With Georgia-Florida falling on one of the best holidays of the year (candy, parties, hordes of scantily-clad women), plus our recent record against Florida, superstition is always in the air on this weekend.
UGA definitively wins annually in one department.
Whether you always hit up Brogen's at the St Simons Pier, rent a condo on Jekyll Island or simply destroy property down in Jacksonville, every Dawg has a superstition or tradition they follow over the annual WLOCP weekend. Some, such as the detailed ones over at a female UGA blogger's The Adventures of the Redshirt Senior, tilt more to the personal side.
I was not aware of the superstitions followed by some of the Dawgs on the team highlighted by UGA alum Mark Schlabach, from Blair Walsh's eating a mini box of Raisin Bran before every game since Oklahoma State '09 to Ben Jones' unusual warm-up routine:
Before every game, Jones goes through the early parts of pregame warm-ups in his bare feet. The junior center from Centreville, Ala., even practices snaps with quarterback Aaron Murray without wearing shoes."I did it during my senior year of high school," Jones said. "I was sleeping on the bus and we got to the stadium, and I didn't have time to put my shoes on. So I went through warm-ups in my bare feet. We ended up winning the game and had a great season. I've done it ever since."
While "Shoeless Jones" is one of the more unusual football player rituals I've heard of, I particularly enjoyed this story I came across of an Erk Russell superstition...
Erk took a scout team tight end, Robert Miles, on as a reserve defensive end after offensive coordinator Bill Pace offered him to Erk and remarked to Erk as an afterthought, "Robert Miles is a pansy." Erk utilized this comment with regularity a year later, throughout the 1980 season as a superstition during the championship run (read the full story here, from Vince Dooley's Tales from the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs).
At the end of the day though, traditions and superstitions are one of the great things to pass from generation to generation of players and fans, and it makes college football's heritage richer and more enjoyable than the bland, corporate NFL.
Whatever your superstition is, whether it happens in Atlanta or down on the pier in the Golden Isles, enjoy your Cocktail Party weekend.