Friday, August 30, 2019

Five on Friday - Favorite Georgia Football Game Experiences

College football.  You either love it or you hate it.  Here in the south, we not only love it, we are pretty much obsessed with it.  If you’ve been following me for any amount of time here on the blog, then you know that I am an absolute diehard University of Georgia fan.  My grandfather graduated from there back in the 1940’s and it’s been in my family’s blood ever since.  As a matter of fact, one of my cousins just graduated from there in May, and one of my other cousins is currently an equipment manager for the UGA football team.  In addition to that, I also happened to marry a University of Georgia grad, so as you can probably imagine, our little family of four bleeds red and black.

B and I have been attending UGA football games together since before we ever even started dating, and we’ve had our own season tickets to the games for nine or ten years now so we’ve been to countless games.  Since football season officially kicks off tomorrow, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane (I’ve been doing that a lot this week on the blog!) and share my top five favorite game day experiences over the years.  Considering we’ve been to dozens and dozens of games, you can probably imagine just how hard this was to narrow down.    

And one thing to note before I get started, these are my favorite overall game day experiences, not necessarily just the games themselves, so some will be more special/fun/exciting than others simply because of the surrounding circumstances. 

Here we go!

O N E – Georgia vs. Auburn Blackout Game, November 2007 (Athens, GA)

Our very favorite games are obviously the ones at home in Athens, or God’s country as we like to call it.  ;o)  If you’ve never been to Athens, you should make it a point to visit sometime, especially during the fall.  There’s just nothing quite like Athens on game day, especially in November!  The campus is beautiful every day with its sprawling buildings and abundance of massive hundred year old trees, but it truly shines in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. 

The deep south’s oldest rivalry is University of Georgia vs. Auburn (we’ve been playing each other since the late 1800’s) so it’s pretty much always guaranteed to be a good game.  It’s the one game out of the whole season that B and I never miss when it’s in Athens… as a matter of fact, we’ve never missed a Georgia/Auburn home game since we started dating in 2003!

My very favorite game of ALL TIME in the history of EVER was the Georgia vs. Auburn game in 2007.  To this day, no other game has topped it, and I’m seriously not sure anything ever will.  The game itself was perfection as well as all of the circumstances surrounding it.

The weather was the epitome of the perfect fall day that day – sunny and cool and crisp, but not too cold.  The campus was bursting with stunning colors in leaves of red, orange, and yellow.  A bunch of our friends were there and we had the most fun barhopping the night before, tailgating the day of, and barhopping after the game.  My favorite Georgia football player of all-time, Knowshon Moreno, (who also shares my favorite number – 24) was on the team at the time.  B and I had managed to score tickets on the fifty yard line on the best side of the stadium (the one that’s not in the sun).  And the game itself was the most electric game we’ve ever been to.  It was non-stop craziness.   

A couple of weeks leading up to the game, the school seniors had started spreading the word that we were going to “blackout Auburn” and that they wanted all of the fans to wear black.  Well, I can tell you, every single Georgia fan got the message and we all SHOWED OUT that night.  The entire stadium was nothing but black – black shirts, black pants, black skirts, black boots, black jackets... and just when we didn’t think it could get any better, the players came busting out at the start of the 3:30 game wearing BLACK JERSIES for the first time ever.  We all knew at that moment that it was going to be wild and crazy for the rest of the evening!  And goodness, was it ever! 

All game long, the Georgia players were on the sidelines going crazy, dancing to Soulja Boy, and swinging their towels around, and the crowd was right there with them all night.  Brian’s and my seats were right behind the players so we spent the evening dancing along with them and I lost my voice from yelling and screaming so much.  If you want to see just how crunk the game was, check out this old clip onYouTube… even Vern and Gary (the CBS announcers) were dancing up in their box!  Hahahaha.  Man, that video brings back the best memories!  

Most importantly, we ended up whooping Auburn 45-20 and we got our win for the year!!!!  After the game, B and I spent the rest of the night partying in downtown Athens with all of our friends.  It was just one of the best nights ever.  Oh, and did I mention that this game took place just three weeks before Brian’s and my wedding?  Yep.  So I was totally on a wedding high as well.

T W O – Georgia vs. Hawaii Sugar Bowl, January 2008 (New Orleans, LA)

Just two months after that blackout game, Brian and I found ourselves at another one of our favorite games of all time, this time for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.  Now, I will say this – the game itself was fun and good and all, and we beat the stew out of Hawaii, 41-10 – but the most fun about that whole game day experience was that it was in New Orleans!! 

Since we were playing Hawaii, not many of the Hawaii fans made the trip all the way to NOLA, so all of Bourbon Street was basically one big University of Georgia party all night!  There were Georgia fans everywhere!!  B and I made the trip with one of my coworkers and his friends and we partied all. night. long. on Bourbon Street after that game was over.  We didn’t make it back to our hotel room until the sun was coming up.  Literally. 

T H R E E – Georgia vs. Michigan State Capital One Bowl, January 2009 (Orlando, FL)

This is another game day that was super fun for the surrounding circumstances and not just the game itself.  This game took place on January 1, 2009 which meant that we were in Orlando the night before for New Year’s Eve.  It was the first and only time that B and I have ever been out of town for NYE.  I usually like to spend NYE with our friends and family in our hometown, so we almost didn’t go, but I’m so glad we did. 

We went with my coworker and some of his friends again, and we all ended up partying all night in downtown Orlando.  If you’ve never been to Orlando’s downtown area, they have a whole street lined with bars and it’s for foot traffic only, so you can just walk everywhere the whole time.  The street is covered in twinkle lights and there are tables and chairs everywhere and all of the bars are really close together so it makes it very easy to barhop.  I don’t even know how many bars we went into that night, but it was a lot.  And since it was New Year’s Eve, the place was packed to the max!  Seriously so much fun!  They had a big countdown at midnight and everyone wore NYE hats and toasted at midnight. 

The next day we all headed to the game, and it was really neat to see our Dawgs play in a different stadium.  We ended up beating Michigan State 24-12 and it was a great way to kick off 2009… one of my favorite years to date!

F O U R – Georgia vs. Florida, October 2010 (Jacksonville, FL)

If you’re not familiar with college football or the SEC in particular, you probably don’t know about the traditions surrounding the Georgia vs. Florida game.  We don’t alternate each year between our stadium and Florida’s stadium like we do with other opponents.  Instead, our game is played on the same “neutral” field every year in Jacksonville.  (And don’t get me started about that being a “neutral” field.  I mean, anywhere in Florida is going to be more Gator country that anything else, so a truly neutral spot would need to be Alabama or anywhere else that is not in the state of Georgia or Florida.)

Anyhoo, we’ve been playing Florida in Jax for years and years and it’s been labeled “the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.”  It’s one of the busiest annual events in downtown Jax, so there are always tons and tons of people there.  B and I had always wanted to go to a GA/FL game in Jax, and since 2010 was the year that we started trying for a baby, we decided to scoop up some tickets and go since it could possibly be our last year without kids. 

We took one of our best couple friends along for the ride and we had so much dang fun!  We drove down Friday afternoon and partied all night at Jacksonville Landing.  There were thousands of people everywhere all night.  It was crazy.

Kickoff was at 3:30 the next day and we had great seats.  The game ended up being a nail biter the entire time and we ended up going into overtime.  OT was incredibly stressful/exciting and then we ended up losing 34-31.  It was such a heartbreaker.  But those nail biter games are always some of the best, regardless, because of the nonstop excitement. 

Another important thing to note about this game was that four months prior to it, I had suffered a miscarriage with our first pregnancy, and I was still struggling with deep sadness.  This game ended up being a good distraction to take my mind off of things and I felt like it was the first time in months that I actually enjoyed myself.  We had also just started trying to get pregnant again in the couple of weeks leading up to the game and I just knew with all of my heart that it had worked, but it was too early to take a pregnancy test.  I was so sure that I was pregnant that I actually stayed alcohol free that whole weekend just in case, and it was a good thing that I did, because five days later we had a positive pregnancy test.  Jacob was in there.  <3

F I V E – Georgia vs. Auburn, November 2009 (Athens, GA)

Yep, another Georgia vs. Auburn game made the list!  I told y’all those are always some of my favorites!  Just two years after the epic blackout game, we played Auburn in Athens again, and it was yet another great one.  Everyone was still hyped up over the last time we’d played them at home and we were all hoping for a repeat.  Between that excitement and the fact that it was a night game (the best) it turned out to be another awesome game.  B and I had scored fifty yard line tickets on the good side of the stadium again, and we were sitting behind the team again which really amps up the excitement. 

The game was fairly close all night so that was exciting in itself, and we ended up pulling out the win, 31-24!  B and I had originally intended to drive straight back home after the game was over, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave after another great game, so instead, we headed downtown with all of our friends.  We ended up barhopping all night in Athens and then making the drive back home sometime in the middle of the night.  But don’t worry, B barely drank to ensure a safe drive home.  ;o)

HONORABLE MENTION – Georgia vs. Kentucky, November 2009 (Athens, GA)

This post just wouldn’t be right without mentioning the first game that we ever attended as a family of four!  We had taken Jacob to his first game the year prior to this (which was also a super crazy fun game, but a heartbreaker in the end), but 2017 was the year that both kids were able to attend a game.  That meant that it was Jacob’s second game and Olivia’s first.  I had always envisioned having a little boy in a Georgia jersey and a little girl in a Georgia cheerleading outfit to take to games, and that day it finally came true!  It was almost surreal!

Our little family of four spent the whole day touring around campus, showing the kids all of the sights and special places, and then we cheered on our Dawgs during the 3:30 game.  The weather was perfect, the kids were on their best behaviors, we won 42-13, and we had the best day, just the four of us.  So grateful for my people.  And you can see the full post here since I was blogging then. 

And that’s it, y’all!  My top five, er, six favorite Georgia games ever! 

And in keeping with the spirit of football season, here are some college football funnies for you today on this Friday…

Sorry 'bout the language, but it's true!  Hahahaha.

It's true... sometimes I do!  ;o)

And if you have said that, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!

Guilty as charged.  

BAHAHAHAHA #truth.  Sorry Bama fans, Kirby's face was just too good not to post!  ;o)


Also, guilty as charged.  Just kidding, I at least give it until noon.  ;o)

And ICYMI, this week’s blog posts…
Happy long weekend and happy start of college football, y’all!!!! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favoriteand Polka-Dotty Place for High Five for Friday.