The hardest transition I made leaving Northern Virginia for Athens, Georgia came September 1st, 2012.
The Georgia Bulldawgs welcomed the Buffalo Bulls as Athens slowly filled with students and alumni alike, I had to pretend I actually cared about college football.
Before I completely denounce the team I’ve come to appreciate over my years in the South, I must explain why they initially meant so little to me.
In 2004, my younger brothers, my father and I sat down to watch Tom Brady and the Patriots win their third Super Bowl of the 2000’s against our Philadelphia Eagles.
My father brainwashed us all at an early age to love the team he had grown up watching in suburb Philadelphia. From that point on, there was no football outside of Philadelphia that ever drew our interest.
Each year, as the BCS bowl games would roll around, we would watch more interested in the college talent that would enter the NFL Draft the following spring. That’s what college football became: a pool of talent for a more interesting league.
Suddenly, I was thrust into an environment that had bred NCAA fanatics since their parents had graduated from the University of Georgia. I had to “care” about a team I had never watched more than once or twice throughout my entire life.
I remember sophomore year sleeping through the iconic Bulldawg win over the LSU Tigers. That stunt deemed me as “worst Dawgs fan ever.” The only problem was I wasn’t a Dawgs fan; not yet.
It took another full season of watching Todd Gurley run all over Clemson and Todd Grantham lose to his former team in the esteemed Belk Bowl before I truly felt connected with Georgia football.
Now, three UGA football seasons later, I wish I could have realized what we have here in Athens each fall Saturday.
With only one season left, my apathy as a younger student seems to have failed me.
I still watch the Eagles play each Sunday, but they will always be there. I only have so many games left as a student on campus with nothing to worry about but making my way from the tailgate to Sanford.
College football actually isn’t so bad.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports