Attending a Georgia Bulldogs football game at Sanford Stadium is an experience like no other. The neatly trimmed and historic hedges. The massive “G” in the center of the field. And the 92,746 seats just gives you chills. That’s before a game. When it’s game time, the seats fill up, and the stadium comes alive. Season ticket holders and fans who buy tickets each week have a privilege of being in one of the best atmospheres in all of college football.
Just think about this.
Do you as a fan think to yourself as you get to your seat, how can I affect this game? Even at home watching an away game, do you ask, what can I do to be a part of this game? Some fans might not think that attending a Georgia game is something sacred but some fans do. People pay a lot of money to witness these games and are fortunate enough to be able to. However, there are so many fans that never get the opportunity to attend a game ‘between the hedges.’ So as one of the fortunate people who has witnessed a game, we as fans must give something in return to the team.
‘Noise’. A simple word. The first definition of noise in the Webster Dictionary defines it as, “loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry.” Another definition is “any sound that is undesired or interferes with one’s hearing of something.” Why bring up noise, because Georgia plays one of its biggest games this weekend against Mississippi State.
As someone who has seen plenty of Georgia games, the last time the noise of the crowd impressed me was the 2007 Auburn “Blackout” game. I can remember the sound was almost deafening and I couldn’t hear the person beside me unless they yelled in my ear. That is the atmosphere that Georgia fans need to bring every week. I have heard every excuse in the book, ‘The team can’t hear me anyway,’ ‘I only yell on third down,’ ‘I rather just sit here and watch the game, will you please sit down up front.’ etc. The list of excuses goes on for miles, but it is time to stand up and get your ‘noise’ on. Here is a challenge to the entire Bulldog Nation who will be at the game Saturday to be loud.
The Team can Hear you Loud and Clear!
Some fans think no matter how loud they yell, the players cannot hear them. However, this is false. If your friend was standing alone in the stadium and you were on the ‘G, ‘ and they yelled as loud as they could, would hear them? Yes, sound carries and so when you add in 93,000 more people all yelling at the same time, do you think you would hear it on the 50-yard line? Of course. The players hear every cheer, critique, and noise that comes from the stands.
Georgia has the 10th largest stadium in college football. Last August, the NCAA did an article on the seven toughest places in college football to secure a win at, and Georgia didn’t rank among them. Out of the seven, five of them are in the top 20 of stadium sizes. Oregon and Boise State were the two not on the list. Georgia’s stadium-size alone should cause noise, and yet it didn’t rank.
With a top- 25 matchup in Athens, fans should be prepared to make noise. The game is in a prime-time slot, and that should perk Georgia fans up even more. Media experts don’t think that Sanford Stadium is an intimidating place, well I beg to differ. If the fans stand up this week and yell regardless of where you are in the stadium, the atmosphere for the opponent will be tough and intimidating.
Yelling, The Time to do it and When not to.
When Georgia’s defense is on the field, the entire stadium should be yelling. The down doesn’t matter; the defense needs the fans to help them distract the opposing quarterback. If fans only yell on third down, the first two downs the quarterback can concentrate and try to make a play. I have heard so many times fans telling other fans they only like to yell on third down. Yes, Georgia fans are pretty loud when it comes to that down, but that should change.
The defense feeds off the energy that the crowd gives them. On first and second down, the players want to hear the crowd noise until the whistle blows. Noise excites the players, and throughout interviews, many of the players comment on how much they love to hear the fans cheer. Georgia’s defense is one of the best in the SEC right now; they need the fan’s help to distract the other offense.
Mississippi State’s quarterback Nick Fitzgerald needs to be contained. The louder Sanford Stadium, the harder it will be for him to call plays, audibles, and communicate with his team. Noise can be distracting to quarterbacks, so distracting that the NFL tried to quiet crowd noise. A New York Times article from 2006 explains that the league sought to quiet the crowd noise after the Giants received 11 false start penalties in Seattle. Noise causes distractions, mistakes, and confusion. Sanford Stadium needs to be the 12th man and cause Fitzgerald not just some discomfort but a whole heaping bunch of unsettlement. For that to happen, fans must stand up and be loud on every single defensive down.
Fans shouldn’t yell when Georgia’s offense is on the field unless there is a big play or touchdown. Why, because Jake Fromm needs to communicate with the rest of the offense to set a play up and execute it. The more concentration Fromm has, the better. Fans need to let the offense get to work and cheer when they put points on the board. If the spectators constantly yell while the offense works, they could distract the offense.
Football isn’t a picnic; it’s a Competitive Game:
There is a time to sit down, and a time to stand up during a football game. However, when Georgia faces a SEC West opponent who is undefeated and the game is at night, fans should rarely sit in their seats. When I was younger, fellow fans told me, ‘sit down I cannot see,’ or ‘you don’t have to stand the entire game.’ However, I never would sit down, because I was at a Georgia football game having the time of my life.
Granted I know some people are not able to stand up the entire time who enjoy going to the games. That is fine and understandable, but this is for the fans who are healthy individuals that can stand, who just choose not to. The point brings me back to my first statement about how fortunate we are to have the opportunity attend a Georgia football game.
The fans pay a lot of money to attend these games and asking them to sit down is rude. They pay for the seats they are in, so they have a right to stand if they want to. Especially when Georgia plays ranked opponents, at night, between the hedges. Instead of asking them to sit down, stand up and cheer with them. Football games aren’t picnics, they are loud, obnoxious and stressful as the contest ebbs and flows.
When the offense is on the field, sitting down is understandable, if Georgia is playing Samford. However, if someone stays standing up, just shift to your right or left and continue to watch the game. We may be fortunate enough to buy tickets and watch the game, but none of us should have the right to ask someone to sit down just because they don’t want to stand.
My Challenge to the Bulldog Nation
My challenge to the Bulldog Nation consists of four things. First, I want 92,746 fans to be there early for pregame. The game starts at 7 p.m. that gives people plenty of time to tailgate and enjoy each others company, but the team needs you there early. Second, the fans need to be loud on every down that the Dogs’ defense is on the field. If you don’t become hoarse or lose your voice after the game, then you didn’t do your job. Third, the fans need to stand up and watch the game. The team needs your support so stand up and be loud. Make Sanford Stadium the toughest place Mississippi State will play all season. Finally, I need the fans to attack the day. Fans need to overcome any adversity that faces them on Saturday to show up for the team.
Georgia fans took to the road and showed up to Notre Dame in South Bend in force, making a statement. Now, it is time to do that at home. I challenge each and every one of you Georgia fans, let’s make Sanford Stadium loud again and prove to the world of college football that this is one tough place to play.
Recent Articles by Savannah Leigh Richardson