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#STINGDAILY: I Remember My First Tech Football Game

Sept. 25, 2012

On Monday of this week, less than 48 hours after Georgia Tech suffered a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Miami, we asked fans on Facebook to tell us about the first Yellow Jacket football game they attended.

It didn’t take much incentive — we offered a few T-shirts — for more than 300 responses. We picked out a few for our Sting Daily audience. Enjoy:

Keith Estes
My first game was 1981 against Alabama. My dad had gotten 2 tickets and asked me if I wanted to go. GT had gone 1-9-1 the previous season, so I told Dad I would go with him, but GT was probably going to get embarrassed. Well, was I wrong!?! GT pulled the HUGE upset that day, and I have been a GT fanatic ever since. Oh yeah, my first year at the Institute was 1982 graduating in 1985! Go Jackets!!

Steven Sheriff
My dad came home from work early on Saturday morning in 1964 and said let’s go see Tech beat Clemson! Got great seats on the 45 yard line, it rained, and we had quiet a day to remember. Billly Laughridge to Billy Martin. I have loved the Tech-Clemson game ever since. The chile dogs at the old varsity where icing on the cake.

Philip Smith
November 12, 1966. Bobby Dodd’s last game at Grant Field as head coach. Also the last game Bobby Dodd won as head coach. A 21 – 0 Georgia Tech over Penn State, who was in their first year under then head coach Joe Paterno.

Keith Altobelli
September 1981, my freshman year in Birmingham when we beat Alabama 20-14 I think was the score, only game we won all year! What an experience for a guy from Connecticut who had never been to live college game, went with my older brother also a Tech Grad, family has had season Tickets in same seats since 1981, and we don’t intend on jumping ship!!! Go Jackets!!! THWG!!!

Tracey Browning
GT vs. UGA, November 30, 1985. During my senior year in high school, my dad (IE ’64) drove from Florida with the family to see the game. Tech won (20-16). After having that much fun, I went home and filled out an application to attend Georgia Tech. I moved in to my dorm room Fall 1986 and have enjoyed many, many Tech football & basketball games ever since! Go Jackets!

Pat Hardy
My first Tech game was the first game of the season in 1956. As a lowly freshman at FSU, I had a date with a dashing DTD junion from Tech. We married in 1958 and continued going to Tech games (season tickets) for longer than I remember. But, our oldest son who also went to Tech has kept up the tradition…even driving down from NW Kentucy to attend the games.

Matthew Chitwood
My first game was in 2008. My family’s house burnt down and to cheer my brother and I up, our childhood friend bought us tickets and took us to Bobby Dodd Stadium. It was my first college football game, and it was amazing. It was the first time I got to see CJ play, and from then on I was hooked to the Jackets!

William Penn
My first GT game was when I was 8 years old against Miami. My father took me and I was not expecting what Tech had to offer. Wreckfest is by far the coolest venue around Tech. We sat in row 101 because my grandad is an alumni. I have always been a HUGE tech fan but going to the game is AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. I go to at least 3 games a year. I’ll always been a ramblin wreck from Georgia Tech. And TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!!!!!!

Tony Larizza
1990 game verse Nebraska in Orlando with both of my parents (father class of 69), one brother and my GT leather fanny pack and a long gold horn. I remember storming the field and I still have autographed hats and a program along with dirt and grass from the field. I hope to have another memory as fond of that soon.

Karen Faust McBroom
1984 game Tech vs Citadel – Tech won in a blow out. I had just turned 5 the month prior and my dad said I was officially old enough to go to the games with him. I was beyond thrilled. I remember the OLD stadium and the giant Buzz in the endzone – not the golden/black one used outside the stadium nowadays. The program covers were always so neat to look at with the drawings from Mike Lester. It was the first of many daddy/daughter bonding times and I still look forward to going to Bobby Dodd with my dad on weekends, especially if it’s a game I’m able to bring one of my sons too 🙂 Gotta continue that tradition!

Debbie Rainer
When I was a young girl my Dad would take me to the Tech – GA Freshman game every Thanksgiving. It was always the highlight of my holiday season because Mom would be at home with my younger sisters and brothers. I got my Dad all to myself. He would show me the program (I wish I had saved at least one!) and then tell me who played what position and who the coaches were. My Dad attended Tech in the late 40s – early 50s. He taught me about football and what a great game it was. It started my love of the game and of GA TECH. Later in his life, when he was ill and couldn’t leave his home I would go and watch Tech games with him on TV. This was one thing that would always make him smile. I love Tech football and always will if for no other reason than it gave him such joy in his last days on earth.

Matt Hart
It was 18 years ago today, September 24 1994 against Duke. The day before my 11th Birthday. Rescheduled my birthday party that day so we could go. Still have the program. It is hanging up in my man cave.

Jake Chandler
I went to see them play Duke in 2008, they stomped them good 42-24. My brother and I made a pact that we were getting autographs from the team. We took a back way to get to the visiting locker rooms. I had gotten back from the hospital from open heart surgery a week earlier so I was still sore and could barely move. We were waiting behind some guards and Morgan Burnett’s mother saw I was wearing his number on my jersey and got really excited. I told her I was proud to wear her son’s number. She hollered and made her son sign my jersey and take a picture. I ended up getting a ton of players to sign my jersey including Mike Cox, Tashard Choice, Phillip Wheeler and James Johnson. I have that jersey in a frame above my head as I write this story. The game after this Morgan Burnett started. Two seasons later, I met Morgan after the game in Durham and he said he still remember me and took another picture with me. Every other season my family have made a tradition to go see the white and gold in Durham and meet the players. I will never forget my first Tech game.

Charles Allen
1987 vs Georgia. I had the flu (or something like it) and could barely walk from the parking area to Bobby Dodd Stadium, but I was not going to miss this game. Our seats were upper deck last row on the home side on about the 20 yard line. We did not win the game, but I was very proud of being there to cheer the Jackets on as much as I could. It is something I will never forget. THWG forever!

Rick Stoeckig
1963 against UGA. I’m an Atlanta native and when I was 12 me and my older brother would catch a trolley from south Atlanta and sell cokes in the west stands.This was before they had the upper deck. Cokes were 15 cents and if you sold your whole tray (24) you would get 25 cents. This was Billy Lothridge and Billy Martins last year. Oh yea, Tech won that game. I’m now a 20 year season ticket holder.

Bates My first football game was when I was 2.5 weeks old. 35 years ago this past weekend! Mom and dad both alumni took me to the game bundled up in Gold and White! I have never missed a home game for the past 35 years thanks to my dedicated mom and her enthusiasm for GT athletics!

Beau Jimmerson
G v VT 1990. GT won 6-3. Dad saved up for a while to get tickets to that game. Ramblin wreck rolled out in front of me as I went to stadium for first time. My dad said that was good luck and meant I would go to GT. I graduated in 2000. First member of my family to graduate college.

Clay Anderson
Frst GT game was @Auburn in 2005 when I was 12. My dad, an Auburn alum, took me to the game and graciously allowed me to dress in GT gear (I had decided to be a GT fan due to a young fascination with computers) to go to the game instead of making me root for Auburn. Calvin Johnson caught a pass in the corner of the endzone where we were seated, and Tech went on to win that night. 6 years later, I got an acceptance letter from GT, and here I am. I have to think my dad felt his kindness in 2005 was validated after that. Funny how it all worked out.

Jim Ware
vs Notre Dame, 1978, I was 7y/o and went to the game with my dad, great uncle and my brother. Joe Montana was ND’s QB and we sat in the south end zone. It was also my first taste of the Varsity, dad ordered me a cheeseburger and it had pimento cheese on it so dad went back in line and got me a regular cheeseburger(bless his heart) now it is a game day ritual to get a pimento cheese steak before every home game…now they are my favorite.

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