“These are my people”

I was sent something by a reader that I was saving until Saturday morning, but since Barnhart posted about it this morning, here ’tis – a letter from Erk Russell to his 1980 team, just before the start of camp.

Erk Letter

If you don’t want to click on the link,  here’s the text:

July 7, 1980

Gentlemen (and Linemen),

The football season of  ‘80 will be my seventeenth as a Georgia Bulldog. During this time there have been many thrilling Saturdays of competition, each with it’s individual memories, because each game has it’s own personality.

There are two Saturday traditions and experiences which have remained basically the same throughout the years for me and I would like to share them with you.

The first one concerns the THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. These are my people because they love the ‘Dogs almost as much as I do. Oh, I know they do some crazy things- like turn over our opponents’s buses sometimes and now and then they throw one another down the bank and into the street below. But they stamp out Kudzu and they pull for us to win and that ain’t bad.

If you can get off the bus to cheers of THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD and walk down those steps to the dressing room and not be inspired to play football as best you possibly can, something important is missing beneath the Georgia jersey you wear. It is impossible not to be inspired. They choke me up!

The season of 1980 will be the last for THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. A great Georgia tradition will have passed with the new addition to our stadium. The view from the tracks will be no more.

Your team will be the last Georgia Team to be greeted and cheered by THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. Wouldn’t it be fitting if their last team was also the best Georgia Team ever? Think about it!

Another Saturday tradition which has meant so much to me over the years can be stated very simply. “THERE AIN’T NOTHING LIKE BEING A BULLDOG ON SATURDAY NIGHT- – – – -AFTER WINNING A FOOTBALL GAME.” I mean like whipping Tennessee’s ass to start with, then ten more and then another one.

This is the game plan. We have no alternate plan.

Sincerely,

Erskine Russell

Assistant Head Football Coach

P.S.–Run!

He called it, didn’t he?

If that doesn’t get you pumped up for the start of the season, I give up, folks.

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16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

16 responses to ““These are my people”

  1. Zdawg

    Letter? I don’t see it…

  2. Paul

    FYI – I can see the image, but it is too small to read.

  3. Ross

    If you want to see it bigger you can go to The Grit Tree. They posted the same letter last week.

    http://grittree.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/erk-russell-letter-to-players/

  4. Apologies for the technical difficulties. Your humble editor remains an Internet tyro.

    • Zdawg

      I’ve worked with wordpress in the past, and some things just aren’t that easy to figure out. I feel your pain Senator…

  5. Scott W.

    If that doesn’t light your fire, your wood is wet.

  6. JaxDawg

    The biggest blunder in the program’s history is not hiring Erk to replace Vince. I’ve heard stories about Erk wanting a longer-term deal but the “search/selection committee” didn’t want to provide that.

    So we ended up with Ray, and our program was set back 10 years. Not that Ray didn’t try his hardest, he was simply overwhelmed.

    Anyway, that’s history now. God bless Erk Russell and God bless the University of Georgia.

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    I would be somewhat more enthused about the upcoming season if Herschel was shaking off the dust of Wrightsville in fall camp, and we knew our all starters on both sides of the ball, but one, would eventually start in some role for teams in the NFL.

    All I can do is hope, and as I have pointed out before, hope is a dangerous thing.

  8. Russ

    Fantastic memory! I’m ready now! I’ve got a piece of the old track at home. Our engineering club (yeah, UGA has engineering) cut up sections and sold them for a fund raiser. I naturally have one. I’m going home today and polishing it up.

    GATA!

  9. opsomath

    “I mean like whipping ‘s ass to begin with, then ten more.”

    Whyinell is it still Monday?

  10. Erked Russell

    To bad we cant open it back up and have one more season for the THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD!

    • aristoggle

      And the scoreboard with a bulldog holding a piece of wood with a nail in it, and Sousa marches and the Y-boys playing before the game, and the Dixie Redcoat Band, and, Rev. McBride doing pre-game prayers, and … damn, I’m getting old!

      GATA, indeed!

      Woof!!!