Thursday, November 13, 2008

Deep South's Oldest Rivalry: A Family Affair

Although the Tennessee and Florida games mean more to the Eastern Division race, and Georgia Tech means never having to face the revenge of the nerds, Auburn is still the most important game to me. I grew up in a divided Georgia-Auburn household. My mother is a Georgia graduate and my father is an Auburn graduate.

As an infant/toddler, I had Georgia bottles and apparently chanted “Go Hersch!” over and over. So in the end, I was meant to be a Georgia Bulldog. However, I did have a brief stay with the Auburn Tigers during adolescence.

The following is little Earl without the red hair and the hideous orange shirt. Notice how the kid has to be bribed. Not surprising for Auburn.

We attended almost every Georgia-Auburn game in my childhood, no matter if it was in Athens or on the Plains. And I donned the orange and blue every time. But, when it was time to choose a college to attend, I obviously chose Georgia. Mom was happy, and dad was just as thrilled about the in-state Hope scholarship.

Anyways, we’re like so many other families in this rivalry with people on both sides. And as we head into another entry in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, I’m looking forward to sitting in an Auburn section of the stadium as a Bulldog for the first time. Each time I’ve been to Jordan-Hare in the 2000s as a Dawg, I’ve had the fortune of sitting in the Georgia section. Not this year, though. This year, it’s right behind the Auburn bench on the 50-yard line (Hey, like the title says…Earl sits on the 50). Should be fun.

This video really captures the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

Georgia is 8-2. Auburn is 5-5. How many times have I seen the underdog win in this series? Too many times to count. Advantage: Auburn

Jordan-Hare Stadium. How many times have I seen the visiting team win in this series? Too many times to count. Advantage: Georgia

With those two advantages canceling each other out, I think the better football team wins on Saturday and that’s the Dawgs. And just for good measure, the former Parkview High School running back Brad Lester has helped the cause this week by calling out the better football team. We appreciate it Brad. Word has it that Rennie Curran has just washed ashore from Liberia again and is thinking about you on Saturday. Thanks Brad.

Georgia hasn’t beaten Auburn three straight times since 1980-1982. Let’s make that 2006-2008. And then watch the Dawgs beat Tech for the 8th straight time, while Auburn ruins Alabama’s season, beating the Tide for the 7th straight time. The Tigers will tell you that they’re undefeated in Tuscaloosa.

The past 7-8 Thanksgiving weekends have been real good in the family thanks to those two in-state rivalries.

Go Dawgs!

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