Georgia fan responds to Auburn letter, defends true fans and offers 2016 tickets
The viral open letter from the Auburn fan yesterday following an unfortunate weekend in Athens cause quite a stir this week. You can read the letter here, and read the 500+ comments by the SDS community here.
In response to the letter, SDS received a response from a Georgia fan which reads as follows:
Let me begin by apologizing to anyone that has ever experienced an over the line slight, real or perceived, by someone in the name of the Georgia G-particularly my sister and brother who have both attended Auburn. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of the poster about the disgusting nature of any sports “fan” that crosses the line from good natured fun to despicable behavior.
However, I feel that a lot was left unsaid by the previous poster and feel the public indictment of my Georgia G was, to some extent, unfair.
Yes, I said MY Georgia G- because the G worn by anyone engaging in the described acts is not mine and it makes me sick to my stomach to have my G associated with them. I speak for hundreds of thousands of proud Georgia alumni that spent their youth sacrificing much for the privilege to gain acceptance into our university and even more for the privilege to walk through our arches that take no greater pride than seeing honor and integrity associated with our G.
Unfortunately, there is no test at the store when you go to purchase a new Georgia jersey or hat to discern whether someone is worthy enough to wear that letter on their body nor is there a checkpoint to get into Athens in the fall that determines if you deserve the tickets you got from the friend of a friend.
This is a problem pervasive throughout the SEC where the loudest and most obnoxious fans are never the ones with any real tie to the university or city. All too often the idiot screaming the F word in front of a family leaving a stadium anywhere in the SEC is a high schooler visiting an older sibling and trying to act cool, a “fan” that actually goes to a small neighboring school, or just a drunk idiot friend from out of town trying to overdo their Georgia experience.
None of these people are speaking or acting, or deserve to speak or act, in the name of my university. I feel the original poster lost sight of the fact that every school has these idiots and none of these idiots represent the colors they wear, whether those colors be red, orange, crimson, etc. I have been to many of the SEC schools for football games, including Auburn, and have seen or experienced similar individual idiots in all of them.
I want everyone to remember the reputation of the leader of our football program- Mark Richt. Often times rival school, Auburn as much as any, like to paint Coach Richt in a negative light as a “Great Man but only a Good Coach.” Countless articles and stories have been written about how great of a person and ambassador of my G that Coach Richt has been. He is someone that deserves to impress upon others, win OR lose, what it means to be a Georgia Fan- not the few drunk 19 year olds you pass on your way to your car and how dare these singular fools try to take away the pride we true fans feel for our coach, our football program, our city and our university.
Regarding the specific incidence enumerated by the original poster, I- like all of the true Georgia fans I have talked to today- cannot fathom that anything as sinister as what was described happened in our city. I have been to upwards of 35 Georgia games and have not once seen anything as extreme as what was described nor have the dozen or so real fans I talked to today that have also been to 30+ Georgia games. All told, that’s around 350 or so game day experiences that have not included spitting or any type of intentional physical abuse. Sure, there is plenty of cussing and yelling- but it’s a football game involving a lot of alcohol and previously described idiots so what school or event is not going to have that?
Only one time in my Athens game day experiences have I witnessed someone claiming to be a Georgia fan going over the top with persistent verbal abuse on an opposing fan and I, along with about 15 others, promptly tossed that idiot out of the bar by his collar and apologized profusely to the opposing fan.
If the original poster experienced more than 20 people spitting towards them, they found something 99 standard deviations above the mean and they should buy a lotto ticket. Regarding the drinks spilled on them, I think there is just a gap in school culture between Georgia and Auburn that helps to explain this. Georgia is a nationally known party school with notorious party bars- while Auburn has a fun party scene of their own, it is not the same in either size or magnitude.
Even as a Georgia fan, I have had drinks spilled on me in downtown Athens every calendar day of the week. Multiply a large party school by a Saturday night by a game day by a night game by a rivalry game by the first home game in over 40 days by a Gurley return and you’ve got the makings of a perfect storm for chaos. Every single bar in Athens was packed shoulder to shoulder that night making it impossible to breathe let alone keep a liquid in a cup.
Add in the inebriating effects alcohol has on balance and coordination and it’s the recipe to get drinks spilled on you- and I speak from experience when I say those drinks do not discriminate based on what color shirt you have on. This same explanation can be given for the “getting hit in the back of the head” that was described. Who hasn’t been jostled when leaving a stadium with 90,000+ people (many of which with alcohol induced balance issues) all headed in the same direction? Sure, there will always be those few idiots yelling and cussing, but as stated, we all hate them as much as you do and they’re wearing orange and blue as often as they are wearing red and black.
It is completely understandable that after a loss in something you hold sacred that someone would be perhaps overly sensitive and searching for something to be mad about. I have done it, you have done it, and every diehard sports fan in the world has done it after a loss. If someone even looks at me after a Georgia loss I will think they’re attacking everything I stand for. I’ll never forget being in Columbia, SC after the 2012 Georgia-USC shellacking and being outraged to the point of explosion every time someone shouted Go Cocks in my direction.
I am not trying to downplay the original posters experience or say they are lying. I am absolutely ashamed that someone would say they didn’t enjoy their experience, let alone that they could have any cause to report that they feared for their safety. I have always taken pride in showing my friends from opposing schools the weekend of their lives when they come for a game weekend. But, let’s not lose sight of the fact that everyone is emotional in a time like that and looking for an outlet. Couple that with the drunks and “fans” unworthy of the colors they wear and you’ve got a problem anywhere in the world.
This is not a Georgia problem, this is not an SEC football problem, this is a human problem and I will do anything in my power to eliminate this universal problem from Georgia and hope others will do the same here, at Auburn, and elsewhere.
The G you described is not my G and I cannot stand idly by as it is associated with the trash that pretend to wear it nor can I let a viral post go unanswered without a reasoned response from another perspective.
I do hope you get another opportunity to experience a game day in Athens in the future so you can feel some of the magic students and alumni feel every fall. The beauty of sports is there’s always next year and for every loss you get another chance one season later (and the smart fans remember that’s just as true after wins).
I would be glad to start a fund among some true Georgia alumni to send you to Georgia-Auburn in 2016 and would be glad to host you myself if you would give Georgia a second chance off the field. War Eagle and, with every thing I stand for, Go Dawgs.
-Chris, Georgia Fan
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