I've lived in Athens since the fall of 1988 (currently within a mile of the county line). It's been a hell of a ride. I remember going to games as a teenager. Although I didn't go as a ticket holder. I worked those games. I volunteered those games. I worked the concession stands in the upper deck for my church, I carried trays of cold cokes up and down the stairs for my church. I later volunteered doing the same for JROTC. I always got to watch the 4th quarter from the aisle. I have fleeting memories of these times. Freezing cold while we played TN. Watching the fans rush the field before the game was over against TN. The goalpost coming down and trekked to downtown. All the cokes sold that were only a mixer for the bourbon snuck in. I remember scalping tickets to a home game against Auburn because I swallowed my temporary crown a few hours before the game (I was young, should have gone to the game). Watching the 4 OT win against Auburn in the waiting lobby at Pep Boys while I was working. Rambo knocking himself out to make the stop against Auburn. That was my first taste as a true attending fan.
2010 was my ah ha moment. I decided to commit to the G. I was in for every game, no matter the date, the weather or the temperature. I've been to every home game since, from start until the clock hits zero. Except for that one game when some kids in front of one of the dorms gave me a solo cup full of vodka with a splash of OJ. I stayed from kickoff to clock read zero when Bama broke our hearts a few years back...in the rain. Nothing keeps me from seeing all 60 minutes of Ga football at home (except those kids and their vodka).
I've sat in the rain, I've been cold, I've sweated more than a human should voluntarily. I've realized that the water stations are the best thing the university could have ever done for the fans...and that the Big ASS fans at the family gate work wonders.
I've debated Richt and his decisions, his greatness as a man and his deficiencies as a coach. I've celebrated Smart as the man we need to achieve what we want. I've spent countless hours discussing the program that is UGA football.
I've enjoyed a tailgate every home game that includes great food and discussions that will test every philosophy known to man. From tech, to business, physics, politics, theory and hopes. A UGA home game is a time for intellectual discussion.
Tomorrow is normal. Kirby came to UGA as a player when I came of age in Athens. He also has a feel for the pulse of Athens. He knows what I do. This is a special place, with special people, and the sky is the limit.
If you don't believe, remember that 4/18/1998 happened. It happened here in Athens and I feel that tomorrow, there once again will be panic in the streets.