I’m now the proud owner of two Georgia Tech ballcaps. I’ve always wanted them, but it wasn’t until recently that I found a hat store online that has the fitted hats in the size I need. They are both “old-school” with the curved bills. One is dark blue with a gold GT in front, and the other is golden yellow with a Yellow Jacket on the front. You can see me wearing them, usually turned around backwards, anywhere I’m outside taking photos.
Despite having waited until my late 50’s to buy my Tech hats, I’ve been a Georgia Tech football fan for as long as I can remember.
When I was a freshman at Decatur High School , David Sims was our senior quarterback. He earned a scholarship to Georgia Tech, where he became a running back. So I, of course, cheered for Tech then. But I don’t think I cheered for Tech because I went to Decatur High School, because I had plenty of friends at Decatur who were Georgia fans.
Maybe it was a family thing. We weren’t Tech fanatics – we didn’t have Georgia Tech memorabilia in one room or all over our house, as some of my friends’ families did (usually they were Georgia fans). In fact, I don’t ever remember seeing a Georgia Tech sticker or banner ever in our house. We were just Tech fans.
My dad did take two night classes at Tech one year, but that was the extent of any of my family going to Tech. Maybe it was because where my dad worked in downtown Atlanta was close to where the Georgia Tech campus was, so I was always near Tech whenever I visited him at work.
Then again, the first college football game I ever got to go see was a Tech/Georgia freshman game on Thanksgiving Day. I don’t remember what year it was, but a kid from Decatur who had played on the football team there with my older brother was playing for Tech that year, so my dad took us to the game, and we naturally cheered for Tech. Maybe it stuck.
At any rate, I’m a Georgia Tech fan. I’ll still root for Georgia, except when they’re playing Tech. And I’ll root for Florida and Florida State, and Alabama, and occasionally for Auburn, except when any of those teams are playing Georgia Tech or Georgia. But in the end, I consider myself a Georgia Tech fan.
But thinking about why I am a Georgia Tech fan got me thinking about why people bear allegiance to the college teams that they root for. It isn’t that we’re all alumni of these schools. I didn’t go to Tech, but I cheer for them. I’ll bet the majority of the people who support the Bulldogs never went to UGA. So what makes Georgia fans Georgia fans? I know those that attend the schools will say it is the majors they offer, but remember, I’m not just talking about alumni, but everyone who supports the different schools. Why do they do that?
I’ll tell you what. I’m going to give you a chance to let me know what you think. Why do you support UGA or Tech or Auburn or Alabama or Florida or FSU or any of the other hundreds of colleges and universities around this country? Drop me a line or two and let me know, and if I get enough answers, I’ll put them all into another column. Send me your comments by mail to P. O. Box 430, Thomaston, GA 30286, by fax to 706-647-2833, by email to email@example.com, or by facebook with a comment on our Thomaston Times facebook page. Gooooo Yellow Jackets! Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.