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Loran Smith and Han Vance (photo by Richard Hilley)
Loran Smith and Han Vance (photo by Richard Hilley)


Han Vance on Georgia football: BIG HAIRY BLAWG will be spending the 2018 season with the defending SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs and their fans.


2018 Plans ~ BHB: 

First, some housekeeping. Order of business: My lovely alumna wife and big fan daughter and my chief photog Michael Santini (who grew up in Columbus) and I will be traveling up the Friday before the opener and shooting photos/talking story about and around town. Saturday, Tate Center (where I managed the Set-Up Crew) and of course the UGA Bookstore, where the Dawgs shop. Per usual, the downtown Taco Stand for sure, Saturday right at opening time. Then, we will be tailgating at the President’s Club Garden directly behind, in the facade of, Old College – which is fitting as we tailgate with legendary Merv Waldrop (host), Burke County Commissioner.

We love Georgia!

I’m going to be culturally chronicling Merv’s epic away game exploits this season at BHB, as well as peaking in on “The Farthest Road Trip Boys,” a group of Georgia men who venture to the most distant road games of UGA every year and are heading down on the bayou, to facedown LSU.

Sitting field level at 3:30 (Sep 1st) to cheer on our Dawgs! Lofty expectations show no dampening in an opener against the Austin Peay Governors. This, by the way, is my de facto preview of the game, as there is nothing specific per se to say about a crumbly cupcake coming to town, as the talented Dawgs surely win big. BHB will instead be looking at key individuals most likely to impact the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs as playmakers.

I’m looking forward to the Border Bash in downtown Augusta (Friday Sep 7th), where we have more family who live now, and seeing how UGA opens SEC play (3:30 on Sep 8th) at scrappy South Carolina.

I will be signing the master 2nd edition of my book “Richt Era: 15 Years in Athens” out at the tailgate spot on Homecoming (Oct 6th) It’s a retrospective fan’s look at the football program over a decade-and-a-half. We rotate in Vandy this year for the annual alumni weekend; they won on their last trip to Athens. My graduating class of 1998 is hitting the twenty-year mark, y’all. I’ll reflect.

Georgia-Tennessee. Georgia-Auburn. And finally, Tech all back in Athens in 2018. On Nov 24th, the Atlanta (my hometown) North Avenue Trade School Yellow Jackets, who have dared to win in consecutive tries over my beloved Flagship, visit for the Governor’s Cup. In the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry (Nov 10), defending SEC West champs AU-Barn have not won in Athens since way back in the UGA SEC championship season of 2005, DJ Shockley’s only regular season loss as a starting quarterback. And, Georgia-Tennessee (Sep 29th) just gets nastier all the time. Their last trip to Athens was the Hail Mary, and last season Kirby Smart’s Georgia debased their program 41-0 at Rocky Top.

The University of Georgia Bulldogs have won 4-of-7 times at the Cocktail Party (3:30 on Oct 27th) in JAX, including last year’s 42-7 program decimation. Always the key matchup for UGA, the Dawgs are favored to repeat as SEC East champs, with the SEC championship game (Dec 1st) in downtown Atlanta.

Per always, I will have one away game private viewing party at the House of Han and another public Athens Legacy party at a new bar for a home game in the Classic City; those dates TBA. My awesome, gregarious co-host for Athens Legacy is none other than commercial real estate mover and shaker Trey (“TheConnector”) Shelton, of Party Dawgs fame. I’m going to look back at his social network gone massive party host days in school, in a piece this year.

I’m really looking forward to it! Thank you so much for reading me.


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