TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
The elements are all in place for one wild ride here on the Flats on Saturday night. College football under the lights on a crisp Autumn night on historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium; two nationally ranked teams with Virginia Tech coming in at No. 4; the pageantry of Homecoming at Georgia Tech; a national television audience…does it get any better than this?
Yellow Jacket Alley
I have one request of you right out of the box this week. Try to gather around early for Yellow Jacket Alley, when our team makes its walk beginning at 3:45. It is very important that we show our players and coaches that the fans intend to be a presence and do our part to make a difference on Saturday night. As usual, we’ll have a large number of recruits visiting the campus for this game. Let’s make them feel the Yellow Jacket spirit as our guys make their way into the stadium.
Also, make every effort to get into the stadium early this week. We’ll need the frenzy from start to finish against our highly-ranked opponent. ESPN has informed us that kickoff will take place at precisely 6:01 on Saturday, meaning the usual 10-minute after-the-hour cushion is not built in for this one. There are a number of fun pre-game events planned for Saturday including a group of Army skydivers set to jump into the stadium from a perfectly good airplane after the Georgia Tech Glee Club sings the National Anthem at approximately 5:45. Get your group together a little earlier than normal and let’s have the place filled up and rockin’ when toe meets leather.
Please be aware that access to Georgia Tech from the South on Saturday via the 75/85 Connector may be difficult. The Georgia Department of Transportation has informed us they will be continuing their ongoing re-paving project this weekend in the north-bound lanes between 10th street and Northside Drive. This could very well create a back-up into downtown, slowing your ingress into Tech from the south. Please visit “Gameday Central” on our web site for alternate routes onto the campus when coming from south of the city.
Homecoming is always a great time of year on the Tech campus. From the Mini-500 tricycle race, to the Buzz Bash at the stadium Friday night, to the Ramblin’ Wreck parade and other activities all day Saturday, it is a great time to reunite with your fellow Jackets. If you are a letterwinner in any sport, please be sure to stop by the newly-conceived “Rally Point” pre-game tailgate party on the top of Peter’s Parking Deck starting a couple of hours before kickoff. This is a gathering just for you former student-athletes of all ages and a great chance to get together with friends from the past. There will be food and drink available for purchase and, I’m sure, lots of great stories from days gone by.
Pat Swilling Tribute
Another momentous occasion to take place this weekend is the on-field ceremony honoring our newest member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Pat Swilling. At the break between the 1st and 2nd quarter, Hillary Jeffries, director of special projects for the National Football Foundation, will present Pat with his Hall of Fame Plaque. Pat and his wife Robin will have their family and over 100 guests in attendance at the game Saturday. The official induction ceremony takes place on December 8th in New York City as Swilling becomes our 17th member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Game at the Georgia Dome
I want to take a moment to comment on the recent news articles surrounding a possible game between Georgia Tech and Georgia to kickoff the 2011 season. You have probably seen by now that the idea has been dismissed by the UGA folks and we are choosing not to pursue it any further at this point as well.
First of all there has been no talk of moving a Georgia Tech home football game vs. Georgia or any other Georgia Tech home game to the Georgia Dome. The basis for preliminary discussions surrounded the possibility of playing a “neutral site” game at the Dome between the two schools. This scenario would simply have provided a one-year interruption in our regular home and home pattern. In other words, the 2010 game would have been played in Athens as scheduled, the 2011 game would have been played at the Georgia Dome, then, the 2012 game would have remained a home game at Bobby Dodd Stadium to resume the normal home and home rotation.
The primary reason for us to take a look at this scenario stems from a long-term scheduling issue. Currently, and into the foreseeable future, our football schedule features home games with Georgia, Clemson and Virginia Tech – arguably our three most attractive opponents – all in the same season on alternate years. By getting our home game with Georgia on an opposite-year cycle, it becomes much more fan-friendly and would provide us better financial consistency.
While this particular idea did not work, we will continue to look at other available options into the future.
Practice Facility Ready to Go
Believe it or not there are other significant events occurring this weekend at Tech. Our men’s and women’s basketball teams officially begin practice for the new season on Friday. They will have first-time use of our brand new Zelnak Center practice facility at the Henry F. McCamish, Jr. Basketball Complex – a monumental step forward for our programs. Let me give a tip of the cap to the efforts of our architects at Heery International, Atlanta’s Gay Construction and all of the subcontractors who worked tirelessly to make the deadline for the opening day of practice.
I want to push you again to think about purchasing basketball season tickets. There are still seats available in every price range in the Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Believe me, you’ll want to lock in your seats before it’s too late. Both of our teams appear to be headed for sensational seasons. Visit www.rambinwreck.com/tickets. Better yet, plan to attend our men’s basketball open scrimmage on October 24th at 6 p.m. and visit with a GT sales representative on the site to pick out your seats.
Volleyball “Dig For The Cure” Is October 24th
After the basketball scrimmage on the 24th, head across the street to O’Keefe Gym as the first-place volleyball team will be hosting Duke in the fourth annual “Dig for the Cure” at 7 p.m. Representatives will be on hand to take pledges for each dig the Yellow Jackets record as a team. All proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. There will also be several raffles throughout the night. In the last three years, Tech has raised more than $16,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.