In its 87th Season, Sanford Stadium Still Provides Home-Field Advantage

13 October 2016

Louis Armstrong’s hit song “When You’re Smiling” will not be heard at many tailgates before Georgia’s homecoming game against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Fans will not be going to theaters to see No. 1 movie “Welcome Danger” once the game ends, nor will they be rushing home to listen to game four of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Athletics on the radio.

The fans described above are not from 2016. They are not even from the 21st century. Those fans are from October 1929.

And yet, both these fans and current Bulldog supporters share one thing in common.

They both attend Georgia football games in Sanford Stadium.

Wednesday marks the 87th anniversary of Georgia’s first game at Sanford Stadium. On that day, the Bulldogs defeated Yale 15-0.

Since that time, Georgia has had one of the best home-field advantages in all of college football. Through the 2015 season, the Bulldogs have compiled a 337-103-9 record at home, a winning percentage of .750.

“It’s just an electric atmosphere,” junior linebacker Lorenzo Carter said.

Georgia has had numerous double-digit home winning streaks over the years, including a 15-game streak from 2011-13. Senior offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow was around for the final game of that streak, a game that he remembers vividly.

“My freshman year we played LSU,” Kublanow said. “That was crazy. Every time it gets loud, but I do remember that LSU game. That was nuts.”

Other players have different recollections of the loudest moment they’ve witnessed in Sanford. Carter said the first time Todd Gurley touched the ball in his return against Auburn in 2014 was “the loudest I’ve ever heard.”

Junior defensive back Aaron Davis said the season opener against Clemson in 2014 was the most raucous home environment he played in. The crowd that afternoon even had an effect on the home team.

“I remember against Clemson, I was trying to say something to [safety] Quincy [Mauger] and he couldn’t hear me,” Davis said.

Playing in Sanford Stadium means a little more to Davis. He grew up in Locust Grove as an avid Georgia fan. Davis called the opportunity to play in Sanford Stadium “an honor and a privilege.”

So as Sanford Stadium prepares to host its 452nd Georgia football game, it will usher a new breed of Bulldogs through its gates. These fans listen to the Chainsmokers instead of Louis Armstrong, and they watch movies starring Tom Cruise as opposed to Harold Lloyd.

But just like their fandom ancestors from 87 years ago, the fans that will invade Athens this weekend will be watching a football game on a Saturday afternoon in Sanford Stadium.


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