side on the issue. This is a link to the original discussion. To read my side click on this link. [...]