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Ten Years Ago This Month – September 2001

Eagles Football Game

Date: Saturday, September 22, 2001
Time: 8:00 AM
Place: Georgia Welcome Center
Members Attending: Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Kurt Breitinger, Leroy Delionbach, John Haff, Andrew Miller, Cathy Miller and Rudy Wilmoth.

Club member Lee Davis, who works for Georgia Southern University, thought that it might be fun to have us come to Statesboro and watch a college football game. Guess what? He was right, it was fun.

Fellow Master’s Miata Club member, Georgia Southern alumni and big time Eagle football fan Leroy Delionbach graciously agreed to lead our pack of buzzing sportscars down to Allen E. Paulson Stadium. After the early morning fog wore off, the trip down US 25 was a pleasant one. And it seemed a lot shorter than I imagined. We may ask Lee about that, next time he drives up and back in one day to attend an event here.

Before heading over to the stadium we made a pit stop at a KFC in Statesboro for those of us who didn’t bring any tailgate fare. The sign outside said they didn’t open until 11:00 am, but the door was open when we got there at 10:30 and we weren’t the only ones getting chicken-to-go either.

Lee had told us that he spoke to someone and they agreed to let us park in a primo spot and waive the usual $10 fee. Because something came up and Lee couldn’t attend we ended up parking in with the rest of the crowd, but whatever Leroy told the guy with the walkie-talkie, it was enough so that we didn’t have to pay the ten bucks. The folks that regularly attend college football games are serious about tailgating. Motorcoaches, pick-ups with full BBQ rigs trailered behind them, tents, awnings, flags, banners, electric fans, TVs…. We looked a little out of place with our tiny folding chairs, KFC box lunches and an amateurish attempt at shade using John’s cockpit cover strung between two raised trunk lids. That is until some students pulled in next to us. They were perfectly happy as the five of them piled out of a small car with just a foam cooler of beer and a foam football to toss.

About an hour before game time we headed over the stadium to shop in the Eagle Gift Shop and find our seats. They were nice ones, about the 30-yard line, half way up and right in front of the cheerleaders warming up. The only down side was they were in the sun, big time. And today was a hot Georgia day. Leroy’s season tickets were about 5 rows up and 10 yards closer to mid-field, but more importantly, in the shade of the luxury and press boxes. Needless to say Leroy had a few visitors during the game to escape the heat.

The GSU Eagles are the cream of the division 1-AA football programs, they have been National champs 6 times, including the last 2 in a row. Today’s opponents were the Mocs of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and not a football powerhouse at all. I thought Mocs was short for Moccasins, the snake not the shoes (after all how fearsome are shoes,) but a visit to their web site shows a picture of a bird in train engineers coveralls. I guess it is short for mockingbird? The game started slowly with each team feeling each other out, but after the Eagles scored once, the floodgates opened (in one direction.) By halftime it was Eagles 42, Mocs 0. Most of us bailed at the half because of prior commitments or having enough sun. The few who stayed were treated to more of the same in the second half, final score, GSU Eagles 70, UTC Mocs 7.