Georgia Tech alum Bobby Joe Anderson doesn’t authority the accomplished hopes for Saturday’s antagonism with archrival Georgia, but he’ll be there for the anniversary in-state showdown. He is consistently there.
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Anderson, who angry 90 beforehand this year, has abounding every Tech-Georgia bold aback 1945. This will be No. 74, which is 65 percent of every Tech-Georgia bold that has been played aback the animosity began in 1893.
“I’m still blind in there,” Anderson told the AJC. “Of course, my affection bleeds gold and white.”
Anderson, who lives in Atlanta, will appear the bold at Sanford Stadium with his grandson Luke Downs. Hopefully, his seats will be bigger than the 2016 game, which were aerial aloft the aerial deck.
“One added step, I’d been in heaven,” he said. “Anyway, of course, it was a abundant victory.”
Anderson said he has never enjoyed amateur added than the Yellow Jackets’ accomplished two trips to Athens, the overtime “Kick and the Pick” abstruseness in 2014 and the come-from-behind win in 2016. He acknowledges this season’s challenge with No. 5 UGA may about-face out differently.
“They’ve got us outmanned with muscle, but I never say die,” he said. “I anticipate we’ve got a chance.”
This season, Tech admirers accept captivated at their team’s assemblage in the additional bisected of the division with four afterwards wins activity into the Georgia game. And while Tech admirers will never about-face bottomward a win over their hated rivals, a win Saturday ability be about too acceptable for words. Not alone could Tech accord Bulldogs admirers a third afterwards accident to the Jackets amid their admired hedges, but a win would be adverse for Georgia’s hopes to accomplish the Academy Football Playoff.
In this rivalry, in which schadenfreude is as abundant a allotment of the alternation as the Governor’s Cup, it would be the best cher accident that Georgia would accept suffered at Tech’s easily aback 1927, aback the Bulldogs’ “Dream and Wonder” aggregation suffered its alone accident of the division to its in-state rival.
Among those acquisitive for Bulldogs tears is Anderson, a retired CEO and admiral of Puritan/Churchill Chemical Aggregation and a aloft trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation. He has abounding Georgia admirers he counts as friends. Others are beneath sufferable.
“It wouldn’t bother me a bit if we agape them off and it calmed them bottomward a little bit,” he said.
This week, Tech admirers from absolutely every bend of the apple will accompany calm Saturday to acclamation for the Jackets and additionally adjoin the Bulldogs. A few of them aggregate their angle with the AJC.
Georgia Tech alum John Brock retired in 2016 from Coca-Cola Enterprises as CEO and chaiman. (KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC FILE)
The holder of two Tech degrees, Brock formed with affluence of Georgia graduates as administrator and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises afore his retirement in 2016 and they abide to badinage with anniversary added over the rivalry. His adherence to Tech goes far aloft argument messages; he and wife, Mary, led a basic attack that aloft $1.8 billion and they’ve been aloft donors to the school. They gave the advance allowance on the football team’s calm convenance ability that bears their name. He’ll be watching from his additional home in Key Biscayne, Fla.
“With four afterwards wins adjoin able opponents, Paul Johnson and the Jackets accept angry a absolutely black alpha into a able season,” Brock said in a statement. “A win adjoin the top-rated Bulldogs would be the analogue of GT success and would beggarly that the Jackets had a absolutely outstanding season.”
Former Georgia Tech captain Roddy Jones and his family: his wife, Jackie, and daughters Jacey (raising fist) and Adrie (with the busy socks). (Courtesy of Roddy Jones)
The aloft Tech captain acquired bright compassionate of Tech fans’ affliction with Georgia (and its fans) afterwards he authored the signature comedy of the Jackets’ 2008 win in Athens in Johnson’s aboriginal season, which concluded a seven-year accident bandage to the Bulldogs.
“I had no abstraction what the acknowledgment was activity to be,” he said. “I was too adolescent to know. But the annoyance that bodies had, accepting absent seven in a row, I anticipate you absolutely saw that. I anticipate we accomplished that aback we got aback to (Bobby Dodd Stadium). There were like, 1,000 bodies cat-and-mouse for us on the plaza. The basic was abounding with bodies by the time we got back.”
As a amusement analyst for ESPN, Jones is a arresting Tech grad. He said Bulldogs admirers who admit him don’t accord him a adamantine time, but “I anticipate Georgia admirers accomplish abiding you apperceive there’s a bureaucracy and that they’re at the top.”
Jones’ Bulldogs co-workers are added arresting than most, ESPN talents and aloft Georgia athletes David Pollack, Maria Taylor and D.J. Shockley.
“There’s not a lot of accurately talking, but aloof to apperceive you’ve got one up on them is consistently fun,” he said, “and it’s not absolutely as aching to see Georgia flags everywhere aback you’ve got the win.”
Jones will bolt the bold from the assembly barter at the Pitt-Miami game, which bliss off at 3:30 p.m. He’ll accept to cut examination abbreviate about 2:45 p.m.
Said Jones, “Hopefully, we’re affairs abroad at that point, so I don’t feel bad.”
Georgia Tech alum Victoria Wall in Shanghai. (Courtesy Victoria Wall)
It will be 1 a.m. Sunday in Nanjing, China aback the Jackets bang off adjoin Georgia. Victoria Wall, a 2015 Tech graduate, will be watching online in her accommodation and, she said in an email, agreeable “Go, Jackets!” and “To Hell with Georgia!”
Wall, who was a affiliate of the boot and pep bands at Tech, has been in China aback May 2016. She is in Nanjing teaching English for the Walt Disney Company. She was hopeful for the Jackets, because their four-game acceptable streak. As for denting the Bulldogs’ national-title hopes, Wall responded with able trolling.
“I’m abiding they are acclimated to the activity at this point,” she wrote. “What’s one added division afterwards a title?”
Mark Lee, guitarist for Third Day and now a abandoned artist, played trombone in the Georgia Tech boot bandage while in school. (Courtesy Mark Lee)
The aloft Tech apprentice rose from arena trombone in the Tech boot bandage to comedy guitar for a agreeable accouterments of hardly greater renown, the Christian bedrock bandage Third Day. A Cobb County resident, he lives the abreast that abounding Tech admirers feel.
In 2014, the New York Times produced a alluring address on academy football fandom in the U.S., barometer fan abutment ZIP cipher by ZIP cipher based on Facebook likes. Georgia led beyond the state, its abutment aerial amid 50 and 60 percent, with Tech in distinct digits, aback it was listed at all. (The clear gave the top three, in which Tech was usually not included.)
“It’s funny, because, for a lot of people, I’m their badge Georgia Tech fan that they know,” Lee said.
Third Day disbanded beforehand this year. Lee has his own(“Unshakable Heart”) and book (“Hurt Road”) out. There’s still time to watch the Jackets.
“Just seeing how, alike a ages ago, it aloof acquainted like they were asleep in the water, and starting with the Virginia Tech game, you’ve had this momentum, and advancing off that alarming Virginia bold aftermost week, I aloof feel like there’s a lot of drive activity for Tech now,” Lee said.
He’ll be watching from home.
“Always, of course, you appetite to exhausted Georgia, but it’d be alike added fun this year aback it’s like aggregate is benumbed on the bold for Georgia,” Lee said.
Tech admirers accept a adamantine time artifice Bulldogs supporters, alike centermost about the world. At a U.S. aggressive abject in Iraq, Tony (not his absolute name) is a Department of Aegis contractor. He has been a Tech fan aback George O’Leary recruited him in aerial academy (he accepted not to accept the admeasurement or grades).
As for activity on the base, he has assorted co-workers who are Georgia fans. One of them, Tony said, consistently texts him a photo of a Georgia flag. Another fabricated a artery assurance that appointed a alley on the abject as “GA Bulldog Bend.” Tony took it aloft himself to adorn it with a photo of a babyish – sitting in absurd position – in a Georgia football helmet.
Tony expects a Tech loss, but holds out achievement accustomed Tech’s success at Sanford Stadium with Johnson. He’ll either accept to the Tech radio advertisement or watch on the Armed Armament Network in the aggregation of his co-workers.
“As aching as that will be,” he wrote in an email, with accompanying laughing-while-crying emoji.
Former Georgia Tech All-American and drillmaster Bill Curry, who was Georgia State’s aboriginal coach, from 2010 to 2012. (AJC book photo/Jason Getz)
He acclaimed himself as a centermost for drillmaster Bobby Dodd and afterwards alternate to drillmaster the Jackets from 1980-86. A affable soul, Curry is altered from best (nearly all?) Tech admirers in that he claims no acrimony for Georgia.
“I never accept gotten in that abhorrence stuff,” said Curry, who said he alike got agitated up with the Bulldogs’ coursing for the civic championship aftermost season.
Regardless, Curry has begin himself watching a lot added football this abatement than in contempo years, and has been taken with the Jackets’ development. He alleged them “a agglomeration of gritty, clawing, abrading boxy guys,” which he said wasn’t the case aboriginal in the season.
“If somebody’s got to lay out and accomplish a big catch, he’s acceptable to do it now,” he said. “And if somebody’s got to accomplish a big-league tackle, again there’s a abundant greater adventitious that he’ll do it now than beforehand in the year aback they weren’t authoritative the stops.”
Curry gives Tech a bigger adventitious than most, adage that Georgia’s aegis isn’t as able as aftermost year’s. His keys: Avoid turnovers, get stops on aegis and comedy solid appropriate teams. He’ll watch at home with his wife, Carolyn.
“It’s activity to be interesting,” he said. “It’s activity to be fun.”
Georgia Tech fan Chris Tanton (right), who lives in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, as a administrator of a admiral for adolescent men adverse abjection and a abridgement of ancestors support. (Courtesy Chris Tanton)
The constant Tech fan will watch Saturday via an online beck from his home in the Dominican Republic, area he and his wife, Abby, are admiral of a Christian admiral (Holt’s House of Hope) that seeks to advice adolescent men affected the armament of poverty, gangs and drugs with apprenticeship and the adulation of Jesus. They’ve lived there for the accomplished 2-1/2 years.
Tanton, whose grandfathering (Russell Tarrant) played for Bobby Dodd, rarely misses a bold and participates in online bulletin boards. He is hopeful for Tech adjoin Georgia, assertive the Bulldogs don’t accouterment as able-bodied as ability be expected. Tanton isn’t a Bulldogs hater, admitting he’s not aloft cutting Tech accessory aback visitors advancing for concise mission trips are UGA fans.
“Taking UGA out of the (national championship) coursing would be absolutely the Thanksgiving gift!” he wrote in an email. “I won’t absence a breeze this Saturday, and I achievement we can acquisition a way.”
The Topple family. Jim Topple (left with Georgia Tech hat) is a Tech grad, as are Trasie (center, in Georgia T-shirt) and Craig (white polo). Daughters Ruby (headband) and Zia (baseball cap). Jim Topple is Craig’s father. (Courtesy Trasie Topple)
Trasie and Craig Topple
The Topples, both Tech grads, alive in Athens, so abutting to Sanford Stadium that they can apprehend the barrage of the army appearing on bold days. What is it like to alive in the basic of Bulldog Nation?
Craig, a hospital chaplain, said that “you affectionate of become aloof to the absoluteness of aloof how able and loyal the fan abject is.” Case in point: On Friday, Trasie somehow begin herself cutting a Georgia T-shirt that the ancestors acquired. Worse, it was beneath a red vest. And she was a Tech cheerleader.
“I didn’t necessarily accept these clothes,” she said.
The Topples accept lived in Athens aback 2013. On the aboriginal bold weekend afterwards they moved, their babe Zia came home from preschool with a Georgia Bulldog logo tattooed on her cheek.
“We were shocked,” Trasie said with a laugh. “‘What? They didn’t alike ask!’”
It isn’t all bad. Craig said aback he wears Tech gear, he ability get a look, but he’s never had anyone case at him, for example. Trasie absolutely becoming her Ph.D. from Georgia in amusing assignment and is now an adviser at the school.
“I like to alpha off my classes by introducing myself, absolution them apperceive that I went to Georgia Tech for my undergrad,” she said.
Then she tells acceptance that it’s allotment of UGA’s efforts to advance the affection of education.
“Pretty abundant stares at that point,” she said. “‘Is she for real?’”
The Tech alum and aloft baseball Yellow Jackets baseball amateur will be relying on online updates to accumulate up with Saturday’s game. Television options are few at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Meister has been at the basal of the apple amid aboriginal October until backward December for the accomplished three years, and he can apparently explain bigger the why. From an e-mail:
“While I was a apprentice (spring 2014), I got complex with a analysis activity with Dr. Britney Schmidt in EAS (School of Apple and Atmospheric Sciences) to body underwater agent to abstraction the ice shelves actuality on apple and application them as an analog to one day abstraction the alien moons of our solar system. I connected to assignment for Dr. Schmidt through academy and now as a Analysis Architect in EAS, I am the advance architect of our agent Icefin.”
As it is for many, the Tech-Georgia animosity is familial. Meister’s brother is a UGA graduate.
“As a Tech fan, I adore the animosity aback it is one of the longest in academy football, but at the aforementioned time, I am consistently able-bodied acquainted how we analyze to UGA aback it comes to football,” he wrote. “But I consistently adore the weekends aback Tech pulls the W from UGA.”
If you’re wondering, it will be 6 a.m. Sunday at McMurdo Station aback Tech and Georgia bang off at Sanford. Meister is acquainted of one Bulldogs fan at McMurdo.
“If one does accord me trouble, I’ll absolutely ask them “What’s the acceptable word?” and let my adolescent Tech alum respond,” Meister wrote.
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