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Game Day Rituals (Part II)

As highlighted by Warren St. John in Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, fans have a myriad of elaborate pregame rituals designed to lead their favorite team to victory.  

I have identified many such superstitions related to lucky game day attire, but some of the most effective rituals have nothing to do with clothing at all.  

When my wife, Susan, and I got married in 1997, we received as a wedding gift from a close family member of mine a stone statue of Uga.  When Susan and I moved into our first apartment after getting married, the Uga statue was given a place of honor on the porch.  

It's a nice sculpture and all, but it's no Uga.

That fall, the Bulldogs began the season with three straight home games, jumped out to a 3-0 start, and averaged 37 points per game while allowing just over eight points per outing.  Susan and I were getting ready to go to the season's fourth game---against Mississippi State in Sanford Stadium---when my wife (who had never attended a Georgia-Mississippi State game before) asked what M.S.U.'s mascot was.  

When I told her they, too, were the Bulldogs, she was mildly disturbed by this revelation.  We thought about the bulldog statue on the porch and came to the conclusion that, since it might as easily bring good luck to one team as to the other, something needed to be done.  Consequently, before we left for the Classic City, I went outside and put a Georgia cap on the statue's head.  The Red and Black won the game by a 47-0 margin.  

Mississippi State's second-rate hack of a mascot, Bully, is seen here reading Damn Good Dogs! by Sonny Seiler and Kent Hannon.

When we got back from the game, I went out to the porch to retrieve the hat and I noticed something for the first time.  I could see the main road from where I was standing and, because of the placement of the highway, I realized that, by coincidence, the Uga statue happened to be facing towards Athens.  I filed this datum away but thought nothing more of it.  

The following week, Georgia played Tennessee in Knoxville.  The ninth-ranked Volunteers defeated the 13th-ranked Bulldogs by a 38-13 final margin.  

Then it dawned on me.  The Uga statue had been facing towards Athens for the season's first five games.  In the four games played in Sanford Stadium, the 'Dawgs were undefeated.  In the one game played away from the Classic City, the Red and Black were winless.  

Obviously, I had erred.  For the Tennessee game, the Uga statue had been looking in the wrong direction.  He was beaming good luck to Athens when it needed to be directed at Neyland Stadium.  

The following Saturday, I did what any scientifically serious person would have done when faced with such empirical evidence.  Prior to kickoff of the Bulldogs' road game against Vanderbilt, I turned the statue so that Uga was facing in the direction of Nashville.  Georgia won, 34-13.  

Ideally, the Arch should be in the Uga statue's direct line of sight during home games.

The next week, the 'Dawgs were back at home.  I turned the bulldog so that he was facing Athens once more.  Georgia beat Kentucky, 23-13.  

The following weekend, I was in Jacksonville for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.  Before setting out for Duval Street, I turned the statue so that he was facing the St. John's River.  

Susan told me this was a bit extreme and warned me not to repose too much faith in this scheme.  After all, the Bulldogs had lost seven straight series meetings with the Gators, only two of which were even close, and the Red and Black were 20-point underdogs.  

The final score from Jacksonville:  Georgia 37, Florida 17.  You're welcome.  

Robert Edwards rushed for 124 yards and four touchdowns during the game.  I turned the Uga statue on my porch to face Jacksonville before the game.  Each of us contributed to the victory in his own way.

Two weeks later, of course, we lost to Auburn, so, obviously, the system isn't perfect, but, really, what drama would there be if my turning a stone bulldog on my porch on a Saturday morning absolutely guaranteed a Georgia win?  All I'm saying is that it helps.  I did my part; maybe we keep losing to Auburn at home because of something you did wrong.  Don't expect me to take the blame for the entire Bulldog Nation.  

In any event, those are my obsessive-compulsive game day rituals.  Feel free to share your own in the comments below.  

Go 'Dawgs!