OT: Clean Old-Fashioned Hate - All the Way, Turned Up

Submitted by willywill9 on November 30th, 2009 at 1:02 AM
This past weekend, I made the trip to Atlanta for the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game (and to spend Thanksgiving with the girlfriend's family, of course.)  Since it was a pretty big Southern rivalry game and played at night, I figured I'd share my experience.  This might prove to be a little lengthy, but I merely am reporting on things I observed and thought noteworthy enough to share.  I'll break my observations into three segments: Pregame, During the Game, and Post Game.

Pregame - Tailgating

With the game scheduled for an 8pm kick off, we naturally began tailgating at 12:30pm at a Fraternity House near the stadium.  Tailgate food was pretty standard, with additional foods such as Brunswick Stew and a Chick-Fil-A platter.  Delicious.)  Needless to say, with about 7 hours of tailgating, there were plenty of beverages consumed and shenanigans to be had.

Noticeable differences:
The attire was different.  Pledges wore shirts and ties, some had pants that matched the color of their team (e.g. Tech students had yellow slacks, while some Georgia students had red slacks...yikes!)

I already was aware that the girls wore sun dresses to games; but, when it gets cooler they wear jackets matching the color of their schools. This may be more accurate for those in the Greek system at Georgia Tech, but I saw many folks with outfits that match school colors, but don't explicitly say the school's name.  I did see people with jerseys, shirts etc., but not among the Frat/Sorority crowds.

Speaking of attire...
I of course had to be "that guy" with my Michigan hat on. The top two questions people asked me were:
1. "What do you think of Rich Rodriguez?"
2. "You think y'all are going to fire him?"

My response probably came off a bit defensive in nature, but I responded that I am a supporter/buyer of what Rodriguez brings to Michigan and that I think the general public won't expect as much from Michigan, which will play in his favor nicely when he wins 8 or 9 games next season.  (Homer? Maybe...)  I also ran into a someone who yelled out a 'Go Blue!'  Found out he was born in Grand Rapids but moved to the South, which confirmed, you can't go anywhere without running into at least one Michigan fan.

Similar to the Victors' Walk, Georgia Tech has a Players' Walk down Yellow Jacket Alley.  The band, cheer leaders and Ramblin' Wreck and fans all participate.  One interesting note here is that they allow the Recruits to join in on the walk.  I'm not sure if we do this currently, but I noticed it specifically this weekend.  I bet the recruits loved it.  If you click the above link, you'll see what it was like for Saturday's game.  You'll also notice how much closer everyone gets to the players, coaches, etc. than we do at Michigan.

During the Game:

The night atmosphere was pretty awesome.  The sky was clear and the Atlanta skyline looked gorgeous.  I was sitting in the Georgia section with my girlfriend, a GaTech alumnus.  If I had to compare Georgia fans to MSU or OSU fans, I'd say our Big Ten rivals are worse, but when Georgia fans bark at you as part of their chant, I'll admit there are few chants that are more annoying.

I spent the first half in the Georgia section and the second half in the GaTech section.  In the UGA section, we were above the GaTech band; due to acoustics I couldn't hear the Tech band.  We heard Georgia's band pretty well from across the stadium.

The neatest thing to note, is the fact that Georgia Tech had a rap song (I think by Soulja Boy called "All the way turned up" as an official theme for their hype videos that were playing on the big screen.  Not only was the song piped in throughout the game, the band also learned to play it too!

Here's a version of the hype video.

While this song is pretty atrocious, it pumped the student and alumni crowds, and it also prompted the crowd to get loud on key defensive plays.  Supposedly, some of the hype videos played before key plays/downs were created by players on the team.  To me, that shows that the players and students totally bought into the team and its direction.  It also shows that the athletic program affords its players the freedom to be creative and have real ownership of the direction of the team. (Note: Again, the song is bad, but I like the idea of involving the players to help engage the crowd on the big screen.)

Another cool thing to see was in between the third and fourth quarter, the GT band plays the Budweiser song.  The video doesn't really do it justice.  It's a fun thing to see in between the 3rd and 4th quarters.

Post Game:

The game was an exciting game that unfortunately slipped through GaTechs hands, literally.  The crowd was in it the entire game.  I stood the entire game, shouting and yelling, and not once was I told to sit down.  That felt nice.  The loss however, sucked as much as if I had gone to Tech.

Once Demariyus Thomas dropped a pass on fourth down, the entire stadium fell to silence, save the scattered sections of barking Georgia fans.  The interesting thing though, was that Georgia Tech fans were more upset that both Clemson and GaTech lost to "bottom" SEC schools than anything else.  They really have conference pride.  Perhaps it's a geographical thing for ACC fans?

At any rate, I strongly recommend a game at Georgia Tech, or any other school in the country for that matter.  If you go to a game somewhere else, I'd love to read your observations on the game day feel.  I'm planning on attending the Rutgers-West Virginia game; I may tone down the Michigan attire so as to avoid confrontation.

Comments

GoBlue-ATL

November 30th, 2009 at 8:31 AM ^

Unfortunately, they were not able to pull out the win. My wife is a GT grad and she makes a great point about GT even being in contention with Georgia. Georgia is the major public university able to recruit the top talent from all over the country- GT is lucky to pull a few four stars here and there with mostly middling two and three star types. Says a lot about what Paul Johnson is doing with the program.

willywill9

November 30th, 2009 at 9:11 AM ^

Yeah, as far as football goes, that statement is very true. They're lucky to retain top talent from the Atlanta area, let alone across the south or beyond. From my understanding, a vast majority (something to the tune of 70-30 or worse) is Georgia fans when it comes to football.

Hopefully Paul Johnson can help bridge that gap. I think he'll be at Georgia tech for a good while and look forward to him bringing Georgia Tech (back) on a national stage.

For selfish reasons, I'd love for Michigan to do a 1 and 1 with Georgia Tech. I'd obviously also welcome a 1 and 1 with Georgia for that matter.

gte896u

November 30th, 2009 at 9:55 AM ^

gailey actually brought in some really nice recruiting classes in his last few years, particularly the incoming 2007 class.
Dwyer, Nesbitt, Burnett, and Morgan were all part of that class.

Paul Johnson's recruiting should get better as he gets to know coaches. When he was at Navy there was no point in recruiting at the football factories. They'll have 20-21 wins in his first two season by the time this year is over, and i think his recruiting should get the requisite bump that comes with winning.

kvnryn

November 30th, 2009 at 9:02 AM ^

Good recap. You picked a great game to show the MGoCommunity how GT does it. But having been to 30+ GT games in the last 8 years, your experience was an outlier (a good one, but just not representative of how it usually is). For almost any other game, the atmosphere is not as exciting, the stadium not as full, the tailgating more sparse and low-key, and just generally not as "cool."

I would still recommend to anyone in the area to check out a game - it's a great place to watch college football - but you will be disappointed if you set your expectations as high as this recap suggests.

Also, stay away from the Varsity.

Also also, coming to MGoBlog only to be reminded of losing to UGA is not fun.

willywill9

November 30th, 2009 at 9:17 AM ^

Apologies for the reminder, but it was a fun game nonetheless. I've only been to two games at Bobby Dodd (both were night games.) One was in 2007 in the Chan Gailey era against Virginia Tech, and then this game against UGA. I was also at last year's game against Georgia @ Athens.

One thing that helped the atmosphere of this game was the fact that GT is a 10 win team. At the game in 2007, they were mediocre to bad, and the atmosphere was good, but not as great as this past Saturday.

AMazinBlue

November 30th, 2009 at 9:57 AM ^

I'm curious if there were as many older fans/alumni at the game. Of course our crowds have the rep of being the wine/cheese set, but the SEC gives the impression they are more rabid about their football.

Any comparisons. Great post.

willywill9

November 30th, 2009 at 10:31 AM ^

I'd say the majority of non-students were of age 25-50. I didn't see that many folks that looked too old to stand. At least my section fit that demographic. The Georgia fans (SEC fans) were definitely standing. The Tech fans (ACC fans) were still standing as well. It was kind of weird, I was expecting to get yelled at, at least once, but nothing. I wish Michigan Stadium was like that.

Tater

November 30th, 2009 at 10:44 AM ^

For purely selfish reasons, I'd rather see them do one with USF. USF is a perfect team to pad the schedule with. They look good for the polls and the computers, but aren't really a threat to beat an elite team very often, despite their record against WVU. It would help recruiting in Florida, and I'm sure USF would jump at the chance to have UM play at the Ray Jay.

willywill9

November 30th, 2009 at 1:28 PM ^

That's true, maybe we can appeal to more kickers from Tampa Jesuit to come to Michigan! But, seriously. Tampa would definitely be fun for sure; I'm not sure about USF gameday experience, but whatever it would lack, the weather could make up for.

Georgiafan

November 30th, 2009 at 3:21 PM ^

I am sorry but this article has something in it that is NOT accurate. I am a Georgia fan but I will tolerate your Georgia Tech spin on things. I will tolerate it but I do have some objections. First, I do not think that the "bark" is annoying if you are used to it. I like it. Second, the Budweiser song is what's annoying, it's a beer song, come on. Third, and most importantly, the "all the way turned up" is not Tech's song. This was the real reason I posted this comment. This song was played at the first Georgia home game and I think has been played at every home game since. We even have our own tradition for it; We say "All the way Geor-gia". I was infuriated when I found out Tech had copied us by playing this song and even more so when I heard it at the GA vs. GA Tech game. I just wanted to clear some things up from the other side's perspective. Anyway, a dumb song doesn't matter that much, just check the score. Thanks! Great article though.

P.S.
Georgia is really the ACC Champion because Clemson and Tech are in the ACC championship game, but South Carolina beat Clemson and Georgia beat Georgia Tech. Georgia also beat South Carolina already in the regular season.

willywill9

November 30th, 2009 at 5:09 PM ^

First, whether or not a "bark" is annoying cannot really be argued. You either agree or don't agree. To me, it's not classy and it's annoying. I actually appreciate Georgia football, but find it annoying to be barked at.

Second, annoying or not, the Budweiser chant is something that is consistently done between the 3rd and 4th Quarters, and was merely an observation. It does look cool when an an entire section, virtually half the stadium, is bobbing up and down chanting.

Third, It's not a Georgia Tech song by definition because they aren't the original creators of the song. If you want to argue about a bad rap song, have at it. My point of that segment was to call out that specifically, the hype video that was used at the game was created by Georgia Tech students/players. That fact is neat to me, and I think it would be cool if it were done at the big house. Something cool about using players in a video to engage the crowd to get loud.

The game was a good one, and yes Georgia won. It came down to the wire and Georgia made some solid defensive plays on that last drive. I think Georgia under achieved all season and had a strong shot at this game.

PS- No need to be cocky about the victory; by your logic Houston would beat Georgia because they Beat Oklahoma State? Or does that mean Oklahoma State would be ACC champs?