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Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Just 70 miles apart, there is no escaping the year's worth of bragging rights.

It's bragging rights and, no matter how your record looks, we want to go in there and win that game.
~Tim Worley

"Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate". It's a catchy moniker, sure, but a truism at its core. As usual, this year's matchup carries national implications, given that, if they win out, the Bulldogs will assuredly find themselves in the College Football Playoff.

"It's bragging rights and, no matter how your record looks, we want to go in there and win that game," Georgia great, Tim Worley, told the Southern Pigskin Radio Network.

When Georgia plays Georgia Tech, who former UGA tight end Arthur Lynch explained that Joe Terishinksi so affectionately called, "that trade school down the road that doesn't deserve to have the word Georgia in its name," it transcends football.

People not from the state just don't get it.

"Emotions ran high on campus in the lead up to the game," stated Jason Peters, a former defensive lineman for the Jackets, "that's the thing I didn't understand coming from Louisiana."

However, the fans and opposing players will happily indoctrinate you into the rivalry, as Peters, Worley, and scores of other novice Clean, Old-Fashioned Haters have learned over the years.

We volunteered at a camp at a high school," Peters recalled, "and there was this little 12-year old sitting there barking at me while I was trying to explain the drill. Another time, I went to Walmart with some friends and had on some Georgia Tech gear, and a grown man started barking at me at the store."

With all due respect to Jason Peters, he's not special in that regard. Those are not isolated incidents, rather a small taste of the larger rivalry.

Even so, it doesn't compare to the experience of the guys who grew up in it. Jay Finch had it bred into him by his father, a Jacket through and through. Rennie Curran started feeling it as a high schooler, going through the recruiting process.

"The Tech players won't like to hear this," Curran prefaced, "but a lot of them end up signing there because Georgia didn't offer them."

Marco Coleman, Georgia Tech legend and another outsider recruited into the rivalry, echoed Curran's sentiment, "It's a little different coming from Ohio. For a lot of the guys, they've seen each other probably from little league all the way up to high school. That's one of the reasons there is such a high intensity level."

Few things breed malcontent like familiarity.

Long after the former 'Dawgs and Jackets hang up the cleats, the hatred remains.

For Worley, that manifests itself in a now decades old grudge. "One of my fondest memories was developing turf toe for the first time playing on that field in Atlanta," he quipped, "so we'll have to do something about that this weekend."

Not a player on that field will have been alive when Worley got turf toe, but he's still seeking payback, by way of another Georgia win.

Each of these schools have a handful of other rivalries, each meaningful in its own capacity. None are quite like Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, though. Just 70 miles apart, there is no escaping the year's worth of bragging rights.

Perhaps Curran summed it up best, stating, "you can't have a successful season unless you beat Tech."

There is little doubt that Georgia Tech feels the same.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP