Football fans of the South.We are intensely loyal be it to a high school championship team, a college or a pro one. We beam with pride when a local player makes good. We hold our players and coaches in esteem for years to come.It's a Family Tradition! We come together each week to cheer on our home team.This annual tradition when the band marches across the field, the crowd cheers and the football team burst upon the field has a life all its own. A melding of emotion, of good times, and of pride.Share your stories here!
Latest Activity: May 5
My friend Sudy Leavy asked me to post memories of GA/FL weekends on Football Fans of the South, but, alas, I've never figured out how to befriend that site, so here goes! My memories go back many years beginning in the late '40s when my parents began following the Dogs to Jacksonville and I was lucky enough to have a ticket, too. (My dad started working on me to be a Georgia Bulldog at an early age!) The tradition was an East Beach affair to begin with, with friends from other island neighborhoods joining in over the years. The group met at the U.S. 17 Florida line to picnic in the little shelters beside the highway on game day, before moving on into Jacksonville. The menu for the picnic became traditional over the years: plenty of shrimp sandwiches (crusts removed), fried chicken, deviled eggs, cheese straws, and homemade brownies. Ice cold Coca Cola (in the small bottles) and adult beverages of choice always in moderation) were enjoyed along with great conversation, high hopes for winning the game, and opportunities to compliment others on new fall outfits worn for the first time...not always red and black then..., because these were the days of the chrysanthemum corsages which could be purchased at the game to show team colors. Our free game parking spot was "under the bridge" (Matthews) where we locked and left our cars and headed toward the stadium, looking for rest rooms along the way and chatting with residents of the Tallyrand area as we walked, the same characters coming out of their houses each year to enjoy the gathering crowd. (In later years, many of these folks opened their yards to paid parking, and we continued to park in the area through the paying years.) The stadium was always evenly divided between the Bulldogs and Gators, and when really big excitement was building, the stadium would start to rumble with people stomping their feet. I remember having visions of the whole place collapsing, but, apparently there was never any danger. We were there for great victories and a few terrible defeats, but the "occasion" was always a winning one, keeping the tradition, enjoying our friends, adoring our Bulldogs, despising the Gators (although we were known to allow a Gator or two to share our picnic and camaraderie from time to time!). Families of the "old days," before I-95 and the new stadium, were the Baumgardners, Walkers, Gilberts, Gowens, Conyers, and McGregors. Over the years the tradition bent a bit when we traveled in style to and from the game on the Walkers' boat. Another time we made the trip in a magnificent early recreational vehicle from Gordon McGregors' dealership...with its own driver..., a precursor to the RVs of today. This GA/FL tradition lasted in one form or another into the '90s. Surviving members of the original Baumgardner and Gowen families continued making the trip long after they probably should have given it up... but always with enthusiastic shouts of "Go Dogs! One more time!" FL/GA game? No way! GA/FL game forever!
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