JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Greetings from Missouri.
Jefferson City is not where Georgia and Missouri are playing their football game. But this place — the state capital 30 miles south of Columbia — is where I could find a hotel room. But I’ll be driving up to Columbia tomorrow to check out the scene as the Tigers get ready to play host to the Bulldogs in this historic meeting late Saturday night.
UGA’s ticket allotment from Missouri was 6,000 for the game and those, of course, all went to season-ticket holders. But I know even major donors had a hard time getting more than two apiece, so you know it’s a really tough ticket. Nevertheless, past experience tells me a couple of thousand more Georgia fans may find their way inside Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium. I’m guessing the Bulldogs will be well represented inside the 71,000-seat stadium.
There is enough of a presence that the action has spilled over here in Jefferson City. Tonight in downtown, the Convention and Visitors Bureau is holding an “SEC Pep Rally & Street Fair.” If you buy a $2 wrist band and cup, they say they’ll even waive their public drinking law for you.
It’s interesting how Georgia’s contingent is kind of spread out all over Missouri. I think the grand majority of folks are flying into St. Louis where a lot of them are taking in the Cardinals-Brewers game tonight. Others are flying into Kansas City and making that home base. A lot of those folks will drive into Columbia to catch the Georgia game, then go to the Chiefs-Falcons game on Sunday in KC.
I talked to Brian Hoyt of Atlanta earlier today. Hoyt, an engineer and producer for Dickey Broadcasting’s 680 The Fan, is flying into St. Louis today with four of his fellow Parkview High graduates: Steven Berrier, Dennis Hanson, Jimmy Whitlock and Mark Zabrosky. They’re getting in the whole shebang — taking in the Cards’ game tonight, doing the casinos after that, heading to Columbia on Saturday for Dogs-Tigers, then driving on to Kansas City to catch the Falcons-Chiefs. They’ll drop off their rental car and fly back to Atlanta from Kansas City Sunday night.
“It’s the ultimate guys trip,” Hoyt said. “Everybody’s kind of getting married and settling down, so we said, ‘let’s take one more trip.’ It’s one of those things where we just started talking about it and were saying ‘that’d be fun to do’ a few months ago. Then it from from being a joke to, ‘No, let’s do this.’ And now we’re on our way.”
Berrier, the most seasoned traveler of the bunch, is cashing in miles and points for the plane fare and hotels. Hoyt came up with Georgia tickets and Whitlock chipped in with Falcons tickets, so it’s a true group effort.
Anyway, the Dogs-Tigers should be an awesome game on Saturday. We’ll get more into that later.
For those of you still coming this way, be warned: Columbia is not a very convenient place to get into. Flights directly into Columbia are few and very expensive. It’s 100 miles from St. Louis and 125 from Kansas City, so it’s a haul either way.
And bring a light jacket or pullover. Forecast for tomorrow’s game is sunny and 72 degrees but overnight low could get down to 50.
That’s all for now. Check back for regular updates.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you Georgia fans with this from Grandpa Simpson: