I grew up sixty miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, and sixty miles south of Savannah, Georgia. Being between two television stations meant that we had to know the weather conditions for that city by game time on Saturday. Since cable did not exist in those days, and neither did the WeatherChannel, it depended on the local weather guys to predict the local weather at game time. Both Jacksonville and Savannah had all three networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC, so we could get the game if the weather permitted.
By game time on Saturday, Dad had made the decision to point the antenna either south toward Jacksonville or north toward Savannah. That was important because I was the guy that had to climb to the top of the roof, take the pipe wrench and turn the antenna toward the station until I heard Dad yell out, "stop, that's it". The station was now clear and we could watch those Red Jerseys and Silver Pants go into action. Well, they were black and white on our television set, but we knew they were really red and silver.
I make mention to that because I've always been one who has watched the Dawgs play on television with the sound turned down and Larry Munson calling the game. That's the way that Dad did it and that's the way that I do it today, even though Larry's not calling it. I guess I've seen about every game that my Dawgs have played, from those black and white days of shooting the antenna between the oak tree and the magnolia tree, to the cable that I now have. I've seen about all of them, but I have been there in person also.
As a student at UGA, I never missed a game. That was the greatest times in the world, but after college, my season tickets didn't last due to my job and finding it hard to get off on Saturdays. Since I lived five hours from Athens, it became hard to go, but when the game came to Jacksonville, I always found tickets from friends who knew friends. I've been to most of those, but I've noticed that on one particular game, everyone I've talked to was there at that game.
It was 1980 and the Dawgs were behind in the fourth quarter. If you're a Dawg fan you know where I'm going. Ole Buck dropped back and threw that ball to Lindsey and Larry broke his chair while he screamed "run Lindsey run". Yep, I was there, I mean I was there in my living-room watching that play when we won the World Heavyweight Championship. Not even Hulk Hogan could have stopped "THE PLAY" in Jacksonville, Florida in 1980.
I was there, I mean I was there in my living-room watching that play and screaming to the top of my lungs. However, I've never met anyone who admitted that they were watching on television like me. Everyone was there at that game and they had the best seats in the stadium. I guess there had to be about 495,500 seats in the Gator Bowl that day because everyone that was there would have filled the stadium about ten times over. I'm not saying that they're telling a lie, just that I'm not sure where all those seats were. Okay, I admit that I was not there and I was sitting at home watching the game. Now its time for all those who were not there to come forward and admit it.
Not everyone saw Hershel that day or saw Lindsey catch that pass. I saw some of the greatest players of all time play at Georgia, but most everyone I saw was on television. I did see some in person when I was a student there from 1969 to December 1971. I won the lottery while I was Georgia and in January of 1972 I got drafted. My deferment was up and not even Herman Talmadge could help Daddy get me out when my number came up. So I saw the Dawgs from 1969 to 1971, but from then on I watched them on television.
So we Dawg fans need to be honest and finally admit we were not there at that game that produced what is called "The Play" in Georgia history. Now I know some of you were, but for those of you who have lied all these years, come clean and you'll feel better as we go into our undefeated season. Oh, did I mention that I saw every game of that undefeated season? Yep, I was there at every game. Well, you know what I mean.