On Saturday, September 14th, when the University of Georgia took on Arkansas State University, players on both sides were playing for more than just a win. Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson was making his first appearance on the sidelines, following the passing of his late wife, Wendy Anderson, who lost her battle to breast cancer. For this occasion, the Bulldogs decided to make Saturday's game a pink out to honor the coach and his family.
For the Bulldogs, it was a gesture that can't ever be matched, and the Anderson family is forever grateful.
The SEC (Southeastern Conference) is one of college football's hardest conferences to play in. Before teams get into their gauntlet of a schedule, they will play lesser FBS teams, as well as FCS teams. On week three of the 2019 college football season, the number three ranked team in the country University of Georgia Bulldogs hosted the Arkansas State Redwolves, which on paper seemed like a lackluster matchup. For those who are diehard Bulldog fans, they were preparing for Georgia's marquee matchup against Notre Dame next week.
After hearing that Arkansas State Redwolves head coach Blake Anderson would make his season debut, following the passing of his wife, UGA decided to make Saturday's game a pink out in her honor. As fans rolled into the stadium, it was clear that the message was delivered to the Bulldog faithful, as the red seats of Sanford Stadium were soon coated with the pink attire of fans going into the stadium. A group of fans sitting in the front row of the stadium had painted themselves pink, and on their back, each spelled out "Remember Wendy" with pink afros on their heads.
The game made national headlines. It was not because of Jake Fromm's standout game, but because the entire crowd remembered a woman who most had never met before.
After the Bulldogs rolled over the Redwolves with 55-0, the only thing on Blake Anderson's mind was the amount of support him and his family received during this terrible time. Anderson said after the game, "I would say thank you to all those who showed up today wearing pink or thinking pink." It was clear after hearing the interview that Anderson was holding back tears, as the aftershock of everything that had happened over the past three hours was starting to set in.
On paper, it seems that Georgia was playing a low-level team, and they just rolled over them. But instead, it was a very selfless move by Georgia to honor someone who most of the fans had never met.
While the situation is terrible, hopefully, other teams can follow in Georgia's footsteps and help a player/coach/or school who is struggling.