Georgia football fans want to see a little good luck roll the Bulldogs way, and our superstitions sometimes exceed even weekly player rituals.
Remember that commercial several years ago where the San Francisco fan showed up in his old apartment because he had to sit in the same seat on the couch he sat in when they last won the Super Bowl? Crazy, right? We all know a fan’s actions have absolutely no effect on a team’s execution and ability to win the game, right?
But it was funny because there was truth embedded in that scenario. And Georgia football fans are no different. We all have little idiosyncrasies, gameday rituals, and logic-defying superstitious beliefs we hold on to.
Bulldog fan Shari Sykes’s lucky shirt is her Nick Chubb jersey, which is obviously a great choice. Eric Taylor’s gameday meal is one that Larry Culpepper would be proud of — pizza and Dr. Pepper. FanSided editorial director and Georgia alum Michael Collins refuses to watch the Dawgs take the field without having played his Redcoat Band playlist in his car or at home.
Some fans take it a little bit farther through, like Ryan who always has Bojangles at his tailgate, the same shirt, same rally towels, and a new pair of red and black shoes for each season. Mark Westmoreland follows a similar pattern, wearing the same shirt, drinking only Coke and water during the game, not eating until it’s over, and alternating between sitting during commercials and pacing in front of the TV.
Georgia football and BB-8. DId a droid help the Dawgs in 2017?
My family isn’t much different. We all have gameday shirts and specific spots on the couch while I stand behind and try not to fidget anxiously. We even have a red and black gameday collar for our dog. But that 2017 season we took our superstitions to the extreme.
Since we’re all Star Wars fans, we had a foil, BB-8 balloon leftover from the summer. We’d blown it up a few weeks before the season started and we were just waiting for the air to go out, to see how long it would last.
After beating Appalachian State with freshman backup quarterback Jake Fromm, we joked that the balloon was good luck. When it was still floating a week later and Georgia walked out of South Bend with an unforgettable victory over Notre Dame, the balloon’s fate was sealed.
A win at night over Mississippi State and it was no longer a joke. The balloon would stay. It held strong until that fateful week when we played Auburn. It had finally lost just enough air that when it got bumped that week it floated to the ground.
We lifted it back up but the damage was done. And when it finally started to drift to the ground on its own a few weeks later, we taped that BB-8 balloon in place and bought a backup just in case. But, it held on and stayed that way until after the national championship. As far as balloons go, I think it did a phenomenal job that season.
While we haven’t blown up another balloon, we still wear our lucky shirts and stick to our usual gameday seats, and plan to continue doing so this year — which is crazy because deep down, we all know that what shirt or hat we wear doesn’t affect whether or not J.T. Daniels completes his passes. Our seat or food choices don’t determine whether the defense gets a stop. And a BB-8 balloon doesn’t decide the fate of the season.
But nevertheless, there’s this little voice niggling in the back of our mind that whispers, “But what if you don’t?”. Whether or not our decisions affect the outcome of the game, the fact that we believe they do is all that matters.
Superstitions suspend our disbelief and make us believe that for a couple of hours each week, we have the power to affect what happens on that field. Because ultimately that’s why we keep believing in superstitions and gameday rituals. They bring us together and make us feel like part of the team we love. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find that extra BB-8 balloon. I might just blow it up this season.