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The Good Word

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

This edition of The Good Word is coming to you a day early due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. I want to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving and hope you can spend it with family and friends.

Now that I’ve conveyed that message, I have four very important words for my Georgia Tech family: “To Hell With Georgia!”

Ah, yes, it is that time again. I know we are all anxiously awaiting our trip over to Clarke County on Saturday for the annual showdown with the Bulldogs. I don’t have to tell you that all sorts of football opportunities lie in wait for Saturday’s outcomes. Of course we all need to put every ounce of energy into our game at Athens. I, for one, will have a reserve tank so I can pull for the Virginia Cavaliers, who could send our Yellow Jackets to the ACC Championship game in Tampa Dec. 6th with a victory at Virginia Tech on Saturday.

I’ll get back to the task at hand momentarily, but for a moment I need your help. If we find ourselves in the ACC title game, it is absolutely critical that we rally the troops and plan to head down to Tampa next weekend. This is important not only from the standpoint of supporting what would be a monumental achievement by our football team, but as a member of the ACC we are committed to the sale of at least 10,000 tickets to the championship game. That number carries with it a significant financial investment. We need our fans to step up in a big way. Understanding that this may or may not happen, how about making some contingency plans just in case?

If you are a season ticket holder, you can reserve your tickets for the ACC Championship online. By going to Ramblinwreck.com/tickets, you can put your ticket order in for processing only in the event the Jackets are in the game. This online ticket option is available now and will be ongoing. We encourage you to use the online method to order tickets, but we will also have phone lines ready on Monday, Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. to take ACC Championship ticket orders.

If you are not a season ticket holder, then you can go to this site. If you have any problems, do not hesitate to call the ticket office at 1-888-TECH TIX.

Now, for the battle up the road on Saturday. Paul Johnson, the staff and football team have already had a magical season. Last Thursday’s rout of Miami in front of a national television audience served notice that Georgia Tech is a program on the rise — and faster than anyone had imagined. We are already assured of a very nice bowl opportunity no matter what. However, Saturday’s games are of vital importance for our postseason destination.

Obviously, if we get into the ACC Championship game, we would play either Boston College or Florida State in Tampa for a BCS berth and a trip to the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2. Regardless of making the ACC game, a victory over Georgia on Saturday would move us into the upper echelon of ACC bowls with Jacksonville’s Gator and Atlanta’s Chick-fil-A Bowl squarely in the picture. Outside of that, the Music City Bowl in Nashville, the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando and the Meineke Bowl in Charlotte would be possible destinations.

Wherever our post-season travels take us, we really need our fans to be right there with us. The players and coaches deserve your support and enthusiasm. I hope you feel like I do, that this is the start of a tremendous run at Tech. Let’s get it started with a bang in the coming weeks… starting Saturday in Athens.

I WANT MY GT
Some of you may have seen the beginning of our new merchandising initiative at the Miami game on Thursday. A new program initiated by Georgia Tech’s Communications and Marketing Department is working to improve the retail experience of shopping for and finding Georgia Tech apparel and merchandise in the marketplace. “I Want My GT” is a consumer activation program designed to empower fans to encourage retailers to carry more Georgia Tech merchandise.

Retailers often say that they don’t stock Georgia Tech merchandise because there is no demand. The new program outfits Yellow Jacket fans with “I Want MY GT” cards to put in the hands of retailers, encouraging them to sell Georgia Tech products. Specifically, the message on the card states, “Dear Retailer, I’m one of thousands of Yellow Jacket fans, and I want my GT! You can help us show our school pride by carrying Georgia Tech merchandise and we’ll help you become an official Buzz Stop.” A website, www.iwantmygt.com, will support the program listing official Buzz Stops and other information to support merchandisers and fans.

Currently, Georgia Tech has more than 400 licensees with revenues from royalties totaling $787,754 in FY 2007-08. While some programs have seen a decline in licensing revenues, Georgia Tech continues to buck these trends with revenues increasing approximately 2.3 percent during the past year.

VOLLEYBALL FINALE IS FRIDAY
Coach Bond Shymansky’s volleyball team has an opportunity to close out the season with three consecutive wins when it hosts Clemson Friday at 4 p.m. So, stop by O’Keefe Gymnasium at 4 p.m., then head over to Alexander Memorial Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. for the men’s basketball game against Jacksonville.

MEN’S BASKETBALL HOME FRIDAY
Coach Paul Hewitt’s team showed tremendous heart this past Saturday, rallying from an 18-point deficit in front of a frenzied crowd to beat Mercer on the road, then rolled past Arkansas Pine-Bluff Tuesday night despite playing without injured Moe Miller. The Yellow Jackets remain home Friday to face Jacksonville (7:30 p.m.).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HOSTS PANTHERS TODAY
Coach MaChelle Joseph’s team has sandwiched three impressive victories around a tough road loss at No. 1 Connecticut. Tech has a home game today at 5 p.m. against Georgia State before heading off this weekend to face No. 11 Texas and either Florida Atlantic or Tennessee Tech in Boca Raton, Fla.

SWIMMING HOSTING SHORT COURSE NATIONALS
Coach Stu Wilson’s swimming and diving teams will be hosting a national event next Thursday through Sunday. The U.S. Short Course Nationals will be held on the Georgia Tech campus and will feature the top swimmers in the nation.

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