We had a hint very early on Friday about what the Georgia turnout for the Notre Dame game would be like. Nah, not at Hartsfield or on the flight up to Chicago, both of which were heavily sprinkled with red (enough that one of the flight attendants made a ND crack when we were about to exit the plane). Coming from Atlanta, that was to be expected.
After we got there and got settled in, we walked about a mile or so from our hotel to a pizza joint that opened at 11 in the morning… and watched other Dawg fans walk in and keep walking in. We took an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River in the early afternoon and saw plenty of red on our boat and on other passing boats.
Came the evening and more of the same. Two of our group went to the Cubs game. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories about how the fan base took over Wrigley. The rest of us when to a classic steak diner and, you guessed it, there were plenty of Georgia fans chowing down.
Throw in the continuing comments from the locals we passed on the street while out and about regarding the number of us who made the trip and it was clear Dawgnation had made an impression. When you consider that this wasn’t some small college town in the South, but one of the largest cities in the world, that was quite the statement.
South Bend itself? Allow me to requote myself.
I’ve been to my fair share of road games over almost forty years, and what I saw from us over the past weekend was nothing short of amazing. Give us crap for being long-suffering, if you must, but don’t doubt our passion for the program. We showed up. It was indeed great to be a Georgia Bulldog.
I could do without this, though.
“When we pulled up, we thought it was a home game,” Smart said. “I am proud of this university, and I am proud of the fact that we’ve got a fan base that came to this game in droves. It makes us a special place. This was a special trip for our fan base, and we need our fan base to get behind this team, support this team and support this university.
“We’ve got a lot of projects right now that we’re trying to pay for, and these are the kind of games that help you get that done, because they see the promise in the program.”
Even Butts-Mehre seeing dollar signs everywhere can’t take away how special that trip was. You done good, gang.