Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adventures in Nerdfest

Here's a little story about me. I grew up in a family of Tech fans. None of them really "fanatics", but they mostly had an affinity for the North Avenue Nerds. Even more disgusting? I actually went to a Georgia Tech game before I stepped foot in Athens town. Somewhere along the way someone moulded me into a Georgia fan and the sad part is I don't know who it was...but it stuck.

Lately as my sister and I have grown up, Dad has slowly moved more to the center because I've made it a life goal to take him to at least one Georgia game for every Georgia game I made him take me to as a kid (back when you could get a ticket for <$25 each). My Mom only wants me to be happy so she'll cheer for Georgia in the off chance she's watching football (she was adorable with concern during the Auburn game this year). My sister has merged her love of Tech with a love of Bama because she went to school at Samford where she picked up a light appreciation for the Red Elephants. So pretty much against all odds I survived my family's influence and saw the light.

But as I said earlier my first NCAA football game was at Bobby Dodd Stadium when I was REAL little. Up until 2006, that had been the only time I saw Tech play in person. This story really begins there, my first trip to see Georgia play our in-state rivals, Georgia Tech.

The year is 2006. The season has been quite disappointing, and to date the worst under Coach Mark Richt. Earlier that year we had dropped 4 games respectively to Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, and Kentucky. Not many gave us a chance to beat Tech for obvious reasons. We were too young; Tech had Calvin Johnson and people almost began having faith in Reggie Ball as he was leading the Nerds to the ACC Championship game following the UGA game win or lose.

So I scored some tickets to the game, and I'll admit, I was excited. Yeah, UGA was the underdog, and if Tech ever had a chance to beat Georgia it was that year. But we had a highly touted freshman QB in Matthew Stafford who had shown flashes of brilliance even in losing efforts. I figured since it was in Athens, Tech would occupy the small corner of the endzone with a few splashes of mustard across various sections. My guess was surely my fellow Georgia fans would be snatching up the seats for sections 601-611 where I was to be sitting. After all, the tickets would be relatively easy to get, why wouldn't they buy them?

I'll tell you why...

Because every single nerd from inside the perimeter and their nerdy old grandmothers bought the damn tickets.

I assumed since the fans didn't even go to their own home games, they wouldn't travel well.

Regular Season Thursday turnout at historic Mark Richt Field

So my wife and I get settled in and slowly the nerdy masses ooze into their seats. Before I knew it we were surrounded with fair-skinned, pock-marked, Tech fans with their multiple shades of yellow fan-gear. I was a little disappointed, but I was bound and determined to have a good time, win or lose...but mostly win.

It was not a great first half for Georgia, or anyone wearing red from where I was seated. The older nerd in front of us decided not to discipline his little 6 year old nerdlet when he began to throw peanut shells at me, and I kept my mouth shut. I kept quiet when we were shut out a half-time and the trash talking began. I kept my mouth shut when Georgia intercepted at the Tech 20 in the third, and I kept my mouth shut when we missed the field goal to follow...and the heckling got louder.

Then something happened, Ball had the Ball (...heh) and fumbled it into a mass of red and yellow jerseys, but the play was not whistled dead because no one had possession. Corey Taylor (CORRECTION Tony Taylor, thanks Dean) dug the ball out and ran it toward the endzone before diving and landing with a belly-flop. Suddenly everyone got quiet, and if they weren't quiet they were bitching about the play not being whistled dead...they couldn't believe it. So I stood up and hollard out "TAKE IT UP THE REFS, YA'LL BROUGHT EM WITH YOU!" because after all it was an ACC officiating crew. You would have thought I brought a pre-op tranny to a church Christmas party judging by the looks I received after that.

Later on, Tech got another field goal and a TD (failing on the 2pt conv.) making it 12-7, Nerds.

It looked like we had plenty of time to score, but there was 7-8 minutes so if we did Tech would still have a good bit of clock to work with. Stafford and company slowly ate up all but a couple of minutes slowly driving downfield, and then this happened...

If you were there, you know the feeling. We had potentially won a game we weren't supposed to win. Now all that stood between us and victory was counting on Reggie Ball to screw up, and as Larry Munson said we had to hang on for 105 seconds.

A sack and an interception later we had sealed the deal, and I unleashed the fury on everyone sitting around me. I let them have it, strength in numbers my a-hole! I was shouting at old women, making little children cry, and doing everything short of what the good Lord wouldn't forgive me for the following morning. The minute Tech's fans are on the losing end of a football game they immediately tuck their tail and tell me how I'll be working for them someday. Just so they know I work for a Kappa Sig from UGA, not a Lambda Lambda Lambda from GT.

That has been my only experience to see the Dawgs whip the Nerds in person. This year, I'm perfectly happy watching the game from my living room where my wife won't tell me I'm making a scene. I'm okay with a 12:00pm kickoff, mainly because I love pancakes and whiskey. But we'll also have Trev Alberts doing to color for CBS and like Paul Westerdawg notes the Mark May jokes and Chick-Fil-A references shall be aplenty!


The Tri Runner said...

"We've got to hang on 105 seconds and we're too tired to hang on"


Sweetie said...

Ahhh... I don't think I'll ever forget that day. Do you remember picking me up and spinning me around when Georgia scored in the 4th quarter? I thought maybe you were trying to use me as a human wrecking ball in the Tech section around us.

dean said...

FWIW, the fumble was picked and returned by Tony Taylor.

I was at the game as well and somehow 3 tech fans got tickets right behind us. I still haven't forgiven the older couple whose tickets they used but that's another story. It was two dudes and chick. Yea, the jokes are endless on that one but the chick was the obnoxious one out of the threesome. Anytime tech would do anything remotely good she would "woooo" at ear shattering decibel levels. Oh, not to mention the occasional F Georgia. They were talking so much sh*t after they scored that TD I was as close as I've ever been to hitting a women. However once Staff hit MoMass and we converted the 2-point conversion I turned around to give her a lesson in cussing but they had already left. Typical tech fans.

Ally said...

That play made Tony a legend!

So sorry you had to endure years of growing up in a yech house/non-UGA home. I cannot imagine a worse fate. Seriously.

That was the last yech game I went to with my Dad before he passed away & one of my favorites. Great post!

And the Stafford high-step still puts a smile on my face! For those morons out there who think he doesn't bleed red & black as much as the Davids, that clip proves he's a DGD.

Fake TT said...

Great story. You know, I can really relate. We won a game that year we weren't supposed to win. I think it was in early January in Glendale, Arizona. I can't really be sure.

the tri guy said...

Two Tech kids, probably about 8 or 9 sat behind me and bumped there gums the ENTIRE game. Then on that last drive, when our whole section was standing, they were sitting down with their heads in their hands, resigned that somehow, we were going to score.

I snapped a lot of pictures of them with my phone and tried to show it to them after we scored, but for some reason, they didn't want to talk then.

fake tt--there's a reason everyone thinks Florida fans are assholes; it's because they are.

Mackalicious said...

tri guy, if you only knew Fake TT in person, you would realize he's a much bigger a-hole than his comments indicate.

Imagine Gene Shallot in jean shorts, and you've got Fake TT.

He is truly adorable.