Warning: This is going to be a long post about why I hate Tech because I hate Tech a lot. I’ll always hate Tech the most. In order to tell you why, I’ll have to ruminate about why we become sports fans in the first place.
How does one become a UGA fan, or a fan of any team in general? Some people go to a particular school or live in a particular city, and that settles the question. I went to UGA and have two degrees from that fine institution, but I was a UGA fan before I arrived. I became a UGA fan, like many, because my father was a UGA fan. Of course that simply invites the question: Why was my father a UGA fan?
My father was born in the early 1960’s in Massachusetts, the fifth child (of seven) in a fairly typical Massachusetts Irish-Catholic family. When he was four, the family left Massachusetts for Lawrenceville, Ga. In the 60’s, Gwinnett county was not the bustling suburb it is today. My father recalls there being 4 stoplights in the entire county; three of them in downtown Lawrenceville. And my father’s family brought the grand total of Catholic families living in Gwinnett county at that time to two.
The family had no real sports connections, college football or otherwise, other than the natural rooting interest for any Irish Catholic family – Notre Dame. Especially for a boy teased for being a different religion in a heavily rural, Protestant area, Notre Dame was naturally a team to look up to. Imagine the excitement of a young boy, about 12 years old, being able to go see Notre Dame play in person at Grant Field in Atlanta. Joe Montana! Notre Dame vs Georgia Tech! Until this point, my father hadn’t given Tech, UGA or any other college football team in the southeast much thought.
And what greeted him at that game? Racial and religious slurs against Notre Dame. Fish being thrown on the field in mockery of Catholics. Liqour bottles pelting the players in mockery of the Irish. Eggs and ice just for the hell of it. There are certainly many, many minorities who’ve had it much worse than a Irish-Catholic kid in the south, but that doesn’t mean much to a father having to explain to his tearful son why people hate Notre Dame because they’re different. Like us.
And it wasn’t a small section of fans behaving badly, and it wasn't an isolated incident. This happened over and over, and was gleefully planned out in advance by students and alumni. It continued from the 1960’s into the 1980’s, lasting for decades. Even today, the fans I've talked to mostly think it was hilarious. Hell, a liquor bottle thrown from the GT stands knocked a referee unconscious in 2002.
That’s why my father began to hate GT, and as an extension enjoy the yearly beatdowns the Dawgs gave the Jackets in the late 70’s and early 80’s as he went through high school and college. He attended UGA for a year or so, and while he never graduated he’s always been an immensely loyal Dawg fan. Ultimately, that is why I am a Georgia fan. That's what inspires my hate for Tech.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons to hate Tech:
- I hate them because their students fervently cling to the false belief that they are SO. MUCH. SMARTER. than those morons from UGA. Spoiler: The top students at UGA are much smarter and more accomplished than the top students at Tech. The Foundation Fellows at UGA have higher SAT scores and GPAs coming out of high school than the President's Scholars at Tech. UGA students win more Rhodes Scholarships (22 to 3) and Truman scholarships (7 to 2 in the last decade). UGA has more Udall, Marshall, Fulbright and even Goldwater (focused on math/science/engineering) scholars than Tech. Our best students beat their best, and it’s not even particularly close.
- I hate Tech because somehow it’s impossible for Techies to grasp that there are worthwhile non-engineering and non-math disciplines. As the flagship university of the state of Georgia, UGA has a diverse collection of majors not concentrated in hard sciences in order to serve the needs of the state. We produce thousands of teachers for this state through a very strong education school, we have a nationally ranked art school, and plenty of 'soft' majors... which is of course evidence that all UGA students are idiots. Never let anyone from Tech lord their academic status over you: That entire narrative is bullshit, frankly.
- I hate Tech because they have a massive inferiority complex AND a massive superiority complex towards UGA at the same time. Of course they believe they're much smarter and better people than us. But they seem to take more joy in UGA losing than their team actually winning. They can barely fill their sad, strange little stadium even when they're decent. They live not to succeed on their own, but simply to piss us off. They're massively insecure about ever being able to consistently beat Georgia, and instead choose to hide behind a pretend intellectual superiority.
- And since we've been talking about academics, Tech fans love to complain they'd be the best if not for the fact that their school is so good they can't put a decent team together. More bullshit. Stanford does okay, last I checked. Notre Dame has some football history. Michigan and Southern Cal are ahead of Tech on the US&WR rankings. UCLA and Cal are ahead as well, and Wisconsin, Miami and Texas are barely behind. Tech sucks at football for a hundred reasons, but their academics are hardly crippling them.
Maybe if you live in Columbus you're allowed to hate Auburn the most. Ditto for Valdosta and Florida, or north Georgia and Tennessee. But for most of us in the metro Atlanta area (most of the state's population), Tech is closest. These are the people who live and work near us. Ask yourself this question: If we were 5-5 over the last ten years with Auburn, Tech and Florida, which fan base would be the most obnoxious? Who would piss you off the most? If we're being honest, you know the answer. There is NOTHING worse than a Tech fan with something to gloat about.
I would cheer for North Korea U to beat Georgia Tech. I would cheer for Satan State to beat Georgia Tech.
Glory to Old Georgia. And Tech can go to hell.