The Five: Georgia vs. Auburn 2023

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The Five: Georgia vs. Auburn 2023

1. Incredible early 80s Athletes – There was a period in the early 1980s when some of the most transcendent athletes of all time played for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers. At the top of the list, and I’m cutting this off at four, because if I don’t, I’ll go 50 deep and still leave off some gems, heroes, and well respected arch nemesis. Herschel Walker and Dominique Wilkins at Georgia, Bo Jackson and Charles Barkley at Auburn. Phenomenal. My most cherished Georgia-Auburn game ever was the 1982 victory on the Plains when the Bulldogs and Larry Munson were masterful in an unforgettable 19-14 victory that clinched a third straight SEC championship. Sugar was falling from the sky.

2. The tie-ins – Vince Dooley and Erk Russell went to Auburn. Pat Dye went to Georgia. The cross-school alma mater battles added a little extra flair to those enormous match-ups from the 1980s. Dye was a great player at Georgia, but did more damage to his alma mater at Auburn’s head coach, including a run of seven Tiger wins over an eight year period from 1983-1990. Dooley clinched all six of his Southeastern Conference championships against Auburn, with five of them coming on the Plains. Russell was the last four-sport letterman at Auburn – football, tennis, baseball and basketball. Shug Jordan once was the head basketball coach and an assistant football coach at Georgia – sharing an office with Dan Magill – before embarking on his highly successful career at Auburn. Amongst his star players at Auburn, Vince Dooley. The mentor and pupil would have many memorable battles in the 1960s and 1970s.





3. War Damn Eagle – My friend Mark Parkman who went to Georgia and worked for Claude Felton is a television dynamo. He ran Olympic Broadcasting for over two decades, and is one of the absolute best in the business. A die-hard Bulldog fan from Carrollton, Mark took the intriguing cross-over Georgia-Auburn rivalry to another level – an international Olympic level. During a planning meeting for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, a group of producers and organizers talked about wanting an eagle to fly into the stadium and land on the field. Parkman the Bulldog asked if they had the bird. When informed they did not, he said, “Well I might know where you can find one.” Low and behold, Auburn’s War Eagle had an incredible Olympic showing at the Opening Ceremonies. Parkman said: “I was able to put aside my long-held upbringing to do what was best for the country, and I did have a lot of pride when I saw that damn bird flying into the stadium.” Patriotism. HBTD, WDE, God Bless America.

4. Auburn Supper Club – One of the most famous Southeastern Conference watering holes and hangout spots was the Auburn Supper Club. Membership usually required. They stayed open until the last person left. Back in the day, after both teams were done with spring practice, some Georgia players were there with some high school friends who played for Auburn. In the latrine of the Supper Club, a couple of Auburn students recognized one of the Georgia standouts, and numbers weren’t looking good. Until one of Auburn’s hulking offensive linemen walked in and bellowed, “hey, back off, they’re with me.” Crisis averted. Some have seen the sun rise on gameday.

5. KB – What would The Five be without a Kevin Butler story? When Georgia beat the Tigers 31-21 to clinch the 1980 SEC title, Butler was on an official recruiting visit to Auburn. Well, he was abandoned by his hosts, who probably didn’t take long to figure out that he would be succeeding All-American Rex Robinson as Georgia’s next kicker. They may or may not have been at the Supper Club, but Butler was abandoned in the middle of the night on a dark, desolate road with nothing but trees and stars above. He survived. And signed with Georgia. On his next trip to Auburn, the Dawgs would “hunker down one more time.”









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