New Year's Day is always a big milestone and means a lot of things to different people - a new diet, a new workout plan, quitting smoking, etc. However, this New Year's Day was a different milestone for me - it was the day of my last Georgia football game as a student. Sure, I’ll probably make it back to a game or two every year but I’ll never get to devote as much of my life as I do now to Georgia football.
I guess I should give a little history here… I went to a small high school that was too focused on academics to have sports teams. Students could participate in teams at their district schools (I did this for track), but the main thing we missed out on was school spirit. After seeing my friends at all the big high schools get so excited over rivalries and having a team to cheer for, I knew I wanted to go to college somewhere that could make up for what I had missed in high school.
So three and a half years ago, I went to not only my first UGA football game, but my first football game ever. I didn’t have the slightest clue what a first down was, and I had certainly never seen anything like the excitement in Athens on game day. My roommate and I headed out aimlessly that Saturday morning, dressed in UGA tank tops and jeans… only to run straight back to our dorms to change after seeing how dressed up everyone was! I was so confused by the dresses, heels, and pearls around me and never thought I could get used dressing up like these crazy Southern girls every week. Oh, how things have changed.
Now I know more about college football and what’s going on in the SEC than my dad and brother. Who would have thought I, who back then didn’t know how many points a touchdown was worth, would one day be able to talk football with the boys? Football sucked me in, and I’m officially addicted - not only to the sport itself, but to the overall culture of Georgia football and what it means to have school spirit. I own more red and black dresses than I ever thought imaginable. I could do all of the Georgia cheers and sing the fight song in my sleep. I wake up on game days earlier and more excited than I did on Christmas morning when I was a kid. Now I truly understand what people mean when they say football is a religion in the South.
Athens is a wonderful city and will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is Georgia football. Win or lose, rain or shine, nothing makes me happier than being in Sanford Stadium cheering for my team. GO DAWGS!!!