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The Rivalry Factor & Techies…

November 30, 2009

Early in the week leading up to the Ga v Tech showdown, Paul Johnson was very clear that the game was no different than any other that his team would play all season. Last year, Tech was very open about the fact that beating Georgia was their goal all season long and they accomplished that goal in heart wrenching fashion in our own Sanford stadium. The Paul Johnson era had arrived. No more would Tech play the little brother role in the state. Tech fans bragged and trash talked with more confidence than they’d had in decades; and yet, maybe they became a little too big for their britches. I completely understand where coach Paul Johnson was coming from. He is interested in winning championships and getting rings for things other than beating the Dawgs (its true. Tech’s rings from “tying for the ACC Coastal Conference” prominently featured the score of the Georgia game). They couldn’t be a legitimate program by only worrying about their instate rival every year. Johnson had his team ranked 7th in the nation with a good shot at playing for a BCS Orange Bowl win and such a team didn’t need to dwell in the past to beat an inferior Georgia team. The days of Tech’s season depending Solely on one game were over! Enter Mark Richt and a very upset Georgia football team. Paul Johnson’s team may have become too aloof and confident to give a second thought to “Clean ol’ Fashioned Hate” but the Dawgs weren’t soon to forget the previous encounter with the Jackets, nor the current season any time soon. What ensued was “The Rivalry Factor.” A Georgia team that in no way took the rivalry for granted proceeded to run all over their opponent while holding a great rushing team to their second lowest rushing total of the season. Now, I have made the argument over and over that Tech needs to get over their obsession with Georgia and contend for championships and other rivalries many times. This is certainly why I understand and even agree with Paul Johnson’s approach to the game, but i think that every coach who has led a team in this rivalry can attest to the fact that you can throw out everything that makes sense in this game. Records and rankings are irrelevant. Either team can treat it like a normal game as much as they like, but they should be prepared to get upset. Even more so this year, Georgia came into the game with nothing to lose and a chip on their shoulder. This created a lot of passion and many times rivalry games are won purely on grit and desire. This certainly was the case for the Dawgs. Welcome to Clean ol’ Fashioned Hate Coach PJ!

WARNING! The following is the thoughts and opinions of a Life Long Dawg fan and current student and is therefor subject to extreme bias. With that being said, if you can’t handle the TRUTH then stop reading now. Techies…they are just awful. I know plenty of amazing, classy Georgia Tech fans and plenty of Georgia fans who are less than what I hope for, but the two cultures and astoundingly different. I don’t think that anyone will argue with me when I say that the tailgating scene is far inferior in Atlanta, but I am referring more to the fan base and their support (or lack there of) for their team. When I think back on all my great game experiences in the Classic City, I see a stadium full of Red and Black cheering on the Dawgs. I’ve seen “Knowshon 4 Heisman”, “Between the Hedges”, and even some funny ones citing the greatness of our quarterback’s last name in comparison to South Carolina’s mascot…hahaha. In all these examples, with few exceptions, the main subject of the game is our Bulldogs beating the other team and praising our players as the best in the nation. On the two occasions I have been to Atlanta to witness my Bulldogs beat the Jackets, the culture is sharply opposite. Instead of hearing cheers of “Go Jackets” all I ever hear is “How bout them Dawgs? Piss on ’em.” Really? Do these people really love their team or do they just hate Georgia? it goes further..two years ago I was at the game (by the grace of some incredibly classy tech fans who were great to me) and we needed Kentucky to beat Tennessee to put us in the SEC Championship game. Following another great win over Tech, everyone knew that the Wildcats upset bid came up short and Georgia would be left out of the championship game. As disappointing as that was, I was still excited about the win and was ready to take in Tech’s misery after another loss to their rival. Walking through the fraternity row, I was completely shocked to hear Rocky Top being blasted from several houses and looked around to see Jacket fans rejoicing in Georgia’s misfortune. YOU JUST LOST!? What is going on? Fast forward to this year. This has been one of Tech’s most successful seasons in many years, they are headed for the ACC title game, and are primed to beat their biggest rival for the second year in a row. There should be signs everywhere reading “Go Jackets! The streak begins” or “Dwyer for Heisman” or Anything like that! The sad reality is that the signs I saw read “Kentucky, Really? Kentucky?” and “All Dog’s Don’t Go to Heaven”(referring to the late UGA VII) and multiple more concerning Georgia’s deceased mascot. Are these people really this petty? Do you need to root for other teams than your own? Do you hate UGA more than you love the Jackets? I Hate Tech but I love GEORGIA more! Go Dawgs!

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