This was by far the worst part, and we knew it would be. The suspense leading up to a game is always high, but this was no ordinary game. This was the national championship. As I stood in a sea of red awaiting entrance into the viewing party, I could not help but think about the intense emotional state of the football players who were about to take the field less than 100 miles away. The moment that these athletes have been dreaming about has become a reality.
Coming from Manhattan, New York where athletics are not generally a focus of most schools, I didn’t know what it really meant to be part of a team until I arrived at the University of Georgia. I recall going to my first game and being truly surprised by the amount of red that engulfed me and the admiration that people had for this team. And throughout my time here at UGA, I have witnessed that again and again as fans show unrelenting support for their teams, especially football.
It was now the last possession of overtime and the Bulldogs were looking at a promising victory as the clock wound down. It seemed as if fate had given us another shot at the championship title. While a three-point advantage kept the Bulldogs in the lead, tension was high as the Alabama offense took the field. It was noticeable. As I looked around the stadium, I could see the anxiety on the faces of true fans, some of whom assumed a prayer position and others who, with covered eyes, couldn’t even watch the rest of the game unfold. I turned and gave my friend a squeeze and we both let out a prideful scream in support of our team. But, our joyous praise was quickly overcome by silence. The entire stadium seemingly went still and confused faces filled the crowd. Alabama had scored a touchdown. They had won the national championship.
While I hadn’t been a Georgia fan as long as most neighboring fans who were from Georgia and raised a Bulldog, I knew the disappointment that they felt with this rare opportunity lost. At the beginning of my college career, I was surprised as my school spirit took hold. However, I am thankful to not only have had the chance to be part of such a wonderful journey, but to call myself a Bulldog – or as we say ‘Bulldawg’. I can only hope that we will return once again as I continue to cheer on my Bulldogs as an alum and dedicated fan.
Pearson Students – are you a collegiate super-fan? Share how you show school spirit in the comments below!