Graham Jones watched every Georgia bold this astounding division from the active allowance of his home in Singapore – until Monday night, aback the committed fan watched Georgia attempt in the Civic Championship animate abreast the 20-yard-line at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Jones was aback with his bodies – those who don red and atramentous and scream “Sic ‘em!” at anyone who will listen.
A sea of red and atramentous filed into their seats and proudly befuddled pompoms already they got there. Admirers were beatific with Georgia adverse an befalling to win a civic championship for the aboriginal time in 37 years.
READ | Fans balked afterwards continued waits to get into Mercedes-Benz Stadium
For those fans, it’s accessible to accept a new day is actuality for Bulldog football aback watching UGA comedy for academy football supremacy central a $1.5 billion stadium.
Jones accustomed in Atlanta Friday afterwards 30 hours of traveling from the added ancillary of the globe.
“Before the Rose Bowl, I absitively if Georgia won, I would go,” said Jones, who works as reinsurance agent in Singapore and grew up in the Savannah area. “After the game, I told my wife ‘you apperceive I am going,’ and thankfully she nodded (yes).”
READ | Trump greeted at Georgia-Alabama bold with roar
A 13-hour time aberration agency the 2004 UGA alum had to set his anxiety for 4:30 a.m. Sunday mornings to watch amateur arena at 3:30 p.m. Saturday here. For Jones, football has remained a affiliated tie to ancestors and accompany aback home, a fun way to break connected.
“For me,” said Jones, afore borrowing a adduce from drillmaster Kirby Smart’s admired saying:
“I accumulate activity you accept to accumulate the capital affair the capital thing, which for me is to be there, and to be allotment of it.”
Those who are beneath acceptable to accomplish Smart quotes to memory, Alabama fans, appeared to be far outnumbered in and about the stadium.
READ | Infographic: Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater v. Georgia Dome, by the numbers
Alabama fan and alum Eric Hummel was unconcerned.
“We will comedy the antagonism anywhere, anytime. It aloof happens to be here,” said Hummel, who lives in Connecticut. His son, Sam, a chief at Alabama, abutting him for the big game.
“At home, we argument anniversary added afterwards every play,” said Eric Hummel.
Before kickoff, Hummel acquainted assured about Alabama’s chances.
“They aloof accept to comedy with intensity, do their job,” he said.
READ | Mercedes-Benz roof aperture afore championship game
As far as Georgia, Hummel added, “Kirby Smart is accomplishing an accomplished job and you can acquaint he’s abstruse a lot from (Nick) Saban.”
With a T-shirt bedazzled by the mother of above Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and antic custom red and atramentous Nikes, you don’t get added UGA than J.T. Ricketson – accepted as “Superdawg” to all.
He and his wife waited in a chilly, clammy band but were some of the aboriginal to access Gate 1 as the doors opened. Ricketson, a 1964 graduate, paid the academy $1,165 for two tickets to Monday’s game.
“When I was a student, I couldn’t allow a apprentice pass,” said the retired Fort Valley pharmacist.
Since 1982, Ricketson said, he has waited afore and afterwards the bold to address the aggregation as they drive by.
“It’s aloof article I can do to pay accolade to the boys,” Ricketson said.
Apparently, it fabricated an appulse because as he was account his saluting attitude out of boilerplate appears Steven Herndon, above UGA linebacker who played with the Falcons in 2004, with a hug for Superdawg.
“That’s what Georgia is all about,” Herndon, 40, said while pointing his compact feel at the Bulldog on Ricketson’s chest.
The earlier man’s beam continued wide.
READ | Here’s what it was like in Athens during the game
Ricketson was in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 1981, aback the Bulldogs exhausted the Fighting Irish and completed that division with a appellation – the aftermost time a UGA football aggregation was advised the best. (For reference: Kirby Smart had been animate bristles years and nine days.)
“Destiny was on their ancillary that that game, and I anticipate it’s on their ancillary for this game,” he said.
“I’ll still adulation my Bulldogs.”
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