Two weeks ago, it was Senior Night in Athens. Last night, it was Senior Night in Atlanta. The parents I saw on the field last night looked every bit as proud as the parents I saw on the field two weeks ago.
Last year, I took my daughter, a graduate of the North Ave Trade School, with me to Athens. She attended as a true fan – exhorting her team along, celebrating good plays and agonizing over bad ones. Earlier this year, I asked her about the possibility of getting tickets to this year’s rivalry game. Turns out, she could get a 3 game pack from the university for less than what just the UGA game would cost on SeatGeek (side note – I abhor all secondary ticket sellers. They add cost, without providing much (if any) value. I understand the ease of having a single site where you can purchase verified tickets, but they charge both buyer and seller.). So, she took her father to a game early in the season (they left early, as they had a massive weather delay and neither of them wanted to continue) and was in the stadium when Tech pulled off their massive upset of North Carolina for Homecoming.
When I was in Athens two weeks ago, I saw a fan with a custom made shirt that said “Classy until kickoff”. In that moment, I decided I wanted shirts made for daughter and I to wear to last night’s game. Podunk and I had had shirts/hoodies made each year, but I hadn’t had shirts made since her last game (2020). I reached out to the lady who has been our regular shirt maker, but she was unavailable. She set me up with a colleague of hers (an Auburn fan) who delivered beautifully. I did have daughter’s made on a navy hoodie with gold glitter lettering and a white glitter football, but mine was on a black hoodie with silver glitter lettering and a red glitter football. We wore them proudly as we made our way downtown (daughter would argue that Tech is located in Midtown, not Downtown, but for a suburbanite such as myself, there is no difference), parked and walked to daughter’s fraternity house (yes, I said fraternity, and yes, I know the difference between a fraternity and a sorority. Daughter is a proud alumnus of not only Georgia Tech, but the Psi Upsilon fraternity located there). As expected, the brothers at Psi U were a little taken aback to see an honest-to-god Georgia fan in their midst, but they were respectful. They did a little trash talking, but it was all in good humor.
As far as the game, daughter had correctly predicted earlier in the week that Tech’s only chance of performing well against us would be to force turnovers. I don’t know if she knows their new coach personally, but she turned out to be quite prophetic. In the end, it was only two actual turnovers (but there were three other near misses), but both of them were costly for the Red and Black. Without those turnovers, I think the score would have been much wider. It’s easy to think the referees were somehow making PWG calls (and daughter agreed that they did seem to be doing that at time), but in the end, things were pretty evenly balanced. Did they miss calls that would have benefitted us? Of course they did. Did they make call that benefitted GT that were non-existent (or perhaps questionable)? Of course they did. But as they daughter said on the way home, in the end, they were pretty evenly balanced, which is all you can really hope for. Allowing the officiating to determine the outcome of the game is something you NEVER want to allow, whether it is in your favor or not.
In the end, we rested key players (were they injured? Or was Kirby resting them, knowing they would be missed more next week? Probably a bit of both), and came away with the W. Maybe not as dominant as we wanted, but there are no style points in college football.
However, it is our intention to celebrate Georgia Bulldog Football Wins whenever and wherever they occur. The ugliness or beauty of any particular win is irrelevant for the purposes of the Winning Smart Victory Post. It is therefore my deepest honor and privilege to bring to you this week’s edition of: The Winning Smart Victory Post.
Coach Kirby Smart coached his 108th game this week for the Red & Black. He currently boasts an 93-15 record and a 0.8611 winning percentage, having carded his ninety-third win overall in the final game of the season against the gNATS of GT.
At the identical juncture in their careers:
Vince Dooley’s 108th game as head coach resulted in a Georgia Bulldogs win over the Barners in the tenth game of the 1973 season, giving Coach Dooley a record of 73-31-5 and 0.6991 percentage.
Coach Mark Richt was 85-23 (0.7870) after a win over Arkansas in the third game of the 2009 season.
One hundred and eight games into his head coaching career Kirby Smart is eight games ahead of Coach Mark Richt and ahead of Coach Vince Dooley by 20 games. As of now, he is holding his own versus the two winningest coaches in Georgia Football History.
As always . . .
Go ‘Dawgs !!!!