For One Fan, Georgia Bulldogs Passion Is 23 Years Strong

Wes HoltzclawCorrespondent IMay 24, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 29:  A Georgia Bulldogs fan yells during a defensive stand during the game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  The Yellow Jackets beat Bulldogs 45-42.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

When I was 9 years old, my dad made one of my dreams come true. We drove a couple of hours down I-20, through a couple of small towns, and ended up next to what I considered to be Holy Ground.

He was taking me to my first college football game.

I have since made that same trip around 60 times in the last 23 years. I've been with my mom and dad, I've taken friends, during the last 10 years I've taken my wife.

I have seen games at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. I have been to bowl games at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. I have even made the trek to Jacksonville to watch the "Cocktail Party."

In all these places I have seen my team win and I have seen them lose. They have been down big only to storm back and win in the final minutes, and they have been up big, given up too many second-half points, and lost.

But there is just something about going to Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., and watching the Georgia Bulldogs play "between the hedges."

From the first day in 1987 to today, I still get chill bumps when I set foot inside the stadium and my eyes finally see the field. Tears come to my eyes as the lone trumpeter plays his solo of "Glory, Glory to 'Ol Georgia" in the corner of the south end zone in the upper deck.

It's the tradition of seeing the Red and Black storm the field in their silver britches, the student section with the "Red Coats" going crazy, spending a Saturday with 96,000 of your closest friends, and watching that beautiful all-white English Bulldog named "UGA" roam the sidelines.

It's a passion for the Georgia Bulldogs that started 23 years ago, and it's a passion that I hope one day I will get to pass on to my son, like my dad passed it on to me.