Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back in Black


A friend, who shall forever be dear to me, gave me a wonderful gift on Friday. She gave me tickets. No, not tickets to Hawaii. She gave me tickets to the Georgia vs. Auburn football game, which turned out to be the most amazing and most exciting sporting event I've ever attended.

I know some of you aren't into sports, but I love sports and I love college football, particularly the Dawgs.

And for those of you who don't know, Saturday was a "blackout" game. The seniors on the football team requested that all the fans wear black, in a show of solidarity. Late in the week, rumors began to fly that the team would wear black jerseys, something no one can remember ever happening before, but no one would confirm or deny and Coach Richt said he was just plain tired of talking about it.

As Mr. Daddy and I walked to the stadium, it was clear that the Bulldog faithful had listened to the players. There was an occasional red shirt (where have you people been? In a cave?), but black was everywhere (seriously, how hard do you think it was for most women to find something black in their closets? And of course most of the women were dressed like they were going to a cocktail party, but that's a whole `nother post entirely).

When we got to our seats, we were greeted by a sea of black:

This was a sight never before seen in Sanford Stadium. And it was impressive.

And I'm about to get a little sentimental here but please just bear with me for a moment. When the announcer asked us to stand and sing the UGA Alma Mater, I looked out at all those people, all wearing black, all rooting for the same team, and I got a little teary eyed.

Truthfully, this is not unusual for me. I get teary eyed any time the National Anthem is played. Whenever I go to a parade and see all these happy people, sharing in a common experience that seems so Norman Rockwell-y, so American. I can't explain why it happens. It just makes me feel like I'm part of something larger than myself -- even if it is just a football game.

We missed the team warming up, but everybody around said they were in red jerseys. So maybe it was just a rumor after all. Maybe not.

The captains met at the center of the field -- in red jerseys. The coin was tossed. The decision to kick or receive was made.

And then the cheerleaders and the band lined up beside the tunnel where the team emerges. Everyone held their breath.

And then the team stormed onto the field wearing black jerseys and oh my God the stadium went wild. AC/DC's "Back In Black" blared from the speakers, and while it is certainly not one of my favorite songs, it certainly did get everyone fired up.

The truly amazing thing was that the momentum never faltered. Every time Auburn had the ball the stadium would erupt again. Auburn wasted two time outs simply because the players couldn't hear the plays being called by the quarterback. I myself was almost completely hoarse before the end of the first quarter.

And of course, Georgia won. It was the first time that Georgia has beaten both Florida and Auburn in the same year since 1982. So it felt good. I know it was just a football game, but holy cow that was fun.

Ticket lady (you know who you are), thank you.


Lauren said...

I am absolutely GREEN with envy!! I can't believe you got to go. That was certainly one of the best Ga. games EVER...

AndreAnna said...

I'm not into college football but it sounds like a total awesome experience! I also get all emotional when people get together as a group for one commonality. I'm such a sissy.

1blueshi1 said...

sounds like an amazing experience (she gasped from The Couch O' Flu)
I have to admit, when I found out UGA won, I thought of you!

Susan said...

"I get teary eyed any time the National Anthem is played. Whenever I go to a parade and see all these happy people, sharing in a common experience that seems so Norman Rockwell-y, so American..."

I know exactly what you mean, I do this too! Of course, I cried at a McCormick's spice commercial years back (Thanksgiving time, sappy music).

The game sounds like it was a blast (from the past?). Now, y'all down there in the SEC, which I learned years ago working with Regions Bank was NOT the Securities & Exchange Commission, have your own favorite teams, but MY match-up is coming up next weekend: U of M vs. Ohio State. Say a big "Go Blue" for me.

Laurel said...

I am happy for you! What a great day. I'm thanking "ticket lady" for you, too.

Karen said...

I'm am not a sports-fan, but that sounds like one great time!

Amy and Kia said...

I got teary-eyed just reading how you got teary-eyed!

It was amazing to see on t.v. too! GO DAWGS!

Lulu said...

I'm not a football fan either, but I did get caught up in the whole black jersey thing. That Richt...he had everyone fooled!

I'm actually experiencing my first UGA tailgait party this Saturday. I don't have tickets to the game or anything, but it's a party for someone's birthday, and I'll be tailgating at like 6:30am, so I'm not so happy about that! Why can't the darn game be later? Come visit me...I'll share my mimosa with you...

All Adither said...

Wow, you actually make football sound