“I knew the Georgia fan base was for real.”

One of the unalloyed joys of this week is reliving the pleasure of my trip to South Bend in 2017.  I’ve come across several articles that have made it clear what an impact our fan base had on the players in that game.

Dennis Dodd:

The 2017 game in South Bend, Indiana, was a launching point of sorts for both schools. Smart was in his second season. Georgia squeezed out a 20-19 win that was significant because SEC schools seldom challenge themselves with such true road nonconference games outside the Deep South.

“I most definitely remember the fans,” Georgia defensive back J.R. Reed said. “Being in that stadium and seeing that sea of red made me think it was a home game. I knew the Georgia fan base was for real.”

There were an estimated 30,000 Dawgs at Notre Dame Stadium that night.


Georgia players didn’t know what to expect before they arrived. What would the environment be like? The fans? Bellamy remembers a “fear of the unknown” because they’d never played Notre Dame and only heard about the school in a mystical sense and from watching old games on ESPN Classic.

But by this point in their careers, Bellamy and his fellow seniors had played in some intimidating places. Tennessee twice, Florida twice. Then they ran out of the Notre Dame Stadium tunnel and saw…Bulldogs fans. It put the team at ease.

“It was like a home game,” Bellamy says.

“We were pissed off,” McGlinchey says.

We really were awesome, weren’t we?

There will be far less than 30,000 visitors in the stands tomorrow night, but I do hope we show some legit Southern hospitality to those Irish fans who do brave the trip.  I know I’m repeating myself here, but I was so impressed with how gracious everyone was in South Bend, before and after the game, despite their obvious disappointment that so many of their ticket holders sold their seats to invaders wearing red and black.

These aren’t Tech fans, so reciprocate if you get the chance, Georgia folks.  It’s how your mommas raised you.  (Or should have, anyway.)


Filed under Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

11 responses to ““I knew the Georgia fan base was for real.”

  1. ugafidelis

    I’m so freaking excited about coming up there that I haven’t been able to get squat done this week getting ready.


  2. 81Dog

    The ND fans aren’t like SEC opposing fans. I tell people all the time the ND trip was like being at a football game run bt Augusta National. Truly gracious people, even after we took over their stadium and eat them. Just like last week, we can be nice to them while trying to beat them like they stole something. And, we should be nice. Offer them a beer. Ask them if they need directions. Welcome them to Athens. They did that firus, they’ve earned some respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dawgfan1995

    In reading a few Notre Dame blogs and comments this week, they were commenting about how they were pissed that Georgia took over the stadium but that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because Georgia fans were so nice.

    I know that when we visit places we try to be on our best behavior and all, but let’s hope that is the impression those ND fans leave Athens with as well.


    • dawgfan1995

      Also, from that SI story, I love the quote that Davin Bellamy had from Kirby in that 2017 season: “Good is the enemy of great.”


    • Macallanlover

      Having attended many, many games in Athens over the decades, and several on the road, I think the road warriors are a much better behaved group so it is not surprising they were easy to get along with. Vast majority of UGA fans are well behaved in Athens but the bratty drunks give everyone they encounter a bad impression. Up to the UGA fans to help keep this obnoxious group in line as best they can when they are harassing visiting fans. Usually our fans intervene but it is a bad look.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Being hospitable doesn’t mean for us to lose the home field advantage within the confines of Sanford Stadium. Don’t be a jackass to their fans personally. before, during or after the game. Make their team’s life miserable for 4 hours tomorrow night. If you aren’t hoarse when the game is over, you didn’t do your part to create the home field advantage.


  5. Russ

    Agreed, Senator. That was a trip I’ll remember for a long time. And 81Dog, you’re spot on. The ND hospitality did remind me of Augusta National. Let’s hope we do the same for them. I want the only nasty Dawgs to be the ones on the field Saturday night. And then I want to treat them like May treats an Arkansas State defensive lineman.


  6. Tony Barnfart

    At Notre Dame, pre-game I felt like I was at some sort of massive convention where folks from some foreign country were at a beautiful, historic tourist attraction. Two things that just kinda blew my mind……formally getting down on my knees and praying at the Basilica after standing in line (behind Georgia fans to do so). I wasn’t even going in there to pray, just view the site…… but that’s just what ended up happening. Then at the bookstore, the checkout line was nothing but people in red buying Notre Dame gear. Weirdest thing I ever saw in my life. Also, the line was longer than a bad roller coaster line at Six Flags but moved with the efficiency of an augusta national concessions tent.


  7. I’m a frequent reader, but seldom a commenter. This might be a weird place to post this, but many of you seem like decent people. I’ve decided last minute that I’m willing to fork out the $320 for some cheaper seats for tomorrow. But I’ve asked my wife and friends…none are willing to also fork it over. Anyone interested in splitting the cost of a pair of tickets and making a friend?