Happy Hate Week and Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Tech fans! Today I've got a real treat for your post-meal post-food coma reading pleasure. In my original Fanthropology post, we got a couple of comments about why some of us are great fans. My favorite comment was that of DressHerInWhiteAndGold. What follows is an email conversation he and I had about the source of his fan-hood. I'd highly recommend you take a look, it's very worth the read.
LB: In your original comment, you mentioned that you're a long-time, die-hard Tech fan. Have you always been a proud fan, who's willing to admit he cheers for the team? Even in the last ten-plus years, which haven't been overly bountiful while the other team in the state has success? Can even B*** L****'s tomfoolery break your spirit? If not, what is it about our program that keeps you proud of it, even in its darkest moments?
I'm Econ '85
My Father is ME '62
His Father was EE '28 (?)
My Mother's Father was Commerce '32 (?), and a great friend to Bobby Dodd and Frank Gordy, so we saw a lot of football from the sidelines and a lot of chili dogs from inside Mr. Gordy's office!
All are/were good and great men; the value of who's education grows year over year as the Institute soars in its ability to make things work, make them work well, make them work for all mankind, and play Division 1 ball.
I did spend some time on the sidelines in the mid-60's but I don't remember it!
My first Bowl Game was Orange '67, (we lost to Spurrier), my last Bowl Game was Orange '10 (WE HATE IOWA).
My first real remembrance of football was Thanksgiving Day in '67 or '68 watching the BullPups and BabyJackets. I stood on the field at the North End Zone as one team held 4th and goal, and all I could think was that these guys were the BIGGEST HUMAN BEINGS I'D EVER SEEN. Dad took me, along with my Mother's Father; who was a big Shriner and Rotarian.
In 1979'ish I went to see us play hoops against FSU. I'd seen the great days of Sammy Drummer, Lenny Horton and the Metro Conference. I wasn't prepared to see student's with bags over their heads.
I started my time at Techwood and 5th the same time as this crazy Yankee with a mop of white hair and ALWAYS a yellow tie. He came to EVERY Frat house and asked us to show up for games and NOT bring bags. Brooke Steppe was about all we had, but then this crazy Yankee brings in:
Yvon Joseph (the largest man I've ever had explain a Differential Equation to my uncomprehending mind)
I was there the night Brad Nessler named us The ThrillerDome, and it is still THE BEST BASKETBALL GAME I'VE EVER SEEN. 8 am the next morning and the back row is filled with the whole Hoops team -- Management Theory - and they get a standing ovation.
I saw Lee Goza spit on Ralph Samson, and Ralph was a non-entinty the rest of the game.
I was watching when the "Thin Gold Line" won the ACC Tourney for the first time. I saw Malcom Mackey decapitate a DOOK All American Guard!
I attended 2004 San Antonio, and given 5 more minutes on the clock Wil Bynum would have won the game. I wanted to punch out Eddie the Drunk Sutton when I saw him after his comments about GT being the least likely team to make it to the Final 4 - luckily a friend restrained me - plus their cheerleaders in Orange were something else down on the Riverwalk!
I was a Freshman when we went 1-10, but I also saw us beat Bama! I punched the ceiling in my apartment when Scott Sisson kicked #1 UVA in the nuts. I screamed at the Heisman voters who didn't take Joe Hamilton. I bought endzone tickets on the 2nd row just to see Megatron catch 2 passes a game over double coverage. I shook Bobby Ross's hand a few weeks after the Citrus Bowl and thanked him for making me a champion like Heisman and Alexander did for my Grandfathers! I listened to the radio on a raw Atlanta night as Eddie Lee went for 375 yards against Air Force.
I went nuts Friday night when I saw what will become of our Hoops program in the 3rd golden age.
1-10, Bill Lewis, the Hewitt Years, Bags on heads, Crittendon, the 2009 Championship that never happened - yeah, they hurt, but I don't die by my Yellow Jackets, I live by them. Like my friends who are Penn State, it goes deeper (bone marrow deeper) than a season, a fool, a bad call, a bad contract.
In the mid '70's there was the idea that GT should give up football and focus on academics. The facilities were crap, we weren't winning, Pepper Rodgers left us in the lurch and on and on. Homer Rice called bullshit on that - and if I can point to the INFLECTION point- it was getting the money for the facilities, Bill Curry, Bobby Cremins and building for the future.
The oldest institutions in human history are the various religions, a few Royal companies, and the Great Universities. We are a Great Institution, we make things, we build things, we figure things out, and at the same time we gut it out in Division 1, taking on all comers. We don't always win, but we fight, and you can't say fairer than that. Win or lose? I'll be there!
Sorry for the stream of consciousness screed here, but I was in the flow.
Yeah, DWAGS have had success, but at what price? Their criminal problems, the Jan Kemp fiasco....remember I'm a proud Georgian, that hurts me when my State University impugns my home State, but I'd rather focus on beating them than running them down. I mean there are only like 5 million of them all over this state, and I can't hate that much!
BC @ GT, we won 42-10. Both Independents. Bill Fulcher was the Coach, and his daughter Allison was in my Elementary school class, and she was the best looking girl in the whole school. I didn't stand a chance.
Randy Rhino had one of his 8 interceptions of that season, the ball bounced off the receiver's helmet, Rhino caught it in stride and scored or almost scored. For a 9 year old that was some cool stuff.
Sitting in my Grandfather's seats, North 45, West Stands, he'd splurged on a couple of the old nasty canvas chairs that you could rent in the stadium. Men still wore coats/ties to games. The smell of peanuts, popcorn and cigars on a crisp November afternoon still reminds me of that afternoon, only to be outdone by pitchers of Coke and Evan Williams smuggled in through the Student Gate in the early 80's before the smoking/drinking cops put a stop to all that is holy in BDS@HGF. I still wore coat/tie (usually Madras patchwork and brick red pants - it was the Preppy 80's), when I had a date.
We won the Liberty Bowl that year against Iowa State. Dad and I watched it together - December 18th?- (he still says it is the best football game ever), and yes, it deserves to be one of the 50 best, and probably GT's best, even with the Eddie McAshan controversy.
Favorite - Monday Night January 23rd, 1984. Triple overtime victory over UVA-I mentioned the aftermath in my earlier message. I blew off study for the night since I'd pulled a long weekend of study (4.0 quarter BABY!)
"The facility was given the nickname of "The Thrillerdome" by former Tech radio announcer Brad Nessler during the 1983-84 season when the Jackets had five ACC home games decided in the final seconds, including a double-overtime win over Maryland, a triple-overtime victory over Virginia and a last-second shot to beat Wake Forest."
It was deafening that night, and your heart sank and rose second by second as those 3 overtimes ran down. I was physically exhausted afterwards, and I recall at least three players being helped off the court. It was probably 1 am by the time I got back to the house and crashed.
Me, I'm probably more diehard because I came up through some rough times in both FB and BB. Left the SEC, Dodd retired, the rise of the DWAGS, the Falcons/Barves/Hawks generally have sucked since 1966, and in general, Atlanta isn't a great sports town. So many other things to do, it is an automobile city, so once you're in your car headed home, you're not interested in driving downtown to see a game (see the neighborhoods where we build stadiums and compare them to the folks who would shell out $ for tickets). Hell, we build a modern rail system and it doesn't' even go close to the TED. Everybody here is from somewhere else, so they always point out how great things are at Wrigley, Soldier Field, Meadowlands, Bawstahn, OHIO in general.
I'd like to see CPJ and CBG do something to get the international students interested. If I started at Oxford next week, I'd want to learn Crew and Cricket.
Congratulations and thank you to DressHerInWhiteAndGold for that incredible show of fan-dom. I was thoroughly impressed while reading his responses to those questions, and it really reminded me why I'm a Tech fan. I'm so proud to know the rich heritage of our program, and now I'm a lot more pumped up for the conclusion of this season! You tell me, readers: what was your favorite part of reading this? What's been your favorite moment in Tech history?
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