Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are You Dawg Enough for Grantham?


I've become a pretty big fan of Scout. Although I don't enjoy perusing message boards, the Porch is much better than those nut jobs that spend all day (and evening) waiting for the AJC to post something so that they can type the word First!!! And Dean Legge and Chad Simmons lead a cast of characters over at Georgia Scout that is top notch. 

I mention all that simply to preface this: when I read this piece by Dean last night, I thought he was off his rocker. He basically takes that recent Grantham quote about the fans and runs with it. He essentially calls Georgia fans of recent years soft, too quiet....casual

To quote those kids today - Oh SNAP!!

Don't know about you Reader, but I hunkered down through the entire Goff era as a student. After graduation, I barked through the rain and cold back in '98 when Ole Missy came to town; a night that was even more miserable than the monsoon we survived against the Sun Devils this past season. Like 92,000 other people I know, given the choice of the white sands of a Hawaiian beach or the cold concrete of Sanford Stadium in November...gimme my stadium cup and pass the flask!

But when my blood simmered down...ol' Dean may have a point. I took a deep breath and took off my red and black colored glasses....hmmm...
Sanford Stadium is not loud... I’m not sure if Georgia fans are not loud (that, I think, is part of it) or if the makeup of the stadium itself – wide, not tall – is the reason for it, but nonetheless Sanford Stadium is not an intimidating place to play… at least not right now.
It was the second reading I believe that made me think. And from there he goes on to lay some of the blame at the foot of the team, namely for recent home flops against big teams. Such as that night in September back in 2008 when the wife and I shelled out big bucks for a babysitter and spent the day in Athens with friends, getting charged up for a huge game against Bama, only to watch the Dawgs fall flat. 

Yeh, Dean's words were beginning to sink in. He expertly uses Grantham's enthusiasm to point out that not only does the new defense need to be charged up, but the fans will need to be as well. In essence, it'll be the 12th man that can be the icing to the cake Grantham is baking. The louder the stadium, the harder it will be for Ryan Mallett, Josh Nesbitt and Nick Stephens Jonathan Crompton Peyton Manning...whatever the hell HillBilly lines up under center 'tween the hedges.

I was sold. It was a cold and hard truth. But it was the truth nonetheless. I always make it to at least one away game a year. If my leash is taut in Athens, the chain is breaking on the road. Jacksonville's AllTel comes unglued around All Hallow's Eve each year. I've seen Sun Devils bow down to us in the desert. The cowbells in Starkville can't be heard when that corner of the stadium is filled with what comes down the track in Athens.

Opening kick in Athens is still 136 days away. But do whatcha gotta do dear Reader. Cuz this fall...it's Saturday in Athens!!

9 comments:

BulldogBry said...

FIRST!!!

Ok, seriously though. I have always felt as though opposing fans viewed playing 'tween the hedges as a festive atmosphere, but not a party out of control. I've never said as much, of course, because I was afraid to. I know the stadium architecture has something to do with that, but I'm hoping Grantham fires up everyone so much that there will be a major difference come September.

Sports Dawg said...

The two loudest places in the SEC I've been to are Tuscaloosa & Baton Rouge. Only on a few occasions have I felt that Sanford was really,really loud. We need to get back like the days of Irk , when the "D" got loud standing ovations every time they came off the field. Not to mention the sustained noise while they are on it that Grantham desires. His personality on the sidelines might bring that out in all of us.

HamDawg11 said...

The fact that Sanford is more of an 'open' stadium has a lot to do with it. It can be pretty loud, but nowhere near the loudest in the SEC. I've only been to Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, Nashville, and Sanford, so I can't speak for Auburn, Gainesville, or Baton Rouge. IMO Neyland is the loudest I've been in. I was there for the '01 "Hobnail Boot" game. Oh yeah, it was the quietest I've been in as well....after Verron caught the late TD!

BTW, Sports Dawg: It's Erk, not Irk!

Alan Ashley said...

Here is my response Bernie - http://www.alanashley.com/blog/2010/4/20/are-dawgs-loud.html

And I have to agree with Sports Dawg, Bama and LSU are damn near the loudest around.

Anonymous said...

Are we there yet?

D^3 said...

It can GET real loud, 2005 at the end of the Auburn game it was loud as any other place in the SEC. We just have to be like that more consistently.

MT said...

I don't have any hard numbers in front of me, but I've looked at some figures in the past, and proportionately UGA dishes out a lower number of tickets to students compared to other SEC schools.

Even after adding the 600 level (opened my first year at UGA), freshmen students quickly went from getting a full home game package after 600 opened to once-again getting a split season package.

The student demand is there; however, I don't think the ticket supply is.

Especially given the nature of the open end zone, increasing student numbers will be the only real way to increase stadium noise without the old crowd getting up on their feet more on the opposite side.

Also, we need to make sure that we generally allocate the SEC-mandated minimum to opposing fans. Anything more and we're giving away a small incremental advantage

Sports Dawg said...

My bad HamDawg11. Thanks for the correction. I'll aspire to do better, can't waste this UGA degree like that.

UGA NATION Blog said...

I don't know what the problem is either? I have noticed it for sure! The last game I was at and had to cover my ears a few times was when LSU came to Athens in 2004. Matter of fact that is the loudest I have ever heard Sanford.
It's not the fans, we have the ability...
I think it is exactly the fact that we lose big games and we basically never route any team. If you remember, the Dawgs jumped all over LSU that day and everyone went crazy and stayed that way.
The last few years the "fan intensity" has drifted away quickly because of performance IMO.
Hopefully Dawg fans will get things back to the way they should be and start dealing a tough hand to opposing teams.