It was sobering to hear that. For me, my first SEC game was an edifying, thrilling experience. But for these very lucky players and the fans who adore them, it was just another Saturday, and they get to do it all over again week after week.This past Saturday, I had three former students come into town for the game. One is an Alabama fan. He gets it. One is a Texas fan that now lives in Chicago. The other is a Southern Cal fan that lives in LA. While both of them understand the passion, the Longhorn and the Trojan wanted to experience a live and up close SEC game day.
Think about that. Both of those programs have won national titles in the Mark Richt era. Both have seen their teams win national championships as students. Both have lived through a season without suffering a loss. Both felt like they were missing something if they didn't experience a game day done right at Georgia.
I've been lucky to get to do some cool stuff in my life. I've ridden in a limo with one of the Baldwin brothers. I've hung out with rock bands. I've chatted foreign policy with Edmund Muskie and Václav Havel. I have three awesome children and the love of a woman who loves sports and drinks good bourbon on the rocks. I am blessed beyond compare.
Outside of my wedding day and the day each my children were born, there is nothing that compares to how I feel when the University of Georgia takes the field (the same is true for all sports, actually). Words hardly describe it.
So that is why I stay until the end of games. Even blowouts in the rain. It is my thing. If you want to leave, that's cool. Don't expect me to understand. I don't expect you to understand why I stay.