My freshman year football season was breathtaking. I thought I had loved UGA, but I had no idea how special that school was to me/how excited it made me until I stepped foot in Sanford for the first home game of the year. You spend your whole life watching college football on TV and attending games with your family, but you never truly experience a college gameday until you're standing in the student section, student ID in pocket, cheering as loud as can be.
Picture yourself in your bright red jersey, sweat dripping down your face, with 92,000 of your closest friends. You're dancing your heart out between the hedges, singing "Saturday! Saturday!" as you soak up the most exciting day of the week: Saturday in Athens. And as you call the Dawgs for the 3rd time in 45 minutes, you still can't get over how perfect that moment in time is.
Despite the incredible atmosphere Georgia Football brings, I would like to argue that it isn't the hype videos, Dawg calls, or marching band songs that make Georgia football what it is. It's not the singing of the Alma Mater, the "Georgia" vs. "Bulldogs" scream-off, or the sea of red jerseys throughout the stands: it's the people.
The UGA family is hard to beat. Together, we've mourned the letting go of an incredible coach and excitedly welcomed the start of a new chapter in the Georgia Football story. We celebrated the return of Kirby Smart and experienced the most unexpected of tragedies and have only come out stronger and closer than we were before. And no matter how many ups and downs the UGA family faces, we're still just that: a family.
To most, these facts have nothing to do with football. They're simply a description of the UGA family. However, isn't it the fans that make football season what it is? Yes, a good team helps, and yes, we adore our players and appreciate all of the work they put in. But the Georgia family is special. The Georgia spirit is shown every day of the week, and the anticipation for the next gameday starts the second each game ends.
UGA is special, no one can deny that. And while I would like to say that this experience is this special for every college student in the country, I'd like to argue that the UGA college football experience is different. I'd like to argue that the amount of passion, energy, and heart that the students, alumni, and fans have for this school is unparalleled. And while you may call me "bias," I think you'd completely agree with me if you were to attend a game.As our first home game approaches, I think we can all agree that the Georgia spirit is as high as ever. As we anxiously wait for kickoff, I think we should all take a moment and appreciate how lucky we are to be able to call ourselves Georgia Bulldogs. Football season is back, and I can't imagine being able to cheer for any other team than my boys in Red and Black.
"There is no tradition more worth of envy, no institution worthy of such loyalty, as the University of Georgia." -Larry Munson