Thursday, April 4, 2013

GDay - preview one

Bad news guys. I'm not going to GDay. I was able to find a bigger game to attend. But I do have two preview posts for you. The first one, which you have already found here, addresses some transportation developments since we last transported ourselves to Athens as well as some day of events that you may or may not have heard about. The tomorrow I'll be back with a look at what we might can expect to come out of the actual scrimmage.

Wanted to update you on the 316 corridor through Lawrenceville. If you're not aware, the Collins Hill and Highway 20/Buford Dr. interchanges are undergoing a major overhaul. They're adding overpasses and access roads which has turned the area into a traffic bipolar danger zone: extreme caution needed at times, and at others it's pretty much status quo. Luckily, if you're just passing through and not exiting on one of those roads you aren't affected nearly as much as those of us who are doing that on a regular basis. And I doubt a fan friendly scrimmage in Athens is going to lock the interchanges down completely. Most of the added buildup is coming on the weekdays.
The NEW intersection at Highway 20 and 316!

That being said, I believe travel through Lawrenceville along 316 will be affected come fall. Especially for any early games where the gameday traffic is more concentrated. So Saturday might be a good time to try out a new possibility for navigating around this "hotspot". The "Sugarloaf By-Pass" is fully functional now and would probably help Atlanta residents trying to get down 316 that have no need to pass through Lawrenceville. Sugarloaf Parkway is the first eastbound exit on 316 and skirts along the outer edge of Lawrenceville. The road used to dead end into Grayson Highway, but they've opened up another few miles to get traffic all the way to 316 just before the Harbins Rd-Dacula stoplight. Back in the fall west bound 316 traffic couldn't access this "by-pass", but they've completed construction now so that traffic from any direction can use the interchange.

Although there are several stoplights, this Sugarloaf option would still be a favorable alternative to the construction zone that Lawrenceville has become. Saturday might be a good time to test it out.

Rennie Curran's book signing
In case you've missed it this week as he's been publicizing it, Rennie Curran has a book out - Free Agent: The Perspectives of a Young African-American Athlete. He'll be on hand at the UGA Bookstore for autographs and signings ($10 each, or for the price of the book) as he promotes it. You can pre-order a copy at his website.

Here's a link to a video made as a trailer for the book. You can get more info about the Bookstore appearance from the Facebook invite.

Lunch with the Legends
The tickets and autographed footballs sold out quick. Hopefully you were able to get in on the action. If not, there stands a good chance that there will be a third annual event like this next year.

Annual Letterman Game
Past heroes of Sanford's turf gather and play a flag football game prior to the start of the intra-squad scrimmage. I believe this starts at 11:00am and is a lot of fun and a chance to root for some former players once again.

Plus, you get an early crack at the shaded seats before the crowd comes in.

Canned Food Drive
As in most years, UGA Athletic Association is asking GDay attendees to bring canned goods to donate. The scrimmage is free to attend, but these donations go towards helping the Food Bank of Northeast GA. Additionally, it appears some of the players have organized themselves into teams and are asking for specific foods to be donated. Keith Marshall (aka #TeamMarshall) would like you to bring canned corn and sliced peaches; #TeamBennett would prefer you bring peanut butter and mixed veggies; and #TeamSwann wants more baked beans and sliced pears than anything else. Still no word on #TeamLynch lobbying for canned haddock on a Wicked Saturday. Oh well.

Regardless, bins will be set up at the main gate, plus gates 2,4,6 and 9. Monetary donations are welcome as well. For more info on the Food Bank of NEGA - click here.

Evening fare
Of course once the game ends you really have two options: go on home or make a day of it. If you choose the latter there is some little concert at Sanford as well as the Diamond Dawgs taking on Missouri at Foley. Of course there's always the allure of downtown. And regardless of what happens on the field you can stop and ring the Chapel Bell. [CORRECTION: that concert is next Saturday, 4/13. Sorry for any confusion.]

Go Dawgs!