At decade’s end, these are a few of my favorite things.

I thought I’d do a list of the best Georgia wins I’ve attended in the Aughts.  Some were close, some were blowouts, but for a variety of reasons, they’re the ones I have the warmest memories of.  None of them are Donnan-coached games, though.  The only one that came close – the victory over Tennessee to end the losing streak – wasn’t particularly memorable besides the result and the over the top fan reaction.

So, in chronological order, my happiest moments:

  • Auburn, 2002. Greene to Johnson is, of course, one of the signature plays in the history of the program.  But the two things that stick out the most besides that were Sean Jones’ heroics in the first half and the weather, which was cold and colder until the go-ahead score, after which none of us Georgia fans either cared or noticed.
  • Clemson, 2003. I’m still of the opinion that the 2003 season was  Mark Richt’s best coaching job and this game is a perfect example of why.  Eight players on suspension, two defensive starters out with injuries, Ring-gate, you name it – all of that and they still went out and cleaned the Tigers’ clock from the opening series on.  (By the way, logistically speaking, that was one of the worst games I’ve ever attended:  one road in to the stadium, choked for hours; the most bizarre path to the opponent’s nosebleed seats constructed by man; and a place that ran out of ice after the first quarter on a day where the temperatures easily exceeded 90 degrees.  Overall, idiots with a lake.)
  • LSU, 2004. God, this was so satisfying.  Nick Saban channelled his inner Kevin Ramsey, with similarly disastrous results.
  • Georgia Tech, 2004. Ah, the glory that was Reggie Ball and Patrick Nix – the engineering school representatives who couldn’t count to four.  And I’ll always remember David Greene coming off the bench to calm the waters by directing a final scoring drive with a fractured thumb.
  • SECCG, 2005. DJ’s finest hour and the last time we didn’t have questions about a Martinez-coached defense.
  • Georgia Tech, 2006. “C’mon dog, it’s a game,” Ball said. “Georgia is Georgia. They’re a good football team, but they ain’t no speed bump or anything like that. It’s just a game.” Sigh.  They just don’t make quarterbacks like that anymore.
  • Florida, 2007. Of course, we all know it wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable if the GPOOE™’s shoulder had been 100%.
  • Auburn, 2007. The greatest Sanford Stadium crowd atmosphere of the decade.
  • Georgia Tech, 2009. Gosh, and I thought Paul Johnson was a genius and all.  And there’s still nothing like the home fans outside of BDS after a bitter loss.

Anyway, there’s my list of what turns out to be nine games over nine years.  What’s on yours?


Filed under Georgia Football

54 responses to “At decade’s end, these are a few of my favorite things.

  1. Turd Ferguson

    Pardon the potentially stupid question, but … doesn’t the decade not officially end until next year, since there was no year 0? I mean, I realize that speaking of decades in terms of 0-9 (rather than 1-10) allows us to say things like “the 80’s were rad,” but am I right in thinking that that’s technically a mistake?


    • You got me. Although I think you’re right about the ’80s. 😉


    • Will (the other one)

      That was only the millennium that was like that.
      Decade is really any series of 10 years, but pretty much it’s 80-89, 90-99 and so on.
      So the Yankees have won as many World Series titles as the Red Sox this decade, but only one this millennium.


      • Turd Ferguson

        Well, I realize that a decade is any series of 10 years. But that only means that 2008 was just as much “the end of a decade” as 2009 is.

        But if we’re understanding decades as 10-year series counted off from the first counted year, then “this decade” doesn’t end until a year from now. 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, … 2001-2010.


  2. Turd Ferguson

    Oh, and it always pains me a bit when people bring up LSU, 2004. It was the only game on your list that I actually had to miss … or else temporarily leave my bride-to-be at the altar.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Well at least you got laid. You did, didn’t you?


      • Turd Ferguson

        Well, eventually, yes. But certainly not that night. I don’t know how anyone can feel even remotely romantic after having just stood on their feet in tuxedo rental shoes, shaking hands and faking smiles for 4+ hours. We were both asleep within moments of checking into the hotel.


        • You realize the w/e before was an off w/e? That was my wedding


          • Turd Ferguson

            All wedding-related decisions were made by my wife and mother-in-law. My job was to book a honeymoon, smile a lot, and say, “I do” when asked.

            Interestingly, some of my wife’s friends (at the time) actually skipped our wedding to be at the game. And in our wedding video, you can actually see a close family friend stop my wife as she’s being walked down the aisle to tell her, “I’m missin’ the Georgia game for this.”


            • And in our wedding video, you can actually see a close family friend stop my wife as she’s being walked down the aisle to tell her, “I’m missin’ the Georgia game for this.”



            • DWH

              Hilarious! I too missed most of the game because of a wedding. At least I was being fed constant updates throughout the service. It took every ounce of self-control I could muster to contain myself from jumping out of the pew and yelling every time UGA scored.


            • Hogbody Spradlin

              In a similar vein:

              There’s an old apocryphal story about a man walking down a stadium aisle at a sold out big game at [You Name It U]. He sees a vacant seat next to an elderly lady and asks her why the seat is vacant. She says it belonged to her dead husband. He asks why she didn’t give the ticket to a friend. She says they all wanted to go to the funeral.


  3. 51-7 was a choice moment.

    2007 vs. Florida. Crowd was unhinged from the word “go.” If that game had been played in Athens with a full complement of Georgia fans, it would have made the ’07 Auburn game look like a 11:30 game against New Mexico State. A flustered Tebow calling timeout on the first play from scrimmage let fans know there was blood in the water. Then a sack. Then the fumble. Then nine straight running plays to glory. Then the Celebration. Six sacks on Tebow. I looked at my brother and said, “this is our generation’s ‘Run, Lindsey, Run!’ game.” Easily the most aggressive Georgia crowd I’ve ever been around.

    Tennessee ’03. Casey Clausen returns with both arms … and gets them handed to him in small pieces. Sean Jones all the way.

    Hobnail Boot ’01. Anything I could say here would be superfluous.

    Boise State ’05: Like Clemson ’03, a trendy upset notion that was quickly disabused. Watching DJ get that first TD and the rush of teammates celebrating around him was a really special moment.


    • Bob

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Tech 2002 was amazing, and the block by Bailey was absolutely perfect.

      Boise is another great call. First play from Scrimmage Ellerbe intercepted Zabransky, and it was on for the next 30 minutes.

      Thought Auburn 2006 was worth a mention as well. Top-10 team absolutely bitch slapped.


    • Will (the other one)

      SECC vs. Arkansas, especially after the blocked punt.


  4. Castleberry

    Tennessee 2001. Gotta put it on there.


    • I’m jealous you got to go.

      My two greatest sporting event regrets are that I had to turn down tickets to that game and to game seven of the 1992 NLCS. Argh.


      • Castleberry

        Thanks –

        The last few minutes of the game were surreal. Tennessee fans had given up early and were headed out when they hit the big screen pass to take the lead. Their fans spun around in the aisle and were celebrating the win…. only to get the Hobnailed boot a minute later.

        It occurred to me after I posted that Tuscaloosa in 2002 was a great game too. Our seats were so low that week that we watched half the game on the big screen.


      • CLTDawg

        Game 7 was easily the best sporting event I have been to in my 41 years….and I have been to a lot of events.


  5. Luther

    I realize everything shouldn’t be about the glorious 2002 season, but 2002 South Carolina was one of my all time favorites. Lightning delay, Pollack in the end zone, and Carolina fans crying on their call in show.

    Also 51-7 2002 Tech game was as satisfying as any I can remember.


    • NCT

      Tech 2002 will always be one of my all-time favorites. Yes, AU 2007 was electric, but I’ve never felt a crowd so completely ebullient about a blowout as the 2002 Tech game. Drunk on points, baby.


  6. Kevin

    I was at all those games plus one more that i would have to add, Tenn in ’01. Those are the ten best games I’ve ever seen and I had the exact same countdown with a buddy of mine from school the other day. Only, he didn’t attend 02 Auburn and instead replaced it with Hawaii.

    I would have to say that the 07 auburn game was the most bizarre surreal moment in Sanford, but that LSU 04 game was by far the most satisfying win ever. Fans were so keyed up for that game. People still talk about the tailgate we had on NC for that one. Ahhh reminiscin’…


  7. brad

    Great list, Senator. For me, LSU 2004 sticks out. I still watch highlights of that game on Youtube and pray for a defense like that again.


    • Saban’s or VanGorder’s? 😉


      • brad

        If you get a chance, go to the ‘tubes and check out the highlights. Good grief. David Pollack sheds a block from an OT and is sacking the QB in about 1.5 seconds.

        Pollack is a legend in case you hadn’t heard. When it rains at Yankee Stadium, they use his foreskin for a tarp.

        OK, I didn’t come up with that one, but dammit, it’s funny.


  8. Brandon

    Tennessee 03′ was great, I’ll never forget the looks on those big urnge fans when we scooped up that fumble when they were about to score and went the distance with it, 41-14 baby. Also I’ve got to agree about Tech 02′, I’ll never forget how Todd Blackledge was talking at the beginning of the game about how Tech had a “special package” for GA that they had been saving all year, and then the “A techie went down to Athens” poem that went around the internet the week after, set to the tune of the “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, absolutely beautiful, I can still hear the chorus line: “Gibson in the endzone easy as cake, 34-0 at the half time break!”


  9. All of these are good nominations, but I’m wondering how the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii hasn’t gotten a nod. That was such a great win, even though it was against an unworthy opponent. All the talk of the Warriors being able to hang with the big boys was put to rest quickly, and that poor QB never did recover from that game. Good times.


  10. BeerMoney89

    In chronological order, I’ll post more later:

    2001 Tennessee: No shot whatsoever to win, but nobody considered that this was Mark Richt’s Georgia.

    2001 Georgia Tech: Verron Haynes for 207 yards. And I don’t know why, but that was one of the most rowdy, out of control Georgia crowds I have ever seen. I am guessing that it had to do with it being a night game, having all day to drink and the bloodlust that we had after losing 3 straight to the liars and cheaters. We did some damage that night for sure.

    2002 Alabama: now THAT was a hot day. They ran out of ice and bottled water and were telling folks to go fill up cups in the bathroom sink. WTF? I was so hungover from teh night before that I didn’t really drink anything all day. Didn’t matter, we won and it was downhill from there.

    2002 Tech: 51-7, 51-7, 51-7. (emphasis added) 51-7!!!! Seeing Tech fans filing out in droves from the upper east endzone at halftime was a glorious site.

    2003 Clemson: The key to a hot game at Clemson Senator is to just forget about your seat location and go to the top row of the upper deck. Since the stadium is on the lake, you get a nice breeze blowing up there, unlike where you are packed in to the gills closer to the field where the breeze is obstructed by metal and concrete. David Pollack destroyed the Clemson OL single-handedly that day.

    2003 LSU: Even though we lost, I must say that this was one of the best football games I have ever seen. Had we not missed so many FG’s, we win. But we gave it everything we had and so did LSU.


    • BM89, re: Clemmins ’03 – near the top of the upper deck was where I was seated. It didn’t help much. One other thing about that I remember is that those upper deck stairs were some of the steepest I’ve ever negotiated. I saw some elderly fans climbing them and wondered if they were going to make it to their seats.


  11. D’oh. How could I forget “Man Enough” ’02 in Tuscaloosa? My buddy and I were in the end zone where Gibson “caught it on his whatchamacallit” (per Larry). Nearly 200 yards rushing total, with Musa Smith bruising ’em for 6 ypc. Just as old school as you please.

    I’d never been to Tuscaloosa. My friend (UGA undergrad alum) invited me down during his third year in law school there. To really understand the insufferableness of Bama fans in ’09, you had to see ’em after that game. This was the last year before the Means-related scholarship sanctions kicked in, and they really thought they were going to teach us and the rest of the SEC a lesson that day.

    If you’ve seen the YouTube video of the Bama fan shouting racial epithets during the VT game this year, imagine 80k more of him. My friend and I had to quietly wait until his roommates passed out before we could sit out on the front porch for a detailed, two-hour session of recounting the game’s awesomeness over several gentlemanly beverages.


  12. BeerMoney got it right. Alabama in ’02 remains my favorite game of the decade even though it wasn’t as significant as the Auburn game, nor did it involve Michael Johnson’s heroics at the end. It was the hottest game ever, our bourbon was probably 100 degrees by kickoff, and was just an absolute classic. Dawgs were clearly the better team but old Georgia would have found a way to lose that game. Freddie-BG’s falling backwards catch on the goal line was right in front of our seats. And Billy Bennett’s kick was right into the UGA section. I’ll never forget his airplane wings celebration after the game. All the UGA fans charged to the Gameday set in the Quad and started heckling Corso for picking Bama. Speaking of Gameday, I knew it was going to be a special day when we were walking over in the morning with a 10/10 hangover and ran right into Herschel Walker, who was appearing in a segment that day.

    Unbelievable experience – let’s hope this next decade brings us many many more. Go Dawgs.


  13. Largemouth Dawg

    Alabama in 2007 was a blast. I was talking to my buddies on the way down to T-town and said that I’d never seen an overtime game in person and I’d really enjoy seeing us win in OT. When we blew that lead in the 4th, I thought they were going to throw me out of the stadium. Then coming down the ramp after the win, I had people jumping on me that I’d never seen before. All around, a good time. Additionally, the man in front of us turned around at one point while waiting for a first down measurement and yelled “Dawgs Son!!! You’ve got to believe” and as he motioned for the first down, still looking at me (I believe piercing my soul) the refs stretched the chain and signaled the same. The man smile and faded into the crowd again. I’m convinced to this day that was an angel from God.

    Auburn in 2006 was also fun. Mainly in the 4th quarter. Sure, we’d gotten a big lead early, but I didn’t really allow myself to believe until the band played Krypton.

    And the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii will never be forgotten.

    How bout em


  14. KingDawg

    SC 06 was pretty good too – shutout of Spurrier and the true debut of Stafford – the weeks following make it easy to forget. Nice ruining the gamecocks MNC hopes again;)

    Crowd was nuts at Clemson 02.

    LSU 04, LSU 05, UF 07 are my top 3. Wish I’d been on the Plains in 02, damn schoolwork got in the way for that one.

    Pregame for Auburn 04 was pretty good.


  15. Largemouth Dawg

    The thing about Carolina in 06 was all the Dawg people were leaving, then the jumbotron came back on with Spurrier’s press conference and every single one of us sat back down to watch. He looked and sounded as miserable as any individual I’d ever seen. Music to my soul.


  16. truck

    51-7. Man, that NEVER gets old.


  17. The Realist

    Auburn 2007. The blackout was the most electric atmosphere I’ve ever seen anywhere, anytime.

    LSU 2004. The 2nd loudest I’ve heard the stadium. At least our kick returners have never taken a knee at the 1.

    GT 2002. 51-7 for my final home game as a student.

    After that, it gets kinda fuzzy.


    • Dan A.

      I’m with you on the Auburn 2007 game. I consider myself blessed to have been among the students that night in 2007. I’ll never forget that game as long as I live. People can say whatever they want about the blackout, that it’s a gimmick… i don’t give a shit. That was the best game of the decade. I’m not sure any college football team in the country could say they ever had an atmosphere better than the one in Sanford that night. I never get tired of seeing replays of the kickoff team, the guys on the sideline, the entire stadium and verne lundquist dancing to Soulja’ Boy.


  18. Joe B.

    1. Hobnail boot game. No explanation

    2. At Alabama in ’02. Had to sit in the Bama players’ family section. Fantastic game for 4 quarters.

    3. At LSU, 2003. We lost, but when Tyson Browning took that screen, it may have been my single favorite moment at a UGA game.

    4. Blackout game vs. Auburn. Absolute euphoria for about 10 minutes.

    5. At Arizona St. Not really a vintage effort, but it was fun taking it to the desert, running out of booze on the airplane, in the bars and at every restaurant in town. Dry heat thing is a myth.

    6. 2005 SECCG. Never forget Jeff Owens taking Jemarcus Russell out.

    7. LSU 2004. I actually went into this game with a Marshall ticket stub from the game before. Probably the best beatdown of CMR’s career.

    8. Gtu, 51-7. Went with a Gtu buddy. Showed mercy on him by leaving midway through the 4th.

    9. SECCG in 2002. I thought the roof was coming off the dome when we blocked that punt.

    10. Sugar Bowl, 2002. Blacked out after my 2nd double Crown, in pre-game. Vaguely remember Bruce Thornton scoring. Just a great celebration of a great season.


    • KingDawg

      Good call on UT 03. The end of the first half and beginning of the second rank right up there with first quarter against LSU in 04 as the best 15 minutes of UGA football I have witnessed.

      The Sean Jones play followed by Pollack and Thurman’s demolition of Clausen early in the 3rd quarter was great. Thurman almost beat the —– out of Clausen, literally. They did not show it on TV but when the fight broke out Thurman and Clausen were alone and about to go at it until someone got to Odell and prevented it.


  19. Hobnail_Boot

    My personal favorites that I actually attended:

    ’02 South Carolina – My first SEC road trip. Hour delay, Pollack, goalline stand.

    ’02 Tennessee – The first time under Richt there was a palpable ‘buzz’ on campus. Literally about 90% of students that day wore red w/o any provocation. The game was just a continuation of those sentiments.

    ’02 SECCG – Enough said.

    ’03 Tennessee – Sean f’n Jones. Walked on the field after the game.

    ’04 LSU – Bloodthirsty team and fanbase.

    ’04 Florida – First victory over UF I’d seen in person.

    ’05 SECCG – I love DJ Shockley.

    ’07 Alabama – Sat in the middle of their Greek end zone section with one other UGA fan (the end where we scored in OT). Still convinced that Vanderbilt Stadium is louder than Bryant-Denny.

    ’07 Auburn – Best home crowd I’ve ever been a part of, still gives me chills.

    ’07 Florida – I was convinced our team was killing somebody when they ran out on the field. The guy next to us somehow snuck a pony keg into the game. Talk about the WLOCP.

    ’07 Tech – Always great to beat the Nerds, plus I was getting play-by-play on the UT-UK game and relaying it to our whole section.


  20. Jim from Duluth

    I’ll add to your list these three (which I see have also appeared on other lists)

    2001 at Tennessee – Hobnail Boot game signaled things would be different at UGA under Richt, compared to what we had fielded the prior decade or more. And don’t forget it was mostly our special teams that kept us in the game most of that afternoon.

    2002 at Alabama – Man Enough game. My biggest recollection of that game was, on the way out afterwards, the Bama fans I encountered had their own version of “trash talk” .. that we needed to use that win as a springboard to ending our SEC title drought. Which we did.

    2002 nats – 51-7. Tech quit sometime just before halftime and totally disgraced itself that day. They were reduced to trying to pick childish fights and nothing.



  21. D.N. Nation

    Glad to see someone mention @USC ’02. Was in the corner EZ where Pollack had the INT. Miserable game…glad Granny Lou called a pitch play in the mist at the end.


  22. Chris

    The AU 2007 game was great. It was a special game and everyone was wondering if UGA would show up w/the black jerseys. I drove up and surprised my parents to watch it w/them and had a wonderful time. All those games you picked were great for sure. While I was not at the Clemson game I remember thinking it mus be hotter then hell out there.


    • Joe B.

      My favorite memories from that Clemson game are the Clemson center throwing up on the ball on the first drive and Thomas Davis annihilating Charlie Whitehurst.

      Also, special mention has to go to the hits on Cody Broyle by Davis and Blue. I still have no idea what Shula was thinking that day.


  23. Russell

    Tech 02. A Tech fan commented that maybe we should have saved some of those points for the Dome….My brother told him that he was disappointed we didn’t hang a hundred on them…What a great day.


  24. Justin D

    Tennessee 2001 has to be on my list.


  25. Justin D

    We had seats in the corner of that endzone. I was only 14 at the time. the most memorable game of my life.


  26. Wolfman

    Tenn ’01 – Hobnail Boot, to me, is still the most important game of the decade. It announced loud and clear that CMR’s reign would be different. I think I was the last person out of the stadium.

    SC ’02 – I think I fell to the ground clutching my heart when we recovered that fumble. Followed by crying and celebrating. Plus I saw the greatest individual football play of all time in person.

    Ala ’02 – Hottest game ever attended. Some say that Clem ’03 was hotter, but I don’t believe it. Plus can’t overrate beating the Tide in Bryant-Denny. That was so much fun.

    SECCG ’02 – Michael Johnson’s catch meant nothing without this win.

    Tenn ’03 – Got the ticket from a UT student in exchange for a six-pack of Sierra Nevada, and then stood in the UGA student section. We all shared seats. I remember hollering when Sean Jones returned that fumble, and I don’t remember coming to until the bands had already finished playing. The rest of that game was a slow trickle of orange from the stadium. So fun.

    LSU ’04 – Since I missed the blackout, my favorite recent Sanford Stadium crowd. (Clem ’91 remains a personal favorite.) I remember Brook Whitmire even telling the crowd “You really were the 12th man today.”

    Tenn ’05 – My first game actually sitting in the orange section. I felt like Thomas Flowers was running right to me.

    Aub ’06 – How nice it was to put them in their place.

    Celebration ’07 – A bittersweet story. My brother and I were walking in late to the game because we had two tickets to sell, and couldn’t even give them away to Dawg fans. Definitely a buyer’s game. I entered the seating area of the stadium just in time to see Knowshon score, and I cheered, and turned up the stairs to go find my seat. When I next turned to the field, we were kicking off from the 7. I didn’t even know about the Celebration until that night. But the day was no wash. I channeled Lewis Grizzard with my affection toward those around me when Massaquoi ran with that TD pass.