Winfield and I had a discussion earlier in the year, and it basically came down to what school from Florida we would rather beat this year. Winfield, being the lifelong fan, said FSU no doubt. While I appreciated the history, I had to admit that I wanted this game more. As a fairly new Tech fan, I haven't seen us lose to Miami. I'm building my own Georgia Tech legacy, and this series is huge in it. I could have kissed Taylor Bennett last year when he ran two touchdowns in. The come-from-behind Homecoming win in 2006 was an instant cure for my hangover from a night that left pumpkin smashed in every crevasse of my apartment foyer. The upset of 2005 is still high on my list of "holy shit!" football memories, and with us playing on the national stage this year, I just couldn't shake how much I wanted this game.
I have to say, now that it is here, I think I might still feel the same.
Let me paint a picture for you.
In the 4 hours I have been awake, at least half of the students I have seen have been clad in pristine white. Looking out of the library window, the bare twigs and slowly withering leaves of the trees stand out against the white horizon that turns into a beautiful, cloudless blue the farther you look up. It looks cold. It looks like football season. The sun is low in the south, lighting up half of the skyscrapers that will eventually turn in to monolithic candles, lighting up the Atlanta skyline tonight.
In about 8 hours, sirens will scream from the north of campus. They hail the Yellow Jacket football squad, who will run a gauntlet of bright white that's almost as loud as the fanfare around them. Mixing with the scent of fallen leaves will be the fumes from the Reck, leaving Yellow Jacket Alley smelling like victory, and the temperature outside will begin its steep decline into the kind of cold that almost hurts, but brings with it the comfort of the Autumn season. That parade was for the players. The next is for the fans.
Two hours later, the Ramblin' Reck will take its place at the top of Bobby Dodd Way, leading the fans who have made the trek not just across campus, but from across the nation to Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant field. The sun will be setting, lighting fire to the sky one last time before it gives way to the strange glow of the city at night. Inside the stadium, the dark skies and the glowing field lights will let the thousands of those clad in today's colors to glow a bright bluish-white. The skyline will look like it normally does for night games - breathtaking. It is one of the most amazing views I have ever had the pleasure to see, which is only made more gorgeous by what is happening on the field in front of me. The roar of the crowd will thicken. The band will march into place. The players will stare out of the entrance, caged momentarily by the grumble of the Reck's engine.
As the crisp Atlanta cold takes hold of everyone's breath, the Ramblin' Reck will burst onto the field, with our warriors in white close behind.
Given what we've already experienced, the game could almost be considered inconsequential. However, for three and half hours, it will be the most exciting, most important thing in existence for the 22 players on the field and the thousands who are in attendance.
Thank God for college football. It's great to be a Yellow Jacket.