When reading Doug’s post on the recent triumphs of my Auburn Family I was both honored and humiliated. Blessed by his tactful prose that rightfully praised the purity of my institution, yet humbled that someone from the University of Georgia, which I know to be a nearly infallible happenstance of academics and athletics and life lessons, would take the time to emotionally invest in an article of praise for my loveable, yet lesser school, with such an honest inflection.
Like Doug, I spent my High School years in Columbus, GA, a battle-ground for the rivalry, and garnered a true appreciation for the other side. Oddly enough, I truly knew UGA was a special place that produced special people when I was prepared to leave for my first semester at Auburn. I recall a 40 year-old grocery clerk in Columbus asking me what I was stocking up on supplies for. I told her that I was heading to my first year at Auburn University- to which she responded, “What is the matter, could not get into GEORGIA?”
Yes, in Georgia even the UGA fan career grocery store bag people are genuinely concerned about your educational well being and future.
Knowing that Doug is in fact a University of Georgia graduate and I am an Auburn graduate, makes my reciprocated praise a meaningless exercise. The mere existence of The University of Georgia is a blessing and a curse. They are the beacon of light in the advancement of modern society- successful Georgia grads have gone on to be lawyers, lawyers, and some writers. They have invented things that have revolutionized they way you and I interface on a day-to-day basis like dawgvent chat.
How could this possibly be a curse you say? When they have given so much… Well, when advancing my own career, whenever I personally apply for a job my first order of business is to inquire to the HR department if in fact they have received any resumes from individuals who have graduated from the University of Georgia. If they have I immediately ask to rescind my application, “It isn’t worth my time or yours, sirs!” I excitedly shout, knowing that the position will be filled to its fullest capability, to which almost always the HR director says, “Ha, indeed, Georgia! The minds that they mold. Run along now and invent a lottery in your state.”
But really, ask Georgia fans about this. They will tell you all about it and more! Careful though, it may be so well articulated you possibly will not understand it.
We are here to talk football though, not just the cultural, economic, and educational impact of The University of Georgia (I could spend 5,000 pages on that alone – lol). And nobody does football better than Georgia. Over the past decade UGA was the NUMBER TWO best recruiting team according to rivals.com. Number TWO in the Country. This means only Southern California is capable of out recruiting Georgia. If I was theorizing I’d guess it is because L.A. and Athens have roughly the same amount of bars, but again ask a UGA fan for specifics.
While there has been success on the gridiron, let me tell you about potential. Of the top eight recruiting teams the past decade, the rest of them -USC, Texas, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Auburn – has a BCS Championship game appearance (and all but FSU have victories). As such their potential is exhausted, UGA with zero BCS Championship appearances and a decade of #2 recruiting classes is just warming up, BUY THAT STOCK…
You want class? How about culture? Let me show you the dignified dance. The University of Georgia has certain obligations placed on them beyond simply being in the running for the BCS Championship every pre-season. One of them is to diligently display grace and culture to those visiting Athens from across the country in a well choreographed manner. Take the Soulja Boy dance from 2007 for example.
This is meant to entertain and excite not only their own fans and players, but to pass on their own morals in a respectful fashion to the visiting team and fans. In fact the whole Athens experience is a renaissance, as outlined may times on this site including here – http://friendsoftheprogram.net/2009/09/17/athens-ga-the-classic-city-for-you-to-poop-on/.
Doug is right, Trooper Taylor takes care of the Auburn community, but I feel the same, if not greater, about Todd Grantham. Great leader of men. I’ll never forget when he warned that kicker about dangers of choking. Or when he passionately defended the sanctity of his own player against a clearly unstrung and dangerous James Franklin of Vanderbilt.
Pugh, Fairley, Ziemba? Fine family men, but gone. We don’t have anyone to match the sportsmanship of Shawn Williams who sacrificed his own body on an unsuspecting Vanderbilt player to move the opponent out of the path of an invisible train that surely would have killed him.
As I do each year, I thank Georgia for allowing us to take the field tomorrow against them. If only I could be there in person this go around sitting in the pristine third level upper deck, watching the crowd’s passionate sound escape peacefully over the endzone and across the bridge.
Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia. A-U-B-U-R-N.