Our trip to Georgia last year led to two football games in three days and an unfortunate (and also not our fault) car accident the night before the big game. We awoke that Saturday morning, sore and bruised from the accident but still incredibly excited to head to the game. We had traveled over 1,600 miles to watch our Bulldogs and nothing was going to stop us from participating in the many traditions at Sanford Stadium.
Traditions like Tailgating. Trucks clustered together like the players in a huddle were the first sign of the tailgaters and as we got closer we saw that the red and black combination was on everything: from the tents, tables, and chairs, to the jerseys, hats, and coats, even some of the Satellite dishes represented the pride of the Dawgs. Some of the setups were immaculate–big screen TVs surrounded by top of the line sound systems, bbq grills and prepping stations large enough to cook food for the entire team–when it comes to tailgating some of these people spared no expense.
The next tradition we didn’t want to miss was the Dawg Walk. Just across the street from Sanford Stadium is the Tate Student Center and before every game the players walk through a sea of students, fans, alumni, and the school band as they make their way to the field. It was Senior Night and when our star quarterback, Aaron Murray, walked through the crowd for the last time the fans erupted into cheers, applause, and complete celebration for our favorite quarterback, #11.
The traditions before and during each game are what take it from a simple game of X’s and O’s to something more, something special. Those famous green hedges surrounding the field, the players breaking through the giant G banner, the tradition of holding up four fingers between the third and fourth quarter–you guys, it’s these small rituals that add so much to the experience.
One tradition that continues to give me chills is Calling the Dawgs. At the beginning of the game as the teams line up on opposite ends of the field, the crowd roars throughout the stadium with a “Goooooooooooo…..”, and just as the ball is kicked they finish with “Dawgs! Sic ‘Em” and then four loud barks. Check it out here. I love tuning into the beginning of the game and hearing the Kickoff Bark, it gets my adrenaline going, every.single.time.
I’m sure there are many more traditions that I missed in just one quick visit, however, hopefully the next time I go I’ll be lucky enough to discover more…
I know the Bulldogs aren’t the only team steeped in tradition… What are your football traditions?