My path to becoming a Georgia fan is a little different than most. I first was a fan of the University. I started coming to Janfest my freshman year of highschool. It is a 4-day music performance festival where band students that have been recommended by their directors come and perform in one of 7 bands. The whole thing is very similar to Allstate Band(for anyone familiar with that), but on a bigger scale, since there are 7 bands instead of 2. This was my first time performing with such a talented group and with such an incredible staff. I knew on day two of the festival freshman year that I wanted to come to UGA and study music.
I did early acceptance, and would have gotten in early had they not lost the teacher recommendations from my highschool. I had a killer letter from a UGA player from the 1980 team, who is current Dawg Chad Gloer's dad. About a month late I got my acceptance letter, and cried on my front porch.
Since I was in the school of music, I was automatically accepted into Redcoats. This was back when Redcoats was fun. The director looked like Steve Carell, how could we go wrong. I dont know if other people understand how hard the band practices...and parties! Band camp consists of practice from 9-8 every day for a week in the dead of summer. The part that most people really dont know is that there is a party every night during this week. Work all day, play all night, sleep later. My first night in college, on the way home from the party, i saw a guy get tackled by a bike cop and saw another guy arrested for cocaine. Talk about a welcome to the real world.
So now to where i become a full blown Georgia fan. My first game day was as a student/redcoat. I had never been to a college football game before I was a student at UGA. My first Dawgwalk was awful. There were some really drunk guys behind me that were intent on high-fiving the players and making me feel really uncomfortable in the process. The band are the security guards between the crazy drunk fans and the players at this beloved tradition. Yes we get a front row view, but its not an easy job. Be nice to us. Luckily that was my only bad Dawgwalk.
I cannot tell you the defining moment in which I became a UGA football fan, but by the end of that year I could name you most of the depth chart and tell you about video of the new recruits. I still only focused my efforts on the football team. It was not until my junior year that i became a full blown UGA fanatic.
Just a warning, the next part of this story is a little sad, but it is a huge part of my story as a Dawg fan. Starting the summer before my junior year I had a few major changes in my life. I split ways with my best friend from high school, ended up living with horrible roommates(who ignores someone on their 21st birthday?), and i was being pushed out of my sorority. Things weren't looking good and i couldn't seem to keep my chin up. This began my struggle with depression. My class performance dropped, I withdrew from almost all of my friends, and I avoided being out of my room like the plague. The only bright spot in my week that fall was football games. It was somewhere i could go by myself and feel a part of a group. It was somewhere that i could yell at the top of my lungs and that was ok, if not encouraged. Since this is what made me happy, i began obsessing over it. If i was happy at the game, then i could be happy reading about it or rewatching it. This was also one of the best football seasons I will probably experience as a Dawg fan. The year of the original blackout, beating florida and dancing in the end zone, and capping off the season with the beating of Hawaii. Football was my escape from myself, and so i focused a lot of time on it.
Then football season ended. I had nothing to fill my time but being in my own head. I needed another outlet. I really hated basketball at the time, so that wasnt really an option. Plus, the team was so bad then that might have sent me further into depression. By the time baseball season get started I was in a bad place. I started going to UGA baseball games. They were free and it was a sport i enjoyed watching. A few months later, after attending almost every game that season, i realized something. UGA baseball had rescued me from depression. I no longer felt sad. It was amazing. After this, i have a very special relationship and dedication to UGA sports and specifically the baseball team. By this time, i had become a full blown UGA fanatic.
Now, I am proud to say that i can rival any boy in sports knowledge. I switched majors to statistics and plan on working towards a career in sports stats. I attended every home baseball game in 2009. I haven't missed watching a football game in 6 years. I have started watching UGA basketball. I even follow the White Sox, just so i can follow Gordon Beckham(D.G.D). I saw one of my friends who is a former football player and asked him about the AD debacle this sumer. He told me he didnt care, to which i asked if he was going to let me out sports-fan him. his responce sums up me:
"You have been doing that since the day I met you"