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Moving to Athens, A Dawg was Born

I got a tweet from Rex the other day that said I was too young to remember Mike Singletary playing between the hedges in 1978 (We lost 16-14), so that got me to thinking about when I did move to the the "Promise Land" of Athens, GA. Like some, I'm not a native. I wasn't born at Athens General, nor was I born with Red and Black flowing through my veins. Although I suspect it was just in remission, as I was adopted by a dad that had Georgia Bulldog gear and a Mom that was in Athens when the basketball team played in the Stegeman before there was a Stegeman. You know that building that used to sit next to the Tate Center, now the new Tate Center.

So I know that I was meant to be a Georgia Bulldogs, even though I didn't know it. So how did I get here and how did I become a fan.

In 1980, we moved to Athens from Milledgeville from Florida, yes I'm a native Floridian. I was born in Florida and lived there for a better part of 6 years. Luckily, I was not converted into a Seminole or a Gator. So now that we are in Athens, one of my first memories was of going to the grocery store and them playing the Larry Munson play by play on the intercom system. It was the wildest thing. My mom actually had to ask what was going on. Turns out it was a staple of Saturdays in the Fall. This was before we knew of Larry Munson, Vince Dooley or the Junkyard Dawgs. So don't hate on me yet, you can save that for later.

As my time in Athens went on, I began attending a few games with the cub scouts. Our job was to help the old people down the aisles, so not much game watching was going on. Also not having football blood in the family like some, I was not a diehard. Although I remember watching the Sugar Bowl as it was one of the few Georgia games that made it to TV. So in the early 80's it was all about radio.

One event during the glory years sticks out to me, even to this day, was a trip to the practice fields. You have to remember that all practices were closed as best I remember, so very few saw what was going on. Well my mom pulled the the "cool mom" card and take me to a practice. We made it in just fine, but then this big, bald headed man started running at us and yelling. Turns out it was Erk Russell and he was chasing off a mom with her kid. That's how serious things were back then.

By the time I got to high school, I was yet to become a bleeder for Georgia. I enjoyed Georgia, but that was about it. Also as the college years approached, I was adamant about NOT attending Georgia. I think it was Athens burnout or dumbass adolescence.

Well what changed? How did I become a Dawg? How did it become that I'm now a card carrying member of the Dawg nation (I have both season tickets to Football and basketball).

  • I ended up attending summer school right out of high school at Georgia and fell in love with everything.

  • Met a girl, well got a crush on a girl and a senior at that.

  • Had a large number of friends attending Georgia.

  • It was close to home and free laundry.

  • I had a scholarship.

So with those reasons I ended up at Georgia full-time in the fall. Well I was not a true dawg yet. It wasn't until I started attending every football and basketball game, then a few gymdawg meets as well. At that point I was converted.

I lived the games, I felt sick after a lose, I felt euphoria after wins.

So now I was a Dawg. Hell I even dated a lady dawg from the basketball team.

So today, where am I.

I'm a Dawg through and through. I'm raising my girls to be Dawgs. My home office looks like shrine to the dawgs. I have bricks at both the Redcoat Complex and at Sanford Stadium and too many pictures, trinkets, and clothes to even list here that contain some dawg reference.

I still feel sick after a lose and euphoria after a win, but now in moderation, as the little ones don't understand why daddy is cussing the TV or radio, so I have had to tone it down a bit.

I look back and often wonder what would have happened if I had attended a Florida school. Would I have loved them as much as the dawgs. I just can't see it. Our fans, with the exception of a few, are great. Visitors even write about their trips to Athens. The fans make the difference. And haven seen the other places, nothing beats Athens and the Dawgs.


Life as a Redcoat - Back on Tuesday

With everyone focused on the game this Saturday and a long holiday weekend the "Life as a Redcoat" series will be back after the long weekend. So what do we have left in the series:

Life as a Redcoat - WLOCP (Tuesday)
Life as a Redcoat - Post Season (Wednesday)
Life as a Redcoat - After Hours (Thursday)
Life as a Redcoat - Everything Else (Friday)

To catch everyone up this is where we have been

Life as a Redcoat - Preface
Life as a Redcoat - Band Camp
Life as a Redcoat - the season (home)
Life as a Redcoat - the season (away)

So until Tuesday, may our dawgs take the bite out of the Cowboys, GOOOOOOO DAWGS


Life as a Redcoat - Preface

After seeing so many Twitter and Facebook posts about the Redcoats the last few weeks, I decided it was time to write about my time in the Redcoats. As a member of the "Greatest Band in the Land," I have a unique perspective of what it means to be a Redcoat. So over the next several days leading up to the new season, one in which the Redcoats will finally have a place to call their own, I will cover what it was like to be a Redcoat. 

To start, I was a member of the Redcoats from 1990 through 1993. During my time, I played baritone (euphonium), and for those that do not know what this instrument is, think of a trumpet on steroids or an anorexic sousaphone. And of note, joining the redcoats was not something I started out wanting to do. So how did I become a member, first I need to give a little background. 

Coming out of high school, I had marched for four years and was a tad burned out with the concept of spending more hours marching around. I was more looking forward to attending games than participating in them. So I never applied or tried out for the band when I enrolled at Georgia. Although I knew many from school that went this route.  

So as a typical freshman, I was more concerned with the parties and the girls and was fine with that. It wasn't until I attended a few social outings with a former high school classmate and Redcoat that I started to get the itch to march. So over the course of the year, I met many Redcoats and instructors to begin what was a long road to becoming a Redcoat. 

During the spring of my freshman year, I was able to score an audition with the Band director, Dr. Dwight Satterwhite. Now I had not played for nearly a year and was fortunate enough be be able to get in a few practices before my audition with the help of some current redcoats. 

At the audition, now they don't let just anyone in, I was extremely nervous, but was able to muster enough get through it. This was not my best performance and when it was over I was left with the feeling that it was 50-50 on if they would let me in.

Now the wait started, would I get in. Then a week or so after school was out I got the letter. The one that said welcome to the Redcoats. I still have that letter, packed away with my UGA diploma. To this day, I think I got in only because I had a few positive words said on my behalf. And to those folks, I'm eternally grateful. 

That about sums it up, so until the next episode, when I'll cover the amazing world of Band camp, may your feet stay blister free. Go Dawgs.  


image courtesy of UGA Redcoats


Signs Football is Near

The other day I was driving through Athens and you could see the signs that football was around the corner. Now I'm a college football fan and only dabble in the NFL, but for those junkies there is a game this weekend. But for most that visit this site, College, SEC and UGA football reign supreme. Oh, that would be a good post, College vs Pro football. Maybe this weekend I can do that one.

Well back to the topic at hand, as I was saying, I was driving through Athens earler this week and started to see the signs football is near. So what did I see. Granted some are overall sightings. 

  • Girls showing up and getting ready for rush

  • Players hitting the football field. Players like Jeff Owens

  • Season tickets showing up on the doorstep

  • Twitter is a buzz with practice notes

  • The Redcoats start to fill the air with Glory,Glory

I'm sure there are other signs but these are the ones I saw this week.



Life As A Redcoat Series

As many may know, I was a Redcoat at UGA back in the early 90's. So after seeing all the talk about the practice fields and the season that is now a month away, it got me to thinking. I know, thinking can cause issues.

So in my free time I have been writing out what it was like to be a Redcoat. Below you will find how I decided to break things down. I found as I was writing these that more and more sections were needed. So it's taking a bit longer than planned. My goal is to wrap these up in the next few weeks and release them one a day leading up to kickoff.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. So here is what you can look forward to.

Life as a Redcoat - Preface
Life as a Redcoat - Band Camp
Life as a Redcoat - the season (home)
Life as a Redcoat - the season (away)
Life as a Redcoat - WLOCP
Life as a Redcoat - Post Season
Life as a Redcoat - After Hours
Life as a Redcoat - Everything Else