Soak up the joys of springtime in Athens, where so many Georgia sports are happening every day, which includes the annual G-Day game

Home >

Soak up the joys of springtime in Athens, where so many Georgia sports are happening every day, which includes the annual G-Day game

Jeff Dantzler
Jeff Dantzler

Georgia Football has been the center of my universe for as long as I can remember. Outside of my parents, there’s nothing or no one – who is still around obviously – for as long. One of my first ever memories was the 1978 Tech game.

The family was in Florida for Thanksgiving, and I remember watching with my dad, grandfather and uncle, as Georgia stormed back for a 29-28 victory over the Yellow Jackets. I was eight, nine, 10 and 11 from 1980 through 1983, just when I was getting old enough to understand football, sports and what was going on. A lifelong love affair began. Talk about being spoiled. The 1980 national championship, three straight Southeastern Conference championships, Herschel Walker’s Heisman Trophy, the 43-4-1 record in that Early 80s Golden Era for the Red and Black. I didn’t know any different. It was natural to think, this is how it is, and how it always will be.





Flash forward to the magnificent Kirby Smart dynasty, the 2021 and 2022 national championships, seven straight top 10 national finishes and regular season records of 12-0 or 11-1 in six of those magnificent seven campaigns. So close so many times in between. So very sweet and joyful.

No national championship has ever meant as much to a fanbase as that 2021 crown did to Georgia, and those back-to-back crowns – plus a sweet 13-1 Orange Bowl Championship season and No. 3 national ranking, the seventh of those seven straight top 10 seasons – are being fully savored by the Sons and Daughters of the “Majority Party of the Empire State of the South” (Dan Magill magic).

Saturday, April 13 is G-Day, and the first glimpse of the 2024 Georgia Football team for the Bulldog faithful.





Coach King Kirby Smart – as he’s affectionately known to the legendary Hall of Famer Kevin Butler and his co-host on the Bulldog Network airwaves – is the country’s premier college football CEO and the Georgia Bulldogs, 42-2 over the last three years and winners of 46 of the last 48, are the sport’s current gold standard.

Expectations and excitement are high. In the ever-changing, volatile landscape of collegiate athletics, Smart’s stability and consistent excellence are priceless.

So as the Bulldog faithful gather Between the Hedges, enjoying a beautiful spring Saturday in America’s greatest college town, it is a grand time to celebrate all of Georgia’s grand gridiron accomplishments and confidently look ahead to the 2024 campaign. A season that, despite facing what will be America’s most daunting schedule, will likely begin with the Bulldogs sitting atop the preseason college football national rankings.

There is nothing like a Georgia Football Saturday in Athens. Again, center of my universe for a long, long time.

But this time of year is hard to beat.

There is a stretch in late February into early March where 14 different University of Georgia athletic teams are competing in-season. That’s both the men’s and women’s tennis, golf, track and field, swimming and diving and basketball teams. That’s baseball, softball, gymnastics and equestrian (see update on some these teams on page 44). It is a very busy and exciting time.

Five Points and downtown restaurants and hopping, the hotels are bustling and there is a great energy in the Athens air with the onset of spring. Which is now officially here. Some of the aforementioned sports have concluded their seasons, but several are still going, and going strong.

Springtime in Athens is hard to beat, especially when rejoicing glorious gridiron exploits.

That includes the Georgia baseball team, under the direction of first year head coach Wes Johnson (see Hamilton Culpepper interview with the skipper on page 46), and led by All-American superman Charlie Condon.

Some of my fondest memories are calling Georgia games at Foley Field from the Frank and Carol Beltran Radio Booth (where several distinguished members of my dynamic legal team are known to pop in), with my esteemed broadcast partner David Johnston, with baseball Sports Information Director Christopher Lakos one booth over. When baseball and tennis are simultaneously taking place, the energy is electric.

One late May/early June stretch that will be hard to ever be surpassed came in 2001. Iconic Georgia tennis coach Manuel Diaz led Georgia to the national championship, with All-American Matias Boeker winning the triple crown. Georgia’s No. 1 player led the Bulldogs to the team crown, won the NCAA singles title and teamed with Travis Parrott to win the national doubles championship. Adjacent to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex at Foley Field, Jeff Keppinger was providing Hollywood Heroics for the Georgia baseball team.

The All-American shortstop had a herculean performance to lead Georgia to the Regional Championship, going five-for-five with three home runs, including a dramatic two out, two run round tripper (baseball’s Belue to Scott) in the top of the ninth (Georgia was the designated road team) that gave Georgia the lead and ultimate victory against Coastal Carolina. He hit for the cycle against Georgia Southern the night before.

The next weekend, Georgia took two of three from Florida State to win the Super Regional and advance to the College World Series.


The scents and sights of Athens are so wonderful this time of year, so along with those unsurpassed annual Autumn weekends Between the Hedges, enjoying these majestic days of spring. You never know when something magical might happen.





share content

One response on “Soak up the joys of springtime in Athens, where so many Georgia sports are happening every day, which includes the annual G-Day game

  1. aeroslim Review

    Thank you for your response! I’m grateful for your willingness to engage in discussions. If there’s anything specific you’d like to explore or if you have any questions, please feel free to share them. Whether it’s about emerging trends in technology, recent breakthroughs in science, intriguing literary analyses, or any other topic, I’m here to assist you. Just let me know how I can be of help, and I’ll do my best to provide valuable insights and information!