What a great Saturday! My 15 year old son has wanted to go to a UGA game for as long as I can remember. So my wife said, "Let’s drive down and see if we can get tickets." We left Chattanooga a little after 8 a.m. We arrived on campus just before kickoff, so the Blonde Bombshell (with Bible Power) jumped out secured a couple of tickets as I maneuvered through the traffic. Then she jumped in the driver’s side and found a parking place, while the young man and I made our way to Sanford Stadium and up to where the air is clear (and hot). We both stood at the rail with chill bumps as the “Ahhhhhh crescendoed into, “Gooo Dawgs, Sick’em, Woof, Woof, Woof” when Blair Walsh kicked off.
It was a great day of SEC football… for my son.. I, on the other hand, was kinda quiet as my grad school alma mater was being embarrassed. It was like a Georgia highlight reel the whole game and a blooper reel for Tennessee. UGA thoroughly thumped UT, 41-14. As one UT fan near us said, “Tennessee was playing ‘flag football’”, riddled with penalties, miscues and mistakes. I wasn't too upset by the loss. These teams have played each other for over 100 years. There is always next year for the rivalry, but having a teen son to enjoy the game with has a shorter shelf life.
I wouldn’t have traded this day for anything – I will never forget the excitement on my son’s face and the chill bumps we had as we watched the teams rush onto the field with the bands playing in loud competition. There was the sea of red shirts and pom-poms with a few orange sections. There where Georgia flags, cheerleaders, and mascots (both real and costumed). This was a memory I hope he remembers fondly. I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend this time with him (I hear the clock ticking… he is growing up).
I am also appreciative of my wife’s initiative in making this memory and her sacrifice to not go into the stadium (she is as much of a UT fan as anyone). She toured campus and window shopped with the 3 girls in Athens instead.
Psalms 127:3 (CEV) Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.
P.S My wife and I are puzzled by one thing. We have never quite figured out why our son is such a Dawg fan. He was born in Georgia and only lived there for about 9 months, but he is decidedly and passionately a Georgia fan. My wife and I have tried to talk him into becoming a Tennessee fan seeing how his mom and dad both have a degree from Rocky Top, we have lived in Tennessee for more than 10 years, his uncle played football there in the early 80’s and several other relatives have graduated from there. His dad, yours truly, was even a “flag boy” for UT basketball during the Ray Mears years. I dressed in an orange blazer, black pants, white shirt and carried a big sign on a stick. When the ball was shot, another flag boy and I held up the sign that said “ZIP,” when the ball went in the basket, we held up the sign that said, “BOTTOM.” If it was a really good shot we jumped up with our signs and ran around Stokely Athletic center, high fived each other and returned to our place. (We were sort of ancient perambulating Jumbotrons that flashed signs to the crowd as to what say.) If for nothing else, he should follow UT out of sympathy for his dad's fanatical childhood behavior.