When you're a Baptist preacher's son who was born and raised 18 miles north of Sanford Stadium, it would hinge on blasphemy to favor any college football team over the Georgia Bulldogs.
Oh, there were a few unwashed souls who uttered words of praise for the North Avenue trade school in Atlanta, but most of them actually favored Varsity hot dogs over the humble bumbles, also known as Yellow Jackets.
But I was a Bulldog through and through. I loved them when they won, loved them when they lost.
I especially loved them when they humbled the North Avenue bumbles.
Then along came the 1980 football season and the Bulldog team had the freshman tailback that colleges and universities around the nation tried to get.
The Dawgs opened the season at Tennessee.
The Volunteers were leading until that freshman tailback, Herschel Walker, entered the game.
Walker ran through Tennessee defenders as if they were cardboard dummies on the practice field.
In his call of Herschel's famous run, the late broadcaster Larry Munson said, "My God, he ran right through two men."
Georgia won the game 16-15.
It was the first victory of the season that saw the Dawgs go undefeated.
The Dawgs won the national championship by defeating Notre Dame 17-10 in the 1981 Sugar Bowl.
After the season, The Coca-Cola Company produced souvenir bottles of Coke.
On the front side, there is the famous Georgia "G" above the words "1980 National Champions."
Below that, there's Hairy Dawg leaning back on a Georgia football helmet. UGA has a Coke in his hand. At the bottom of the bottle, it says, "Coke and Bulldogs #1."
On the backside, there's a Coke emblem at the top of the bottle. Below that, there's a listing of the 1980 Championship Season schedule and record. At the bottom, Coke put the words "no refill."
I have one of those souvenir bottles that I sometimes pull out of the cupboard and reflect on that great year.
I hadn't thought much about that "no refill" until the 2017 Dawgs fought their way into the National Championship game.
It's time for Coke to put together a 2017 National Champions souvenir bottle, complete with UGA holding a Coke with the words "Coke and Bulldogs #1.”
That could be done with a victory over Alabama, but leave the "no refill" off the back side. The Dawg Nation would like to do it again next year.
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