Posts Tagged ‘University of Georgia’

Georgia-Auburn Columbus Memories

November 15, 2010

As I watched the Georgia-Auburn, or Auburn-Georgia game (if you are an Auburn fan, Auburn always comes first, and visa versa for Georgia), I had to reflect on when it was played in Columbus.   And it has been played in Columbus more times than anywhere else, 38 games, according to Wikipedia.  It was played in Columbus from 1920 to 1958, with the only break being when it was played in Athens in 1929. The crowds outgrew Columbus’ Memorial Stadium and the game has alternated between Athens and Auburn since 1959.   

A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, formerly Memorial Stadium, home of Georgia-Auburn football games from 1920 to 1958

I never really knew why Columbus was selected as the site, only surmising that it might have been because Columbus is only about 35 miles from Auburn, but it’s in Georgia. Maybe it’s because Memorial Stadium in 1920 was larger than the stadiums at Athens and Auburn. I really don’t know that for sure. If you do know, please click the comment button and tell me. 

Anyway, as many in Columbus and Phenix City who are old enough to remember will tell you, it was a huge deal, perhaps the largest social affair in Columbus each year.  Parties were held all over town, with some really impressive ones in the homes of the affluent.  Everyone dressed up for the game back then, with men wearing suits and ties, and women wearing their Sunday best and  a red and white, or blue and gold carnation corsage. I knew that, not because I went to the games before the end of World War II, but from my father driving the family by the stadium on game day to watch folks going into the stadium. My parents considered the tickets too pricey at the time.  The most exciting drive-by was during World War II when we saw mega-movie star Bette Davis being escorted by her Fort Benning solider boyfriend into the stadium.  My memory tells me she was wearing a corsage, but I don’t remember which colors. We would go back home and listen to the game on the radio. WRBL radio – there was no TV then – broadcast the games on a statewide network. 

I couldn’t see the games then, but I could see the bands, and I loved the bands as much as I did the games.  On game day, the Georgia band would arrive in Columbus on a Central of Georgia train.  All I had to do was walk from our house on 5th Avenue near 11th Street to the corner of 5th Avenue and 12th Street, which was a short block from the Central of Georgia depot.  By the time the Georgia band got to the intersection it went from a percussion street beat to the band’s playing a familiar march, maybe even Glory Glory to Old Georgia.  Then my buddies and I would follow the band to Broadway where it would join the Auburn band for the Broadway parade. Georgia and Auburn fans would decorate their cars in school colors and signs.

 During the last year of World War II and right after the war, since the war had brought an end to the Great Depression, family finances picked up and we started going to the games.  The one that I remember most vividly was when Charlie Trippi played.  It was either the 1945 or 1946 game.  Trippi, who was an All-American and in the running for the Heisman Trophy (Doc Blanchard of Army won it) put on dazzling show. 

Charlie Trippi (Photo courtesy: Athens Banner-Herald)

It was a warm, sunny November Saturday afternoon.  We were sitting in the end zone seats , but that didn’t matter because I WAS THERE, actually seeing a Georgia-Auburn game.  And while I was rooting for Georgia, I enjoyed the Auburn band when it played The Tiger Rag  as much as the Bulldog band when it played Glory Glory to old Georgia.  I just loved it when the Auburn band tuba section stood and in unison turned from one side to the other when it did the roar part of the song.

And the end zone didn’t turn out so bad after all.  You got to see Trippi doing his dazzling reverses and running backwards before he would turn and run what it appeared to be right through most of the Auburn team in the end-zone area. That turned out to be better than the ultra-expensive 50-yard line seats. Georgia won. I  know that because Georgia won both the 1945 and 1946 games.

The Georgia-Auburn game is billed as “The Deep South’s Oldest Football Rivalry.”  Virginia-North Carolina claim to be “The South’s Oldest Football Rivalry” even though it played its first game in 1892, the same year that Georgia and Auburn played their first game.  Virgnia-North Carolina claim the most games since they played two in 1892.  There is the distinct possibility that Georgia and Auburn can play twice in one year for the SEC Championship so that will make it a tie for “oldest rivalry,” I suppose. 

Anyway, as you know Auburn won this year.  The teams are pretty close to a tie for the most wins from 1892 to now.

Advertisements

Why Did An Auburn U. Ag Student Die From Drinking Milk?

September 1, 2009

Georgia will beat Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech will beat Georgia. Auburn will beat Alabama. Alabama will beat Auburn.  That’s what the Rotary Club of Columbus Fearless Forecasters predicted last Wednesday.

They got laughs for their sometimes funny insults.  One of them said,  An Auburn student died the other day from drinking milk.  The cow sat on him.”

Now, here are the Fearless Forecasters’ predictions for this season’s football games played by Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. Should you use their predictions when you place your bets?  Well, let’s just say … they try.

For Auburn, Judge Bill Smith – he’s a retired Superior Court Judge, who still judges on a part-time basis – predicts Auburn will go 9-3 and beat rival Alabama 21-13.

Judge Bill Smith, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Judge Bill Smith, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

For Georgia Tech, Frank Etheridge, a retired banker,  got to crow a lot about Georgia Tech beating Georgia last year, even it was the first time in seven years.  He believes Tech will have a great season, winning 10 and losing 2 games.  He says Tech will beat Georgia 35-28.

Frank Etheridge (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Frank Etheridge (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Mac Plummer, St. Francis Hospital executive, who never went to Alabama, fronts for Alabama because, while his college team is West Point since he went there,  he says if you live in South Alabama you have to be for either ALabama or Auburn, and he picked Alabama.  He predicts Alabama will go 11- 1, and will beat Auburn.

Mac Plummer, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Mac Plummer, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

And attorney Ron Mullins,  representing the Bulldogs, predicted Georgia will go 10-2, and beat Tech 38-24. 

Ron Mullins, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Ron Mullins, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

My prediction?  One of my alma maters, Mercer University, will not beat Georgia. That’s because it won’t play Georgia.  It won’t play anybody because it has no team. But, it did. In fact, the first football game Georgia played was in 1892 against Mercer.  The Bulldogs won 50-0.   Georgia’s legendary coach Wally Butts played on  Mercer’s team in the late 1920’s.  Mercer did manage to beat  Georgia Tech that year. It was also the first game played by a Tech team.

The Fearless Forecasters program always draws a lot of guests to the “downtown” Rotary Club.  After all, college football is big deal in our corner of Georgia and Alabama, and all of us need a few laughs to get us through the day.   

Passionate Blogging

December 4, 2008

  Maybe I’ve been doing this blogging thing the wrong way. Instead of trying to post a well-written think piece, I should simply give vent to my passions and not worry about details like literary excellence. That’s what I took from Arianna Huffington when she was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. She was on the show to plug her book on how to blog. It’s titled The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging.

  She said the key to successful blogging is to write about your passions, and to not worry about a blog post being a finished product.  In other words, don’t spend a lot of time trying polish your posts.

  I don’t spend a lot of time doing that, but I do try to make the post readable and get the grammar as correct as possible. I take a few liberties and sometimes use sentence fragments because that’s the way I speak and just about everyone else speaks. I remember one of my English Literature professors saying that before you can get away with breaking the rules, you have know them. She said, “When you are writing for me, you have to convince me that you know the rules. Don’t break them.” I don’t claim to know the rules flawlessly, but I’m not being graded by her any more so I’ll break the ones I do know when I feel like it.

 Arianna said that when you blog you should write about your passions. Once I figure what they are now, maybe I’ll concentrate on them. They have changed over time. Once I was very passionate about being an actor.  I acted in a few plays for Theater Atlanta when I was working at WSB Radio, and I appeared in a number of Columbus Little Theater productions before CLT morphed into the Springer Opera House, and then a few more productions there. I decided that the pay for all that work wasn’t adequate.  All the local actors did it for “the love of it,” but the Springer started bringing in outsiders who did it for the money. Once a dollar value was put on playing a lead in a play, I decided, no pay, no play.

I definately had a passion for being a radio announcer, which I satisfied by doing it, and when television came to Georgia, I decided I had a passion for that and did it for more than forty years. I got paid for that so I knew I was valuable. But, that passion has been satisfied and I don’t have it any more. I could still do it because…well, I know how.  If I came up with a specific topic I wanted to do a documentary on, I could become passionate about it.

I am passionate about my family, my children and grandchildren, and I have occasionally written about them, but I don’t want to invade their privacy so I keep that to a minimum.

I still love music, good theater, music, literature, art, and my interest in football has been rekindled. I am enjoying the Falcons this year. Maybe it’s because they are winning a few games. Also, I have been watching Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Auburn games.  Alabama is awesome. “Awesome” is a much over-used word, but, in this case, it really is an accurate adjective. I was glad they beat Auburn because losing six in a row in that classic rivalry made me feel sorry for them. The same with Georgia Tech and Georgia. Tech had lost seven in a row. That’s too much so I was glad they pulled off that three-point win.   

And, yes, I am passionate about politics, and I do occasionally write about that.

Maybe I’ll make Arianna happy and buy her book, or maybe I’ll check it out at the library and save the money, or maybe I’ll ignore it. It will just depend on my passion about it.