Alabama is heading for another championship game in football. Does anyone even really care anymore? It’s like when Frasier was on the air. Odds were in its favor it would win the Emmy for Best Comedy Series. But this is the first time in about 41 years that UGA could win the championship.
And everyone who lives and has lived in Georgia is so fucking ready for it to happen so all UGA fans can shut the fuck up.
It was Jan. 1, 1981, when UGA defeated Notre Dame. Jimmy Carter was still President. Since then there have been seven more Presidents. The Soviet Union has collapsed. Major airlines, like Eastern and Pan Am, have gone out of business along with major businesses and department stores, such as Sears and Radio Shack.
It could be UGA’s time. And let’s hope the fuck so. Because UGA fans are the most annoying motherfuckers on the planet. I would call them troglodytes but that would be a compliment. This is a contradiction because many UGA fans and alum are actually well accomplished. They’re doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, philanthropists, etc. They’re captains of industry from the oldest public university in America.
But the minute they see a UGA game or worse walk into Sanford Stadium, they turned vicious. Boston people looked more well refined. People from Tucson have more culture and etiquette. Maybe it’s the pheromones of the hedges. As in The Happening, where the plants made people killed themselves. Maybe the plants are turning fans crazy.
Now, I went to Georgia Southern University during the 1990s and early 2000s. People majored in alcohol poisoning. They gave away free condoms in goody bags during Homecoming Week. A wet T-shirt contest at an apartment complex (which is now part of student housing) resulted in people inadvertently destroying a parked car from too much weight as students climbed on it to get a better look. It was very common to wake up in an apartment or dorm room with a stranger crashed on the floor (with no pillow for their head) and no one knew who they were or where they came from.
For Christ’s sakes, the residence hall director of the dorm I was in my first year, got on top of the bar and danced with other women to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” And people got totally plastered at the football games to the point it became common to see someone carried out. There were several apartments and houses within walking distances and people left to “recharge.”
It’s not like we were the prudes but usually many of us only saw the football games as social events. It was almost torture to go to the ones that started earlier in the day because many of us didn’t want to get up at 10 or even 10:30 to go to a game that was less than a mile away. And GSU had won quite a few football championships as they were Division I-AA.
But UGA fans make me cringe. I was at a game in 2000 where GSU was playing at UGA and as I was walking to my seats with a friend, someone grabbed the bottom of the shirt I was wearing to wipe the drizzling rain off their face. It was some co-ed and then when I looked at her confused, she looked at me as if I had done something wrong. They had four port-a-potties for thousands of people in the parking lot who were tailgating. My friends and I were lucky to find places where we can go whiz on the side of the walls.
Strangely it was different than the Falls of 1993 when I went with another friend and his family. It seemed liked a pleasant September day in the foothills of Appalachia. Maybe it was still a short time span from the last time they had won. But Georgia Tech had just won the National Championship less than three years earlier. And I think by 2000, it was getting to the fans one of their rivals had won as well. It had only been a decade for Yellow Jacket fans (such as my father and brother), but it had been almost two decades. In sports years, 20 years is too long, but 40 years is an eternity.
Worse is losing (or barely winning) to a team they thought is inferior . In 2015, UGA and GSU played again and it was very close with a final score of 23-17 and UGA fans rushing the field like they had just won the Super Bowl. The reason was they knew UGA had played like shit. It was the last season of Mark Richt, who was originally hoisted up as the savior of the Bulldogs. But by the 2010s, the tide has changed as it always does with UGA fans. It didn’t help that in 2013, GSU had defeated Florida, another of UGA’s rivals.
Of course, when the announcement last year that Richt, only 61, was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, has probably made some UGA fans feel lower than low. If you have friends on social media who are UGA fans, the things they said about Richt are atrocious. It’s just a game. Rather than wonder why a university emphasizes athletics over academics, people should realize it’s just a game.
But maybe we’ll have that silence if they win. It might not last long, though. Maybe it might last a decade. I would love to see it last a bit longer. But if they lose, I’m sure it’s going to be a shitstorm of ugly posts, mean tweets and anger. Of all the teams in the Division that made it to the championship game, it was UGA.
Shouldn’t that be enough for fans.
Sometimes it is. Many sports dramas win with the teams not winning. The Bad News Bears and Cool Runnings are just a couple to name.
But no, we’re going to endure months of ugly speak because UGA fans need a championship so badly. However, what does it come down to? Do they get rings themselves for being fans. Do they get to hold the trophy for a little bit? I don’t think so.
Let’s not forget at the end of the day, some of the players on both teams are just kids. They’re 19, 20, and even though 21 is technically old enough to buy alcohol and tobacco, they’re still student athletes who could face severe injuries. They might even still have permanent injuries in the upcoming years. CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is something that affects many football players after having just a slight concussion in their youth. Sadly, some students are playing because they’re forced to play by parents and legacies.
I’m no fan of football. Not anymore. I used to be somewhat but now, I can clearly do without it. It’s another occupational hazard that being a journalist has done to me. So, I ask all UGA fans one thing. If they win, they win. If they lose, they lose. Leave it on the field.
There’s more important things going on than a football game.
What do you think? Please comment.