The Anatomy of Hate

Scott Cunningham

It would seem that we need to clear something up here.

There's a lot of talk around uga blogs, comment sections, and water coolers about how much Tech fans hate them. They find it strange and even a bit concerning -- why would we chant "TO HELL WITH georgia" when we're playing UNC? That just makes no sense. Why would we cringe at something like seeing people wearing a red hat with a G on it, or a car with a logo on it? That's just silly. I mean, you don't talk about how much you hate Florida 51 weeks of the year (except, you know, every time they lose and you're tickled pink)...why would we devote so much of our beings to hating you?

uga fans, there's something you need to understand about Tech folks. There are two reasons that we dislike you, and when crossed those reasons turn to hate.

Why would we cringe at something like seeing people wearing a red hat with a G on it, or a car with a logo on it? That's just silly.

The first reason we dislike you is proximity. The difference between us hating you and you hating Florida is that after the Florida game, you're minimally exposed to Florida and their fans for another year. Sure, ESPN blabbers about Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier, but that's generally the extent of how much you're exposed to your rival that you hate so deeply. Tech fans, on the other hand, will leave the game this Saturday, spend Sunday beaming or moping depending on the outcome of the game, and then go to work on Monday morning. What will they see when they get there? People wearing uga polos, people whose desks have uga stuff on them, and people barking at them (pun intended) about how the game ended up (in the case that uga wins). I'll go to lunch, and the guy standing behind the counter at Chik-fil-A will be a uga fan. I'll go to Best Buy to do Christmas shopping, and I'll talk to the kid about how he graduated from uga. Hell, even high schoolers who like Tech or are committed to attend Tech will go to school, only to be faced with all of their uga-grad teachers, reminded of Saturday's game.

You see, that's the main difference. After the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Florida fans are basically out of sight and out of mind for the next year as far as you're concerned. After Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, one fanbase realizes that they'll have to deal with the other regularly in their life for the next year -- a reminder of how their team lost. Which leads me to the second reason...

After the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Florida fans are basically out of sight and out of mind for the next year as far as you're concerned.

The second reason we dislike you? Quite frankly, our poor track record in the series, especially since 2001, and how much you like to remind us of it. (Yes, our approach to this matter has intensified in recent years.) Now, let's talk about this for a minute. We have our excuses. Most of them center around "academic challenges". Those are legitimate. They've gotten more legitimate since the NCAA instituted the APR requirements back in 2003 and our recruiting pool shrank. But that's not the point. We've lost all but one game in this series since 2001. Hell, we haven't won this game in our own stadium since 1999. Before that, it was 1989. That's right, Tech has won this game in its own stadium only once in my 22-year-old life. Point. Laugh. Call us pathetic. Call us petty. Whatever. (Your love for reminding us is part of why we hate you. Nobody likes a sore winner.) On some level, you surely understand how that track record could be completely infuriating. (In my life, you've beaten Florida 6 times, we've beaten you 4. It's comparable.)

Your love for reminding us is part of why we hate you. Nobody likes a sore winner.

So here we are, engaged in a rivalry with a team we seemingly can't beat, whose fanbase we can't escape in our daily lives. There's this constant, unavoidable reminder that our team is inferior (something Tech folks do not take kindly to). We can't bring it up in conversation with you without being taunted in some way. We can't look at anything related to uga without being reminded of that inferiority.

And that, my friends, is where the hate really comes to a boil.

Sure, there's more to it. There are historical issues, there are philosophical differences in our schools and fanbases, some people have had awful experiences with your fans, and some of it is there just because we're told it's supposed to be. But the sentiment still remains -- if the records over the last 20 years were flipped, the hatred wouldn't be nearly as bad.

I won't apologize for any of this. I refuse to. I don't mean to write this as a justification or to whine or look for pity. I don't mean to exhibit some "defeatist" attitude, because I really don't have one at all. I just want you to have a little context on where all of this hate comes from, why it is that we love to see you lose, and why it is that you're going to hear about this from Tech fans all year long.

Here's to starting a new streak this year.

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