Georgia football: how you can bring an Athens tradition to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 31: (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 31: (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /
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Today’s Georgia football game with Florida is a neutral game, but there is a way you can make it feel somewhat like a regular Saturday in Athens.

The tradition of the track people is alive and well for Georgia football. Fans can no longer watch games from the train tracks behind the east end zone, but that hasn’t kept the tracks from being a significant part of a Gameday experience for many Georgia fans.

Hundreds to thousands of fans walk the tracks south from Baldwin Street, or north from East Green or Carlton Street to get to Sanford Stadium’s east gates. Despite being de-emphasized since the early 1980’s, the track people still exist. I consider myself one. My family tailgates at the gas station in front of the River Mill Apartments, and from there, we walk the tracks to Sanford Stadium. We have for years.

That tradition doesn’t have to stay in Athens. In Jacksonville, there is a track that runs parallel with the St. Johns River. And if you want to bring a piece of Athens with you to Jacksonville, because you know this game is more of a home game for Florida and a road game for the Dawgs, I invite to walk the tracks as well.

If you tailgate just off of Tallyrand Avenue, on the river side, don’t just walk on Tallyrand to get to the stadium. Take over the tracks. March on the tracks. Bring a classic Athens tradition and experience to Jacksonville.

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Yeah, they’re not the same tracks, they’re not even as close to the stadium as the tracks in Athens are to Sanford Stadium. That’s beside the point. This is our game as much as it’s Florida, regardless of Jacksonville’s proximity to the University of Florida.