Ohhh...I'm ready...I miss Sanford Stadium so bad right now.
It's days like today that I like to go back and read stuff like this, originally posted by ibdawg on the Vent, and now archived over at the Anti-Orange page. Yeah, it's a little outdated (since the Seven Notes are now played inside the stadium), but the sentiment will always be the same....GLORY!!!:
SEVEN NOTES ON A TRUMPET
It is Saturday. All week long you've waited. What started out on Monday as a tight feeling in the pit of your stomach, is now a 10,000-pound gorilla tap dancing on your spleen.
You've done your best to concentrate and do your job this week. You made an honest effort to put "all this" on the back burner and focus on "the important things", but to no avail. The images just kept coming: bright fall sunshine and crisp autumn air painting the classic city in Hellenic splendor. The aroma of a thousand tailgate feasts wafting through the air, and everywhere, everything - - Red and Black.
You've gone from sports page to magazine, to news show, to internet site, and in every conversation in every office, diner, hallway and cubicle you entered this week, you have tried to reassure yourself of the outcome of this week's contest. But in your heart of hearts you know there's only one way to settle it: 'Dawgs gotta tee it up and play.
And now it's Saturday. As you contemplate the day ahead an image of The Hedges flashes in your mind; green grass, crisp white lines, sunshine ricocheting off the instruments of the Redcoats, and 90,000 - plus fans volleying "GEORGIA - BULLDAWGS" back and forth across the stadium, rattling you all the way to the soles of you feet. You swing out of bed, heart pounding. Grab a cuppa Joe and a quick shower as you prepare for the pilgrimage to A-town. You slam in a tape of the Redcoat Band and crank up the stereo. "Hail" bounces off the walls while you don your lucky shirt (socks, hat, pants, whatever) as you perform the pre-game ritual.
The phone rings - - Yes, you're up. Yes, you have the tickets. "No, my cooler's full, we'll have to take yours, too. I'll stop and get some ice on the way." Gather up the tailgate supplies and load the car. Why does it take so damn long for everyone else to get ready? You check and recheck the supplies - - table, chairs, food. No need to check the drinks, no way those'll get left behind! Cigars? Check. Binoculars? Check. Camera? Blanket? Check. 'Dawg flags secured to the car and ready to fly - - all packed up and ready.
Finally! Time to go. You reassure yourself for the millionth time that the tickets are in your pocket and you "saddle up." Headed to The Classic City. Dawg-patch, USA. Larry and Scott and Loran on the pre-game show, telling you how good these guys are gonna be (yeah, like you need something else to worry about!). Loran threads in a history lesson, and hey - - an interview with one of the Dawgs from way back when. Always wondered what happened to him. Corporate exec in N'awlins. Who'd of ever guessed? You smile as you remember a moment of glory for him in a past game. On the radio, James Brown is hammering out, "Dooley's Junkyard Dawgs" and as your friends get in the car, you all sing along.
En route, cars pass by you by: they're singing too, and barking as they pass. It's a rolling party and the gangs all there! You sense the excitement as it grows, mile by mile. Traffic slows to a crawl somewhere near the Clarke County line. It is a long, happy, red and black serpent winding its way toward Sanford Stadium. Dawg flags and bumper stickers. "Boiled P-nuts just ahead". White shoe polish on windshields proclaiming the magnificence of the Dawg nation, and snatches of Larry pleading from the speakers of passing cars and trucks: "He's at the 40, the 35, the 30, run Lindsey, run!" And your heart races, your gut tightens - - you just can't wait to be there.
Now on final approach - - you turn down Lumpkin (Milledge, Baxter . . . ) homing in on THE tailgate spot. Other friends are already there and as you get out of the car, it hits you! Carnival atmosphere. Red. Black. "How 'bout them Dawgs!" "They Hell ain't they?" The fragrance of charcoal heating up and barbecue on the grill. Opposing fans drifting by, good natured ribbing , and "hey, y'all eat some of this, we got plenty". Introductions all around, and then serious discussion and comparison of the teams. Who's hurt? How fast is that wide receiver? That O-line looked awesome last week. Y'all gonna keep that coach around next year?"
Drinks with old friends and new ones. Stories about games gone by. "Man, they've added a lot to the campus since the last time I was here!" and "I don't think they grew 'em like that when I was in school!" Have another drink. Have some more barbecue. And another drink. Or two. And finally, pack it all up, it's time to go! Man, you really didn't need that extra barbecue, that 10,000 pound gorilla is kicking to get out right now!
You merge into the red and black sea that is moving inexorably toward Sanford, the Temple of the Dawg. The sun is as bright as you imagined it would be. Not too hot, not too cold. 'A crisp, fall day' as Larry might describe it. Red and Black everywhere. Sequined coats and polyester pants. Hats. Shorts. Boots. Faces painted with renderings of Uga and "Dawgs". "Buy a program?" "You bet." And, "Oh man, I gotta have that tee-shirt." Barking Dawgs everywhere as you're more or less towed towards the stadium by the throng of the Dawg nation.
But underneath the bridge, near the student center, the crowd stops. And there stands the band in all its splendor, Redcoats blazing like fire. Sequins from the Flag Corps' costumes glittering like diamonds. Notes and rifts fill the air as they mill around, warming up, waiting impatiently for the spectacle to begin. They pose for photos with family and friends. Kisses and hugs all around. "There's Uga!" and everyone tries to get a look and a photo. "Hey Mr. Seiler." "Hey Coach!" Kids run around at your knees; stadium urchins already beginning their collection of souvenirs from a day in Dawgpatch.
The moment freezes in your mind as you notice that somewhere close to the middle of the band, beneath the crowd assembled on the bridge, one lone trumpet swings skyward. . .
The atmosphere is instantly charged with about a gazillion volts, and the crowd waits expectantly.
You KNOW what's coming and still, you can't control your reaction. Goosebumps rise on your arms. The hair on your neck stands straight up and a lump forms in your throat. Your eyes well up. All those memories of all those years and all those Dawgs suddenly converge in your mind and your chest feels like it's gonna explode. And then come the seven notes. . .
Seven plaintive notes, rendered slowly, proudly, reverently into the heavens. "Mine eyes have seen the glory. . ."
And Dawgs all around you, and above you begin to answer back. Just one or two at first, but it continues to grow like a pack of hungry wolves, becoming louder and wilder, until the bridge itself threatens to collapse from the clamor! And then the rest of the band joins in, and suddenly the whole damn world is ablaze with the fire that burns in the breast of the Dawg Nation.
GLORY. Not "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Not the fight song of some backwoods pretender in Alabama. GLORY, the battle hymn of the Dawg Nation!. Glory, Glory to Ol' Georgia.
The uproar grows and the crowd melds and begins to move in unison, the fans, the band, all one. . . Suddenly it's not a crowd anymore. It has become something else entirely. You can't describe it, but you know its composition. It is Theron Sapp and Mike Castronis; Buck Belue and Lewis Grizzard; Craig Hertwig and Cowboy Parish and Preston Riddlehuber. Larry, and "Loran, whatta ya got?" Ray the quarterback and Ray the coach. Squab the equipment manager and Jake Scott. Hell, it's Herschel Walker the Endzone Stalker, and Vince Dooley and Joel Eaves, with a little bit of Wally Butts and Erk Russell thrown in. It's "He's got a man open - - he's gonna throw a long bomb! and "Look at the sugar falling from the sky!" It's Robert Edwards tight-ropin' down in the corner, and he got in there! And Verron Haynes stepping down in Knoxville with the winning catch. It's every friend you ever sat with through a game on a Saturday in Athens, Georgia.
And suddenly, what moments ago was merely a crowd has transformed into an indomitable entity ; a juggernaut of energy and pride that streams into the stadium like smoke from a battery of double-barreled canon.
It's game time, and so we press - - into the Temple of the Dawg, we enter; a huge machine in Red and Black.