Thoughts on homecoming

I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t be too sentimental and try to keep this blog light, focused on sports and life in exile, since I typically hate to read blogs that are obvious attempts to avoid real therapy.  I apologize for the nostalgia.

Twenty two years ago, I walked onto campus at UGA as a freshman. The world was my oyster.  Being from outside a small town in SE Georgia with a smaller population than my dorm (Russell Hall), I was in the Big Time.  That is how you think at 18.

I have learned some things in Athens.  I learned who to trust and who not to.  I learned who are my friends and who is using me.  I learned who to use. I learned that when you are hurting, a walk on campus, in front of Phi Kappa Hall, with leaves starting to fall during the first cool snap of October or when the grass is getting green in March is salve to the soul.   I learned that getting hurt by someone you thought you loved isn’t that difficult to take if the Dawgs are playing well and is incredibly difficult if they are on the way to 4-7.  I learned that college basketball is as fun in person as college football.  I learned that youth doesn’t protect you from death.  I learned sports do mean that much to me.  I learned I was not alone in that.

Homecoming was always my favorite game week as a student.  Sure, I loved going to Jacksonville for Georgia/Florida.  I thought the atmosphere at Knoxville was incredible.  I even had a great time getting wet in Jordan-Hare.  Getting kicked out of Tiger Town in Clemson was fun.  Having a huge night game on campus was a thrill.  But I always looked forward to homecoming.  There was something extra special about the alumni that came back for homecoming.  I had something tangible to look forward to.  They were who I was going to be.

That was two UGA degrees, a head of dark hair, two wives, two careers and 40 pounds ago.  I know who my friends are.  I trust college football fans, especially if they are SEC fans, more than I should.  I am luckier than I have every right to be with the current Mrs. Bulldog in Exile.  I cannot trust people that don’t drink at least a little, unless they are preachers, reformed alcoholics or my mother. Having my toddlers ask when we are going home to Georgia is music to my ears.  Hearing my children sing “Glory, Glory” while they play absentmindedly is the coolest thing ever.  Having my best friend play Ray Charles’ version of “Georgia on my Mind”  on my voice mail still makes me cry in a manly way.  Walking across campus with leaves starting to fall during the first cool snap of October is still salve to the soul.

Good luck and Godspeed, Dawg fans.  Remember, the current residents of campus are looking up to you.

Go Dawgs!


1 Response to “Thoughts on homecoming”

  1. 1 Jimmy Cracked Corndawg
    October 18, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I’m blessed to be called one of God’s chosen few. I was a fan long before I was a student. At 35, I finally got my degree from UGA. While I was here, I soaked up every bit of the experience I could, from staying out on the town at 2 a.m. with Bulldog in Exile on school nights, to the whole Six Flags thing and class ring. Dang right, I’m a Dawg.

    It’s been 2 1/2 years since I moved back to South Ga. but at least I still get to come back for home ballgames. I was there today, and as my good friend Scott Howard says, it was “fabulous!”

    The one thing that still gets me? The trumpet solo before the game. Some traditions like that endure, but we have to get used to new ones, like Young Jeezy. Teenage Wasteland is solid, though.

    Thank God I’ve got a relative here to stay with, otherwise, I’d be like BIE and have to savor it all just once a week. By the way, dude, we had chili dawgs from the “V” and dedicated the feast in your honor.

    My soon-to-be wife, thankfully, understands my obsession, even though she doesn’t totally get football. Besides her, I’ve successfullly converted one other to UGA because both went to colleges in the Carolinas that don’t have football teams.

    It’s like I told Dantzler after the CWS loss earlier this year, convincing him not not to end it all with a bedsheet: even on a bad day, nothing beats being a Dawg. Noting.

    How sweet it is!


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A Georgia Dawg in the Mid-West alone with his thoughts.

BBQ, Ball and Bets

There's nothing like a sunny fall afternoon, pork BBQ (with mustard sauce, of course!), a pregame tailgate, and...betting online. You heard me right. With a laptop and an internet connection you can check the odds of any game from the 50 yard line. Now that's convenience and will make your tailgate all the more interesting when some dude mentions just how much of a good bet a certain game is.
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