Running and a little luck

Georgia football fans want to see a bit of luck ride Bulldogs’ style, and our superstitions sometimes go beyond even weekly player rituals.

You remember that ad several years ago where the San Francisco fan showed up at his old apartment because he had to sit in the same seat on the couch he was sitting in during their last win at the Super Bowl? Crazy, right? We all know that a fan’s actions have absolutely no effect on a team’s execution and ability to win the game, do they?

But it was funny because there was some truth to this scenario. And Georgia football fans are no different. We all have little idiosyncrasies, game day rituals, and superstitious logic-defying beliefs that we cling to.

Bulldog fan Shari Sykes’ lucky shirt is his Nick Chubb jersey, which is obviously a great choice. Eric Taylor’s game day meal is one that Larry Culpepper would be proud of – pizza and Dr Pepper. Editorial Director of FanSided and alumnus from Georgia Michael collins refuses to watch the Dawgs enter the field without having played his Redcoat Band playlist in his car or at home.

Some fans take it a step further, like Ryan who still has Bojangles on his tailgate, the same shirt, the 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 match, not eating until the end, and alternating between sitting during the commercials and pacing in front of the television.

Georgia Football and BB-8. Did a droid help the Dawgs in 2017?

My family is not much different. We all have match shirts and specific places on the couch while I stay behind and try not to move anxiously. We even have a red and black gameday collar for our dog. But this 2017 season, we’ve taken our superstitions to the extreme.

Since we’re all Star Wars fans, we had some aluminum BB-8 balloon leftover from the summer. We had blown it up a few weeks before the start of the season and we were just waiting for the air to go out, to see how long it would last.

After beating Appalachian State with first-year quarterback Jake Fromm, we joked that the ball was good luck. When it was still floating a week later and Georgia came out of South Bend with an unforgettable victory over our Lady, the fate of the balloon was sealed.

An overnight victory over Mississippi State and it was no longer a joke. The ball would stay. He held on until that fateful week when we played Auburn. It had finally lost just enough air that when struck that week it floated to the ground.

We reassembled it but the damage was done. And when it finally started to drift on its own a few weeks later, we taped that BB-8 ball in place and bought a backup just in case. But, it held and stayed that way until after the national championship. As for the balls, I think he did a phenomenal job that season.

While we haven’t detonated another balloon, we still wear our lucky shirts and stay in our regular match day seats, and plan to continue to do so this year – which is crazy because deep down, we all know which shirt or hat doesn’t affect whether or not JT Daniels completes his passes. Our choices of seat or food do not determine whether the defense stops. And a BB-8 ball doesn’t decide the fate of the season.

But nonetheless, there is this little voice that rages on deep in our minds that whispers, “But what if you don’t?”. Whether or not our decisions affect the outcome of the game, whether we think they do is all that matters.

Superstitions suspend our disbelief and make us believe that for a few hours each week we have the power to influence what happens on this ground. Because at the end of the day, that’s why we continue to believe in the superstitions and rituals of gameday. They bring us together and make us feel like part of the team we love. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get that extra BB-8 ball. I might just blow it up this season.

About Robert James

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