Friday September 8, 2000
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Fall football fever sweeps through campus for season

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Daniel Uhlig / STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

Cheerleaders are just one part of the festivities that fill campus prior to a home game. Other activities include the marching band, parties, and general good cheer.

By Jody Shaw Managing Editor

Are you feeling kind of dizzy? Is your heart pounding? Can you smell the popcorn popping and the hamburgers grilling? Are you seeing white and gold everywhere you look? Sit down quickly, because it looks like you have East Campus football fever!

Now don’t worry; football fever is a common illness here at Georgia Tech. Students seem to suffer from it each and every Saturday when their beloved Yellow Jackets take the field at Bobby Dodd. The treatment is simple and even enjoyable; one simply needs to join in on the game day festivities.

Before the football game, one has several options from which to choose. One can round up a large group of people together and tailgate at Peter’s parking deck or in the quad behind Glenn and Cloudman dorms. While tailgating also occurs at various West Campus locations, most find that nothing beats the atmosphere on East Campus.

“Tailgating is an amazing experience,” said Chris Verges. “Hanging out with your friends pre-game is awesome.”

Following the tailgating session, one can head to the corner of Techwood and Bobby Dodd for Yellow Jacket Alley. In the past, this event was held on Brittain Drive, but due to sewer renovations the tradition has been moved to a new location this year.

The team bus drops off Coach George O’Leary and the football players at the Baptist Student Union on Techwood, and from there, they precede down the street to sounds of the Jacket marching band.

The varsity cheerleading squad, Buzz, and the Ramblin’ Wreck Club help lead the cheers and pump up the players as they head towards the locker room and ultimately to victory. The event, which many regard as a great spirit builder, is held two and a half hours before every home game.

After Yellow Jacket Alley, fans can wait outside the stadium until gates open while continuing the pre-game partying on Bobby Dodd, or return to the many tailgating locations around campus.

Shortly before kickoff, the Yellow Jacket faithful pack the stands at Historic Grant Field.

Once inside the Stadium, football fever reaches its dramatic climax, and as far as the eye can see, there is an ocean of white and gold.

The football game itself is filled with many exciting Tech traditions. Fans and students engage in signing the classic cheers and songs, most of which include references to Tech destroying U[sic]GA in a gridiron battle. Among these favorites are “Ramblin’ Wreck,” and “Up with the White and Gold.”

Between the third and fourth quarters, the Marching Yellow Jacket Band performs the crowd favorite “You Said It All,” during which the members of the student body bop up and down creating a wave to Tech pride.

Throughout the battle, Buzz continues pumping up the fans by running and bodysurfing through the crowd. He also performs push-ups after the Jackets score. The number of lifts he does always corresponds to the number of points that the team has put on the board.

In the words of Amy Kruse, second year chemical engineering major, " Being in the stadium is beyond words. Looking around at the fans who are so into the game is like nothing I have ever been a part of before.”

Following the Jackets victory, band and fraternity parties are the usually the order of events. Post-game partiers often engage in such revelry until the wee hours of Sunday morning. According to Nadia Mahmod, a freshman, “The bands rock and I love dancing the night away.”

With Saturday’s game against the national champion Florida State University “Criminoles,” the football atmosphere promises to be as exciting as ever when a capacity crowd floods Bobby Dodd.

The pre-game events on East Campus create a spirited environment for the football team and a good time for all those involved.