Why we’re here.

Every once in a while, it really hits me why I enjoy this blog so much.  Certainly it’s nice to have a public outlet to express myself and it’s gratifying when I get a public response to my opinions.  It’s no secret that I enjoy the give-and-take of a good debate as much as anybody and I’ve had plenty of those with you guys in the comments.

But the best part of the GTP experience for me, hands down, comes every time I’m reminded what’s at the core of why you and I have a special feeling about college football, which, after all, is just a game.  And that core isn’t statistics or playoff formats or whether this coach or that one is the right man for the job… and it sure as hell isn’t money.

It’s community.  It’s being part of a group of people who bind together, both face to face on a few special Saturdays every fall and by sharing something of themselves in a virtual sense the rest of the year, over a common passion.  You know the pain and pleasure, the highs and lows that everyone feels, even if those sometimes are expressed very differently.

I’ve been lucky in both ways.  I’ve celebrated the fall with a close group of friends for more than thirty years now.  We’ve watched each other get older, seen our kids grow up, had our laughs and our share of tears.  And on the blogging side of things, I’ve been the recipient of a steady stream of e-mails that start with something like “I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and wanted to share this with you”… and then they do.  And I honestly marvel every time I see that how this shared experience matters.

Where I’m getting to with this is that somebody e-mailed me yesterday about a video that’s posted on YouTube.  It struck a chord.  I’ll let the author describe it:

I made this film to profile my father’s tailgate. I’ve been going to University of Georgia football games since I was 6 years old. I wanted to share with everyone what our tailgate experience is all about. Family, love, and compassion are just a few words to describe what these people mean to me.

Watch it.  I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

There’s something I try to say every time somebody reaches out to me with an e-mail like that.  And I hope you understand that when I say it, it’s not offered as some automatic gesture of politeness.  It’s sincere.  So I’ll say it now in that spirit, Jon.

Thanks for sharing.


UPDATE:  The NFL, on the other hand


Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff

51 responses to “Why we’re here.

  1. DawgPhan

    tailgating sure is fun.

    I’ve got something in my eye.

  2. I Wanna Red Cup

    That made me cry man. Seriously. I am already depressed that we have to wait so long for the season to start again. This hits the nail right on the head. The most fun part of my life is going to UGA games with friends, win or lose, though i admit the winning is more fun. Noticed the pig cooking on the grill. Will have to do that one before I die.

    • Don’t wait too long!😉 Use to get suckling pigs at Wynn Dixie on Gaines School Road/Lexington Rd. You could buy whole salmon and brisket there as well. It’s gone now. After the building sat vacant they put in a Goodwill Store. Probably a very good best use option.
      Go Dawgs!

  3. Timphd

    I found this blog a few years ago and now find it a near religious experience to check it multiple times per day. I’m far away from the Bulldog base and get my fix from posts and comments. It’s postings like this video that make me love it so. Other blogs just don’t create the same sense of belonging this one does. Thanks Senator for carrying the banner. Thanks to Jon for sharing the video.

  4. Bob

    Timphd said it much better than I ever could. Great stuff. Damn, I love this game.

  5. TomReagan

    Some Georgia fans really get it, like those folks in that video.

    And that’s why I love coming here, Senator. You don’t just know your football, music, and comedy. Your enjoyment and support of Georgia football no matter the way the winds are blowing is always apparent.

    To me, the bottom line is that Georgia football is about having a good time and enjoying it, and I think most on here would agree with that.

  6. X-Dawg

    The love, compassion & camaraderie of our fans does transcend the game at times. Great video Jon!

  7. Doggone

    You’re a fortunate man, being able to do something like that with friends over the decades. For those of us too many miles away, your blog is the closest we can get to that experience. I hope to get back to Athens next season after an absence of three decades, this time taking my grandkids for their first visit to UGA. Hope it’s still a magic place.

  8. stuckinred

    It’s funny, I’ve been here for 29 seasons. I came here from B1G country, the school that started homecoming. My dad went there and I have my undergrad from there. I was very close to guys that played there in the 70’s and we have stayed in touch. I go to most games by myself and, since I live here, I walk to the stadium and tailgaiting has never been something I’ve been very interested in. But the part about connection and family is as important to me as any portrayed in the video. The last conversation I had with my dad was about the Georgia LSU game 10 years ago. When they read Lauren’s letter to Munson I thought about my old man. Georgia is special but, as the part about their Gator buddy showed, college football is more than that.
    This blog is great and I am thankful I found it.

  9. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Just thanks …

  10. He about summed up every tailgate I’ve ever been to in Athens and beyond when he said – “I love these people.”

    Great video. Thanks for sharing Jon!

  11. Bryant Denny

    Cool video. Thanks for posting.

  12. Daniel Simpson Day

    Much appreciated the post and the video! Glad I’m not the only one with something in my eye too…

  13. DSLDawg

    Thanks Senator – I now have two of the three things Jimmy V said to do each day from his ESPY speach done

  14. OTPDawg

    The video embodied everything I love about college football…UGA, family, friends, food, drink, but the greatest truly IS love!!! As one of your female readers, I so look forward to your posts! Love your writing style for those of us on-the-go, as I can click on a link at work and get a chuckle as I sit across from an enemy SEC peep while I’m in a meeting. Your quick wit is the best! Thanks to YOU for sharing….I’m glad u are one of US!

  15. Scorpio Jones, III

    We love you too, Bluto….sniff, sniff.
    Love, not hope, is the best thing, the only thing.
    Now, about that damn defense. 🙂

  16. fatman48

    What a great piece. Family,Friends, Football now is that is being Committed To The “G”.

  17. Wonderful, just wonderful. Thank you Jon. Gonna save this one to remind me what GEORGIA FOOTBALL is all about. So much more than just the GAME. DGD’S !

  18. zach

    You nailed it. It makes life so much more enjoyable to be apart of something that is bigger than you. #godawgs

  19. Russ

    Just wonderful. And it could be any team. College football is the best.

    Thanks again Senator for running the best college football site out there.

  20. Ginny

    Got a little dust in my eye. Seriously, this really sums it up. Love this blog because y’all just get it. We’re a strange breed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Eccentric and wonderful we are….THE GEORGIA BULLDAWG NATION. So classy that we can share a tailgate site with those GATORS. Good People…that’s what we are just DGP.

  21. Comin' Down The Track

    Dang old onion-cutting ninjas…

  22. HamDawg11

    Living in Bham, I come here to get away from my surroundings, if only for a moment. To be in Athens in my mind among friends, this community takes me there. Thanks for that, Senator!

    • How long have you lived in B’ham? Great place to raise a family. Not so much fun for an Atlanta Native and a GEORGIA GIRL. Twenty years in B’ham…..have to say the GOLF is great there. Also, love those Greek and Lebanese restaurants. The Bright Star and Gikka’s Down The Street were wonderful…. and of course Highlands.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I was on a very important (to me) business trip in Birmingham a few years ago and as we were sitting down in a restaurant our host asked how we liked Birmingham. I foolishly (and honestly) blurted out, “I love it…I love little beat up southern towns”. She got a seriously offended look until I held up my hands and in defense said, “no, no, I live in ATHENS!!”

  23. AusDawg85

    Great stuff. Being in exile makes one long for the chance to be a part of that experience again. Just traveling to an occassional one game a year is not the same as the entire season long experience with your fellow tailgaters. I’m often invited, and questioned, why I won’t attend the local institution’s games. Maybe I should given the ‘Horns long history and traditions…but it wouldn’t be Athens. And it would make me miss it all too much more.

    • Tried that in Tuscaloosa…..My BAMA friends are good people…..but it does not hold a candle to GAMEDAY IN ATHENS. As you all know we have always been rated at the top for the tailgate experience.

  24. ScoutDawg

    Thank you for what you do.

  25. BulldogBen

    I was frustrated and bitter after the Vandy loss and apoplectic after the Auburn game. I’ve questioned my faith and belief that we’ll ever get to the promised land time and time again with this team year after year.

    Watching that puts me in a place I usually don’t get to until around August. I’ll never quit believing because my friends and family in the Bulldawg Nation won’t let me. Too many damn memories to stop now…….

    Thanks for sharing.

  26. ripjdj

    Hell,everything makes I Wanna Red Cup cry I need to hear from Skeptic Dawg ,if this doesn’t tug at your heart strings ,Jack you Dead. Thanks to Jon and Senator Blutarsky. It does remind me to do this at home….. just had to explain to a secretary why I was tearing up and when I said it was football she just shook her head. Who’s heart should bless her’s or mine. I decided ,Bless her heart she just don’t understnd

    • Skeptic Dawg

      Ask and you shall receive. Yes, Jon has pictured the heart of Georgia football. It is not about this coach or that coach. It is not about one defensive style va another. It is, as Jon so eloquently put, about family, friends and memories. It is about tailgating along the railroad tracks as a child, or tailgating on North Campus with my children, family and friends. That is what Jon was able to portray in his video. The passion, love and memories we all have of fall Saturdays, past and future, are why we visit this site the Senator has so graciously created for one and all with the same passion and fond memories. Jon, thank you for sharing this incredible video that reminds us all why we love Athens, UGA and Georgia football. Senator, thank you for providing us with such a witty, always well timed and cleverly delivered outlet for that passion.

  27. Debby Balcer

    That is part of the reason you will find us in Athens not watching the game in front of a television set.

  28. Faulkner

    There is a reason I have this site as my homepage and start my day here all year long. Thanks to all who make it what it is.

  29. Old DAWG

    Thank you so much. I’ve been going to games since I was 5. I sit in the same sits my Dad did when he could go. The ones he bought in the 60’s. The same ones I share with my sister.
    But, each year my wife nags a little harder. It’s too much trouble. It’s too expensive. We can watch it on TV. I don’t like using the plastic pisser at tailgates. Are we going to waste another Saturday?
    Now each time I hear that crap. I’ll whip out this video. Bam! I won. If that don’t work, I’ll whip out ol’ yeller – just to see if she’s human.

  30. Dubyadee

    Things in that mirror are closer than they appear.

  31. Spike

    No friends like old friends.

  32. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Damn you, Senator. I decided after one of our debates that you are a really hard-nosed lawyer and now you up and post something like this. I’m glad I’m not a softy like you. Gotta go now. I’ve got ragweed or something in my eye. My best to Jon.

  33. Nashville West

    This brought back great memories of three of the best years of my life going to school in Athens. I’ve tried to tell my wife and daughters and folks here on the left coast that they just don’t know what it is like to see a town turn Red and Black on a fall Saturday. Reading this blog and watching the Dawgs on Saturday helps those of us in the Dawg Diaspora to feel like we’re still part of it all. Thanks.