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The Good Word

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

I don’t know about you, but I have successfully turned the corner from last week’s game to this week’s match-up with Florida State. I will say that, despite the outcome of last Saturday’s contest, the atmosphere around campus and the Homecoming festivities were absolutely wonderful. There was such a buzz of activity starting early Saturday morning and going on throughout the day. My only request is that we try to amp it up a notch this week.

I don’t think I have to remind you of the challenge that lies ahead for our football team in the month of November. I know that Coach Paul Johnson, his staff and team are focused on the task ahead. I urge you all to be supportive and loud in our final two home games, Saturday against FSU and on Thursday, November 20, when Miami comes to the Flats. Let’s keep filling up Yellow Jacket Alley when the team arrives and keep the buzz going around campus. I hope you’ll also consider getting into the stadium a little earlier this week – making it fun and noisy when our team takes the field for kickoff. Our senior football players will be honored 20 minutes prior to the start of the game. Senior Day presentations will occur prior to this game because our final home game is a Thursday evening (Nov. 20 vs. Miami) and not all the players’ parents can attend that evening.

I sincerely hope you’ve had a chance to catch Coach Johnson’s weekly radio show at some point this year. If not, you get your chance tonight. The show was to air live last night for the first time on the FM dial on WYAY (106.7). However, in the category of “no good deed going unpunished,” technical difficulties pre-empted a good portion of the show. The good news is that WYAY has graciously agreed to re-run the show in its entirety tonight from 8-9 p.m. We are also happy to report that WYAY has agreed to broadcast the remaining Paul Johnson Shows this season. The show originates from Fox Sports Grill in Atlantic Station Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. We have consistently seen live audiences of over 100 people for these weekly shows. Coach Paul Hewitt will also do a similar live show on Thursday nights at Fox Sports Grill. The first two shows are set for Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. They will air on 790 The Zone.

790 The Zone, our AM flagship station, will continue to air Yellow Jacket sports on the Georgia Tech/ISP Network and will continue to broadcast every Georgia Tech football and men’s basketball game.

The addition of WYAY (106.7 FM) “Atlanta’s Greatest Hits Station” resulted from an agreement between 790 The Zone, WYAY-FM, ISP and Georgia Tech. We thank all parties involved, particularly Paul O’Malley, President and General Manager of WYAY.

The Georgia Tech football experience received positive reviews this week in a USA Today article on our neighbor, The Varsity. I enjoyed the read and thought you might as well. Click here to read the story.

Back on the Flats, don’t forget this weekend begins on Friday the 31st with a Halloween volleyball special we’re calling Volleyball-o-ween. The team and coaches have appropriately decorated O’Keefe Gym for the occasion and costumes of all types will be on display in the crowd. Candy and other goodies will be handed out by student-athletes representing many of our sports teams. And, oh by the way, Coach Bond Shymansky’s team is facing ACC leader Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. The volleyball ladies also take on Virginia this weekend with an 8 p.m. match, after the football game, on Saturday.

And for your future planning purposes, in an effort to display our solidarity and create a striking visual presence on ESPN for the Thursday night Miami game, we are asking all fans to wear white. Not sure what to wear? Tech Square Barnes & Noble and RamblinWreckStore.com offer a wide array of cold-weather, white clothing in support of the white out. Let’s make Bobby Dodd Stadium glow white under the night lights when Miami comes to town.

Any time I turn the subject to colder weather, I can’t help but think about our basketball seasons set to get underway in early November. For the first time in five years we have season tickets available for men’s basketball. As you know, the Alexander Memorial Coliseum has a limited seating capacity and since our memorable trip to the Final Four in 2004, all tickets have been sold out on a season basis.

This year, as our season ticket renewal process concluded, we found that there are season ticket opportunities available at all price levels. I hope you’ll consider becoming a season ticket holder of these high-demand seats. This is a rare opportunity and knowing what I do about the future of Georgia Tech basketball, I am not sure that the opportunity will come around again any time soon.

If you would like to discuss the availability of tickets, seat locations and pricing, I urge you to contact any of the following members of our sales staff: Scott McLaren at 404-385-2047; Missy Pender at 404-894-1249 or Kyle Shields at 404-385-5093. I hope you won’t let this great opportunity pass you by.

Our men’s and women’s teams have exhibition games scheduled for Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, respectively, and both open the regular season in a Friday night double-header on Nov. 14th at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, beginning at 6 p.m.. For women’s basketball tickets, fans can go to www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets. They are only $30 with the promo code SPLASH.

There is one personal note I wanted to share with you regarding our men’s basketball player D’Andre Bell. You may have seen where D’Andre suffered a spine injury that will require surgery soon and will take him out of action for at least this basketball season. D’Andre is a model student-athlete at Georgia Tech, a member of our Student-Athlete Advisory Board and a true leader in our program. We wish him the best in the coming weeks and months. He is one of our men’s and women’s basketball players who have been writing blogs that appear daily on our basketball web page at Rambinwreck.com. In case you missed his blog of October 28th, I wanted to post it here as it truly speaks to you, the fans.

October 28 Blog by D’Andre Bell:

Hello Tech Basketball Fans – I hope all is well, for a little while now I’ve been wanting to write to you all to express our appreciation of your support over the years as well as how important you all are in contribution to our success as well as the game of basketball. The definition of a fan is awfully constricted, a fan is more than an admirer. A fan is part of the team, a game changer, an emotional leader, a momentum giver. A fan is what 15 are in millions, and ultimately the team’s rib. Quite frankly, we are nothing without you all. The wonderful world of sports would implode without your existence, love, and passion. The fan’s name should be changed to fam, which is short for family, because that is exactly what we are. WE represent one another in and out of competition; whatever is said about us directly affects you and vise versa.

Now, we all know I will be out this season, but that doesn’t change a thing. My role for this team has changed to me being a fan and a player-coach. I would be a liar if I told you all that I am completely fine at the moment. It is painful not being to play. Nonetheless, being a man of FAITH, I understand that it is God’s will. This is just another test of my faith; my situation will make me stronger in many of ways. Everything happens for a reason; therefore I count it all joy, the good and the bad.

Everyone is continuously asking me if I am coming back next year. Great question, if it were my choice, most definitely. I put all my trust in the Lord, and at this instance, he has me in a “WE’LL SEE” moment. God will let us all know in his good time, he may have a greater calling for my continuation of life. Moreover, I will do everything in my power to prepare for next year, and again, I appreciate everyone’s support and all warm words.

I love you guys…peace.

I can’t think of a better way to sign off myself. I’ll see you all this weekend. Here are just a few more items of interest for all you Tech fans:

GAME DAY RECYCLING
Congratulations, Georgia Tech fans! We collected 2.58 tons of aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass at our last game on October 25 vs. Virginia during Homecoming. This was the largest tonnage that we’ve collected so far this season and it brings us to a total of seven tons. We have now almost reached our 10-ton goal, with two home games left. Special thanks to our fans in the stadium suites for taking time to recycle, and also to our faithful student volunteers who distribute the blue recycling bags to tailgaters.

IT’S TIME TO VOTE
Paul Johnson is one of several candidates for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award and we’ve been told that, in a ballot of fan-voting, Paul ranks near the top. After some experts predicted our football team to go 3-9 this season, Paul deserves every consideration for that national honor. I encourage you to vote for Paul Johnson here.

CONGRATS, DARRYL
Senior defensive tackle Darryl Richard is one of 15 finalists for the Draddy Trophy, which goes to the best and brightest in college football. Richard makes the finalists group from an original field of 164 student-athletes from across the country. Darryl is also a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award.

CROSS COUNTRY IN ACC’s SATURDAY
While the football team hosts Florida State Saturday, our men’s and women’s cross country teams will be in Chapel Hill, N.C., competing in the ACC Championships.

SWIMMING WITH THE `DAWGS
Our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have a rivalry dual meet next Wednesday afternoon in Athens with the Georgia Bulldogs. That meet begins at 4 p.m.

TENNIS TEAMS IN INDOOR NATIONALS
Coach Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team and coach Bryan Shelton’s women’s tennis team will both be competing in the ITA National Indoor Championships beginning next week in Charlottesville, Va. That prestigious event gets started on Thursday, Nov. 6.

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