It's been ages since I've posted and when I finally have something to say in a moment I come out and post something that in the end will likely be controversial among Tech fans. Some Tech fans will agree with me, some might not agree but they will at least understand where I'm coming from and then some will hate me and call me a turncoat. But after awhile you have to look around and decide if something is benefiting you, or worse is it dragging you down? Maybe it's time to let it go, in this case, my hate.
I've had a good amount of "Clean Old Fashioned Hate" for UGA for awhile. It's part of being a Tech fan. It's in the fight song and part of our chant. I had been witness and recipient to the verbal bashing that comes from wearing Tech apparel in the wrong company, or just simply having a Tech hat on while buying milk at the store. We all know UGA fans are the best at always having something to say. I'd wrinkle my nose as if something smells bad everytime a car would drive by with a big G on their tag. I'd pull as hard for a UGA loss on Sat as I would for GT win. And here is our problem.
I had no reason to hate UGA aside from being a Tech fan. I have no historical or current link to either school. I attended neither, graduated from neither. I do have friends and family that have attended and/or graduated from both. And if it matters, I do not necessarily work in technology, meaning I'm not an engineer or computer guru. My largest investment in Tech is as a season ticket holder. That's it. So, for those of you who are alums and put in the blood sweat and tears to graduate you will likely have a different opinion based on your experience. But I thought some background might help for some perspective.
Several years ago, days after Tech took the 51 point beat down to UGA I was walking into Publix and had a chance encounter with a man that I didn't understand the significance of until years later. As I was strolling in, I ran into a semi-elderly gentlemen wearing a Tech hat. Upon seeing my Tech sweatshirt he threw me a quick "Go Jackets!" and I responded in kind. After walking into the store we parted ways to do our shopping. A bit later we ran into each other once again at checkout. We chatted a bit more. The cashier was a young kid and a UGA fan so a little good natured jabbing was expected. Both the man and I gave the kid a hard time for being a UGA fan, he gave us a hard time for losing again, this time with 51 points on the scoreboard.
As we walked out we struck up a conversation that continued out into the parking lot. This man was an alum, still wearing his class ring. Retired engineer and long time season ticket holder. He was battle worn, years and years of the emotional ride that is college football had taken it's toll. He had witnessed many Tech/UGA games over his life including ones with Bobby Dodd on the sidelines. He had seen The Institute, the fanbase, and the teams change as the years went by. He had friends and family grow up and attend both schools, pull for both schools and watch games in both stadiums. He was wise, I was young. All of 20 something and full of piss and vinegar. As we talked I was bent out of shape over the loss, expressing my rage against all things UGA and my disappointment over another year of being reminded. Before we parted ways I was struck by something he said. "I learned long ago that eventually you just have to let go of the hate." No never, how could he. You must hate UGA. Little did I know, he was right.
I've found this to be the case with the Tech Nation in some ways. Older Tech fans seem to have let it go, they have either developed an indifference or even a small level of fandom as they have followed UGA over the years. Sons, daughters and friends have grown up to attend UGA, so they lose the hate and learn to accept the differences between the schools as an unchanging reality. Younger Tech fans drive forward, refueling the rivalry year in and out with renewed hate. All of which is healthy of a saga that has been continuous for close to 120 years. I find myself now somewhere in the middle. I've grown weary of the angry little brother syndrome that seems to infect many Tech fans. It's odd to me that so many posts on a Tech message board relate to UGA and UGA only, that some Tech fans say we can lose 11 games a year as long as the 12th game is a win over UGA, that we chant "To Hell with Georgia" in the stands while playing North Carolina.
Things are what they are. As a Tech fan I will continue to purchase season tickets and cheer loud and proud for the Jackets. As for UGA, I simply don't care anymore. I'm indifferent and have decided to not waste anymore energy on hate for them. It's as simple as that. As far as the Tech Nation goes, I'd like to see many of us move past this little brother syndrome. It's really time to move on and stop constantly linking our fate to UGA.