Originally posted to Atlanta Magazine.com on November 28, 2006
The Dance? The Georgia-Georgia Tech football game. The Song? Georgia’s Hairy Dawg ringing the Chapel Bell on North Campus.
I walked around the Georgia campus this past Saturday afternoon and there was just a feeling in the air. It was a feeling that absorbs the state of Georgia each year – the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
It can only be summed up by the words of a friend of mine: Georgia still has the talent and the athletes and Georgia Tech still has Reggie Ball. Georgia is still the big brother and Georgia Tech is still the little kid. Georgia is still Georgia and Georgia Tech is still Georgia Tech.
The crazy thing is that my friend is not the only person who holds these sentiments. It seems to be a very common conception among Bulldog fans. It even seems to be a thought that almost haunts the minds of Georgia Tech fans.
As I went about my day on Saturday I spoke with people who claimed allegiance on both sides. The Bulldogs walked about with an air of confidence about them. Yellow Jacket fans, while having a good time socializing among the masses, couldn’t help but feel as though their season was about to be pulled out from under them. Georgia fans laughed to one another and spoke about how the season (as well as the play of young QB Matthew Stafford) had taken a turn for the better. Tech fans staggered about wondering if this would be the year that they ended the losing streak. The Georgia faithful knew that this would not be that year.
When the Rambling Wreck drove down the field in the fourth quarter and took a 12-7 lead, Georgia fans didn’t get discouraged. I don’t think that I have ever seen anything like it. I’ve seen teams give up touchdowns late in the game and the wind is completely taken out of the fans’ sails. That didn’t happen to Georgia. Fans looked at each other and started clapping and saying, “Here we go. All we need is a score. Let’s get it right here.”
The same mentality could be seen resonating from the Bulldog sideline. Matthew Stafford was confident. Mark Richt was confident. The receivers were confident. The running backs were confident. The fans were, without question, confident.
In my mind this will be a moment to remember. Georgia fans should look at this drive as the true beginning of a new era in Richt’s reign. This is the moment when Stafford came of age – when Mohamed Massaquoi became the receiver that all of the Bulldog Nation knew he could become – when Georgia stood up and said in one collective voice that they would not go quietly into the night.
Georgia fans, I suggest that we sit back and enjoy the ride.