Believe it or not, I attended the University Of Georgia G-Day spring football game at Sanford Stadium back in April. For those who know me, I still bleed the orange and purple of Clemson so before the comments on my Facebook page allow me to explain why I was there. I wasn’t there to cheer on the Dawgs or to bark in the park, but instead I was there supporting my niece who is a member of the Georgettes dance team. Despite being among the Red and Black faithful and my brother who is a big Dawg fan and loves Tiger bashing, I must admit I had a great time.
It was an atmosphere that teased football fans and made us miss the fall and pageantry of college football. The tailgaters had their grills fired up, playing music, and talking about their high expectations of the upcoming season. The pep rally was in full force with the band playing, cheerleaders cheering, and the dance girls doing their thing. It was all too familiar to what we see during football season yet it was only spring and a game that didn’t really matter to most other than the players and coaches.
I was there right in the middle of the Dawg nation with no other rival fans in sight other than a lonely old man brave enough to wear a Georgia Tech cap. This man was perhaps old and wise but as much as I love Clemson I knew to keep my orange and purple attire at home. My brother, who was showing his kindness to me, offered me a Georgia cap to wear just in case I felt the urge to fit in.
On that beautiful spring day I put behind my loyalties to my favorite team and just decided to be a fan, a fan of college football and the festivities of the day. I let it all soak in and enjoyed hearing the band and drum line perform during the pep rally. I forced myself to enjoy hearing “Glory to Ole Georgia” no matter how many times the band repeated it. I enjoyed seeing the kids’ little faces light up for what seemed to be the thrill of a lifetime as they posed for pictures with the cheerleaders and majorettes at the pep rally. It was even enjoyable watching the dads daring to have that same glow on their faces while having their pictures made with those same girls. Then watching the expressions on the wives’ faces, while their husbands enjoyed the photo session perhaps more than their own wedding day, were priceless. Most of all I enjoyed watching my niece dance.
Just trying to be a fan without a bias opinion on that day was something new to me. It was just the G-Day spring scrimmage for Georgia, but for me it was a chance to see my niece perform. Living two hours from my family I’ve missed many opportunities to be just a fan of my nephew’s baseball games from little league to college baseball. I also missed my niece dancing and cheering over the years from middle school to high school that prepared her for her days of dancing on the big “G” in Sanford Stadium. So for me, Saturdays in Athens in the fall take on a different meaning than it does for Dawg fans. It’s my chance to make up for lost time with her and to be just a fan, a fan of my niece as she dances with the Dawgs.
Dallas Bordon is a regular contributor to The Madison County Journal.