The first and only time I have been to the Plains was way back in 2006. A fun trip all the way around, from the travel to the actual game itself. Georgia was an 11 point underdog, coming off a heartbreaking loss to Kentucky. Auburn was sitting #5 in the country with outside aspirations of a National Championship. Sound familiar? (a side note: I know this is a rivalry and anything can happen, but Auburn 2012 and UGA 2006 are not even close).
A couple of memorable things happened this trip. First, our friend Uchee got some major egg on his face. We all play ESPN’s College Pick ‘Em, and we take it very seriously. We have a gentleman’s agreement to always pick UGA no matter what, even if it is with one confidence point. Well, 2006 was an especially competitive year, and Uchee decided to pick Auburn that week with 10. As I was walking out the door to leave that Friday night, I said “screw it”, and I picked UGA with 2. Well, Georiga pulled of the miracle upset and Granite and I finished the year tied for 50th overall in the entire country, and Uchee, well…let’s just say we haven’t let him forget his lapse in judgement.
My buddy and I rode down there with Granite. The previous week at the Kentucky game, Granite had some chicken and just threw his old bones in the back of his truck. So Granite pulls up the night before, and we stuff all of our luggage and coolers flush up against the cab of the pick up truck, under his toolbox. We hop in his truck and hit the road. We got to LaGrange, parked at our hotel and went to dinner next door. After finishing up supper we then came back to the truck to get the luggage. At this point it had to be around midnight. As Granite is pulling the luggage out, the next thing we know is a stray cat lunged out from his truck, ran around the bed of the pick up like a chicken with its head cut off, then dashed away into the night. We were flabbergasted. There was no way that cat could get stuck back there in Lagrange. What we figured out is that when Granite got to my apartment, he came in for a few minutes. This stray cat was attracted to bones leftover from the Kentucky weekend, and was feasting on the scraps. We pack our luggage in there tight, and this cat gets stuck. All the way down I-85 to Lagrange. The few hours we were at dinner.
The game itself was awesome. Mark Richt said later he was certain the gameplan would fail, and he stayed up the night before worrying about it. But UGA was able to use Stafford’s big arm and running ability to negate the agressive Auburn defense. Great game.
By the time we got done with the game and got back, it was probably 8:00 in Athens. Plenty of time to celebrate the win downtown.
Leaving the wife at home tomorrow and heading down to the Plains. Some buddies and I are staying at the same hotel we stayed at 6 years ago. I wonder if I will see that stray cat.