On rivalries...

There are some things you do just because you have always done them, and Georgia playing Georgia Tech in football is one of those things. Life would go on if it didn't happen, but I would definitely miss the entertainment value of listening to folks count the ways they hate Tech, then checking out the Rumble Seat and seeing Nerds hatch plans to reverse the rotation of the earth so maybe they can steal this thing.

It offers some suspense, since we never know if this might be the one game in 10 that we might slip up and give away. But there's not so much uncertainty that we spend too much time obsessing about impending doom, like with Florida.

Can there be such of a thing as a rivalry cupcake game? I guess the bottom line is, it's a rivalry when they win, and a cupcake when we win.

Tech was the only rivalry I cared about growing up, and it was strictly learned behavior. My old man and his UGA buddies hated Tech passionately, probably because the series was more back and forth in the 50s and 60s, and their allegiances were good enough for me.

The only Tech guy on our street in Augusta seemed like a nice man, and I'm assuming he was a helluva engineer. In my world view, he was the other, the person to be pitied, despised and made fun of, because he wasn't one of us. Sounds kind of petty and mean-spirited now. Not a very good reason to dislike someone, but sports rivalries aren't necessarily rational.

Some of you may laugh, but it used to be the only game that I really got worked up over. My wife and I once got in a huge argument when she took a notion to root for Tech because she heard announcers say it had been several years since the hapless Jackets won. I'm happy to say she has come around to wanting Tech to always lose by the largest margin possible. I've also learned to spread the anxiety around and get those big-game jitters just because it's Saturday.

The other Georgia rivalries I care about have grown out of experience. As a Tennessee transplant, I can't tell you how sick I am of all things Big Orange, hearing Rocky Top and seeing Tennessee swoop down into Georgia to occasionally steal stud players.

Auburn is a natural for anyone who knows even a little about our history, which I do (know just a little). Florida obviously is the biggest from a standpoint of making or breaking our better seasons. South Carolina never was, though many of my kinfolk hail from the Palmetto State. Spurrier's recent success is changing that, and they recruit better than ever out of Georgia, but I'd like to believe it will go back to more of a UGA-Tech type rivalry when the Old Ball Coach retires.

I agree with those who'd like to see Clemson back on a regular basis. I grew up with allegiances to UGA and Clemson, and though as an adult I always favored Georgia, I always felt conflicted about it.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Beating Tech is good, clean fun. Both sides seem to get their jollies in the runup to this game, and as long as the Athenians take care of business, I'll be one happy pup.

Go Dawgs!

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