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Sports Talk: Read my boxers

"Will you be pulling for us?"

If I had a quarter for every time I was asked that question by Georgia Tech fans as they climbed from under their rocks during March Madness I could retire from writing a sports column. I wondered why the Tech fans even cared if I was pulling for their team. Surely they weren't that desperate for support.

"They're from Georgia, you have to pull for them," was the directive from many who normally could have cared less. "So is the Ludowici Police Department," would be my reply.

"You're just jealous," was the prime verbal assault from the Techies on the various Internet sports vents.

They were more worried with gigging us than winning the Final Four.

Let me answer the question with these stories. Back in November when the Bulldogs were playing Tech in football at Bobby Dodd Stadium at historic Grant Field on North Avenue in Atlanta, the game was decided early in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs were in control. The few Tech fans left in their seats picked up a new chant. The chant? "LSU, LSU, LSU!"

It became apparent that the Tech fans were thrilled that Georgia would be playing LSU the next week for the SEC Championship.

Remembering LSU's defeat of Georgia in September, perhaps they were anticipating the same outcome. I'm sure the next Saturday night found them avidly pulling for us in the rematch. If so, their support did not help.

Later on Jan. 3 the schools played basketball in Athens. When Georgia prevailed 83-80 in double overtime, the Tech fans in attendance picked up the same chant; "LSU, LSU, LSU!" And this was at a basketball game!

The engineers must have gotten their tracks crossed. And by the way, the refs stole that one from the Jackets.

What was going on? Had LSU picked up a new group of fans dressed in yellow and black calling themselves Buzz? What did they have in common? Were these Tech fans from the Bayou? I don't think so.

If Tech beats Georgia head-to-head, I keep my mouth shut and privately give them credit. I don't start Duke or FSU chants.

When Tech advances to the National Championship game, my answer to the question of whom I root for is simple.

My blood runneth' red and black.

When the Techies give up their LSU chant, I "might" give up my UCONN Huskies boxer shorts.



Web posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004


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