I truly don't know what to type. The word "thanks" isn't close to intense or deep enough to express our gratitude. The following words are yet another failed attempt to bridge that gap.
Teaching our kids about the history and traditions in and around the University of Georgia is one of our heaviest and most enjoyable burdens as parents. Certainly not one Mrs. Bernie nor I take lightly. And it occurred to me sometime last week just how much this senior class has helped us during our daughters' formative years. When Murray and Smith and Lynch and Burnette first took the field, our girls knew that to know a gator was to hate a gator. But in these last few years they've also discovered the feeling we get when we actually beat the gators.
For that alone, my wife and I will be eternally grateful to guys like Stripling and Gates and Vasser and McGowan. For that alone is an accomplishment so many who've graced the field before them have not experienced. My kids, as well as many of yours too, now know what it means to win against our fiercest competitor. So many of the current students matriculating in Athens didn't get that opportunity when they were my kids' age. They only knew loss and desperation when it came to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. So I say thanks Lee and Sailors and Norman and Wooten. For they not only helped to turn the tide of the St. James, they also showed our kids domination over the Yellow Jackets like few others have achieved. The stood up to Fairley, Trooper and Cam's band of thugs. They took us to Atlanta twice. Week in and week out they left everything on the field.
Damn Good Dawgs. All of em!
Yes, during this era things have not always gone according to plan. We've come up short in big moments and experienced painful losses that took us to depths previously unknown. But through it all, this class of seniors represented the G with passion and a relentless pursuit of putting the Dawgs on Top. My kids have seen Sanford Stadium at its loudest and raised their hand over the Dawg Walk railing just for a chance at a fist. They've seen this class' full effort, their tears, their heartache, their four fingers stretched towards the sky and their winning attitude. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg. How sweet it is!
As parents, as fans, as alumni across the state, nation and world who have Committed to the G...we say thanks..."I'm never washing this hand again Mom. Garrison Smith gave me a high five!"..even though thanks is no where near enough.
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Addendum - This week has seen much of the attention go towards Aaron Murray, and with good reason. I feel like devoting the entire month of December to just how much he's meant on and off the field to this program. And for what that's worth, I don't think you can do better than Corbindawg's post about #11. I agree with it word for word, Murray's the best quarterback to put on the red and black. Perhaps I type that with too much emotion in my heart as we get ready to welcome him to his last home game. But I fully expect to feel the same way a year, ten and even 12 years from now, until my youngest daughter finishes her career at Georgia. :)
But there's so much more to this class than their quarterback. There's even so much more than the names I managed to fit in up there. There's a large number of walk-ons we'll welcome tomorrow that have gone way beyond what many would sacrifice just for a chance to help this team get better each and every practice, each and every week, each and every season. And that's what makes tomorrow night so important. And is why I'll enlist my favorite Dawgs, the one I married and the ones that call me Daddy, to help me honor these guys next week.