If I had written this on say around Tuesday, my tone would have been completely different. I was ready to write one of those "arena" posts where I call out for people to forget about last week, get behind the team, and get over themselves to cheer on the Dawgs. Well during the course of the week I think that item has been thoroughly ingrained in the UGA fanbase.
We all know as Georgia fans that our stadium atmosphere has not been on par with some of our SEC counterparts. The factors that have led to this have been highlighted through and through.... lack of excitement through disappointment, people showing up late, wine & cheese crowd, lack of in game intensity, lack of in game music, poor student section placement and lack of congruence (which I highlighted). You can go on and on and take your pick. If you travelled to an opposing stadium such as LSU, SC, Auburn, Bama, Clemson, etc. you would have seen this first hand.
I think the onus has been firmly placed on the Sanford Stadium crowd and the fanbase will take this with a chip on their shoulder. Once 4:00 comes on Saturday and everyone gets a few cocktails in them I think a lot of folks will quickly forget about Clemson and remember while we all don the red and black on Saturdays. We are fans of the University of Georgia first, and we need to remember what Saturday is all about with a sense of pride. It's not a game that's been an easy ticket to acquire and I think the people that really want to be there will. Those that want to gripe about what they feel they've been owed because of what they've donated or feel they have deserved from the team might as well stay home. This one will be for the true fans, and the stakes couldn't be higher. It's time to right the ship and turn Sanford back to a true home field advantage.
Here's a few things to note...
This is the first game for a new batch of freshman. Something tells me they'll be pumped to get in and enjoy their first experience with an in stadium atmosphere. The students have struggled of late to enter the stadium at an appropriate time, but given a 4:30 start I don't think we'll see the same issues as a 12:00 kick with a game containing this much excitement.
The onus has been placed on the fanbase to be loud. Do know that a few folks will be sitting and I guess that's fair for some of our elderly friends. That being said, I don't think there should be any griping if someone in your section is standing and yelling their head off.
The new young alumni section will add about 2,000 tickets in the upper corner of the closed endzone. These people were the ones who really wanted the tickets, and are incredibly grateful for the chance to obtain season tickets for the first time. They still carry the excitement they had a students, and will provide a good energy level.
Don't be afraid to leave your tailgate at 3:30. Enjoy that last cocktail on your way to the stadium, bring in a few minis if you have to, and get there early. You'll have had 4+ hours to enjoy a tailgate if you get to Athens at a decent hour. I love a good tailgate as much as anyone (and I'll be up there at 9), but this is a game where we need all butts in seats by 4:00.
We've lost 3 in a row to Carolina, and it's time to turn the corner. The much maligned struggles versus highly ranked opponents has reached it's final straw with some folks. Well it couldn't be on any more of a platter to right the ship. That being said, the team will feed off a good energy from the crowd and expects the fans to reciprocate their efforts despite what they think they've been owed over the past few years.
It's time to re-establish Sanford and it's 93,000 patrons as a true hostile SEC environment that is not a welcome place to play for opponents. Despite whatever factors you think we could improve it's time to get over that and do all we can as fans to help this team. This is a huge potential momentum builder game to get this thing back on track, and I'm hopeful that no energy has been lost given the Clemson loss. It's time to get this thing back to where it should.
GATA Georgia fans, let's be loud Saturday, and I'll see you guys in the stadium.