The Good Word

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

South Florida in early January with all of our Yellow Jacket family sounds like a great plan to me. Congratulations to Coach Paul Johnson, our staff and student-athletes for claiming the outright ACC Championship with our 39-34 victory over Clemson last Saturday night in Tampa. These are indeed great times for our athletic program.

Let me thank all of you who made the trip to Tampa to cheer us on. What an awesome crowd! The noise level was huge and the setting was one to remember. I know all of you, like me, were on pins and needles as our team put together that memorable final drive that led us to the title. And wasn’t it fun to celebrate the victory as our team and coaches were honored on the field after the game?

We have earned a great reward – a spot in the BCS and a trip to the FedEx Orange Bowl – and it’s time for me to tell all of our fans an important message… Let’s Buy Those Tickets!

As most of you know, Tech’s allotment of Orange Bowl tickets is 17,500. Each of these tickets is $125. The Orange Bowl is counting on us to meet our obligation. In 2006, when Wake Forest (enrollment of just 3,950) appeared in the game, the price was the same and the seat locations identical. Wake fans enthusiastically sold their entire 17,500 allotment. And Virginia Tech, in 2007 and 2008, was also very well-represented.

I want to thank those of you who have purchased tickets. However, we have a long way to go in the next couple of weeks. I am concerned as I write to you today that we have sold less than 9,000 tickets. I would urge you to make your plans to travel and support our team. I am challenging our fan base to make this a legacy to this special team.

Our head coach, his staff and these players deserve the best. If you are on the fence about purchasing tickets, please consider going and act. If you can rally friends and family to make the trip, please do. The purchase of tickets would be a great Christmas gift as well as a tremendous keepsake for years to come. Go to ramblinwreck.com/bowl and let’s get our numbers moving upward.

This is a great opportunity to show the country that we can be a force on the national scene. You can be sure that our opponent will be extremely well-represented. University of Iowa officials have asked the Orange Bowl for a 45,000-seat venue to use for a pre-game pep rally.

We’ve made the process simple. On our website, you can purchase tickets, book hotel rooms at the team hotel, The Westin Diplomat, for $248 per night, 3-night minimum, through ramblinwreck.com/bowl, and access a complete listing of all of the activities related to our Orange Bowl visit. (CLICK HERE FOR ORANGE BOWL ACTIVITIES). I implore you to step up for the Jackets if at all possible. We’ll help you in any way possible to get squared away for the trip.

Back in August, this football team made winning an ACC championship its No. 1 goal. Also high on that list of goals was winning a bowl game. We are excited about the opportunity to take on Big Ten Conference powerhouse Iowa on January 5th at Land Shark Stadium. Now, we need your continued support.

Aside from the exciting Orange Bowl endeavor, I was energized Tuesday night by attending the official induction of our own Pat Swilling into the College Football Hall of Fame. At the ceremony in New York City, Swilling was particularly proud of his days at Georgia Tech. Pat’s family, many of his close friends, including Tech roommate Ralph Malone, position coach Larry New and head coach Bill Curry were all on hand for the induction. Coach Paul Johnson and our great friend Homer Rice were also on hand. Pat is Georgia Tech’s 17th member of the College Football Hall of Fame – an incredible number denoting our long and proud heritage in college football. Congratulations again to our own Pat Swilling.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a tip of the hat to Eddie Lee Ivery, who served this year as Georgia Tech’s ACC Legend during our trip to Tampa. Eddie is certainly one of the most popular players ever to wear the White and Gold, and from the looks of the reception he received all around Tampa, college football fans everywhere have fond memories of his playing days as a Jacket.

Although I’ve spent most of this column on football, I want to congratulate both our men’s and women’s basketball programs on an outstanding start. We have some great hoops action at home over the holidays and I hope you’ll all plan to come out and support Coach Hewitt and Coach Joseph’s high-powered basketball teams. One note on the men’s side, the first of our three basketball reunions takes place on December 20 when Florida State visits Atlanta. We will be honoring members of the 1959-60 team led by Roger Kaiser. This was our first ever NCAA Tournament team at Georgia Tech. You’ll want to come out and greet them at halftime of our game with FSU.

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