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'You kind of overwhelm your head' Alabama looms after Georgia Tec ...
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Fans of Georgia football and Braves baseball enjoy 'perfect storm' of success this fall
MARC WEISZER  | Athens Banner-Herald
Richard Costigan wears his disdain for Florida on the California license plate of his Jeep Wrangler.
GATR H8R
The University of Georgia graduate has tickets for Saturday’s ‘Cocktail Party’ football game in Jacksonville, but he’s probably going to bypass that and try to land tickets to the Braves’ World Series home game that night.
Yes, this is quite the time for sports fans in the Peach State, especially those who are fans of the No. 1 Bulldogs who are seeking their first national title since 1980 and the National League champion Braves who last won the World Series in 1995 and are playing in their first since 1999.
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“I’d rather have a national championship than a World Series,” said Costigan, a 1988 UGA graduate and a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in government relations and public affairs. “I’d certainly love to have both. …If we get a Braves win as well, that would be fantastic with all that’s gone on over the last few months.”
More: Kirby Smart and Georgia football players address the QB question for Florida game
Georgia plays Florida at 3:30 p.m. on CBS Saturday. The Braves meet the Astros in Game 4 of the World Series at 8 p.m. that night on Fox.
“It’s just kind of a perfect storm this year as you know if you’re a Braves fan or a Georgia fan,” said Luke Goddard of Macon who is a fan of both teams. “One has expectations with the talent and what they’re building there in Athens and the other one is sort of playing with house money right now.”
That’s because Atlanta made its playoff run despite missing some big pieces this season.
“I think it’s really cool that the Braves are in the World Series and we don’t have Ronald (Acuna) and we don’t have (Mike) Soroka,” said Georgia punter Jake Camarda, who is from Norcross. “That should show in the next couple of years, Braves Country should be pretty excited with the fact we’ve got a really good team.”
Goddard goes to a few Bulldog games a year. His father is a UGA grad with season tickets.
“I get to hear those stories and hopefully I’m going to tell my own stories to my kids,” said the 36-year old father of four who works for a company that restores textiles and electronics for homes damaged by fire, water and mold.
The Braves clinched the National League championship and a spot in the World Series against Houston Saturday night with a Game 6 win in Atlanta.
Jamaree Salyer, Georgia’s starting left tackle and an Atlanta native, tweeted after the game: “SGO BRAVES #ChopOn”
Goddard, a part-time comedian who has a following on TikTok, insisted that with his kids asleep that he was so fired up when the Braves won that he ran around naked halfway down the driveway of his home after the Braves clinched a World Series trip, but there is no video proof of that.
“I went crazy,” he said. “I actually lost my mind. I was so dang excited I could not contain myself.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn’t go to that extreme during his bye weekend, although he said Monday he was “excited” to see the Braves World Series bound after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We got to see the end of the game Saturday night after some of the college games were over,” he said. “I’m certainly excited for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Those guys have done a tremendous job of closing and playing well at the end of the year.”
Costigan is a former deputy chief of staff and legislative affairs secretary for Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was California’s governor.
He and his wife now live in Athens so he’s going to lose that California vanity plate at the end of the month. He’s recovering from hernia surgery so going to the Braves game is more manageable.
“I was looking at Braves tickets because I’m not sure I can make the drive all the way to Jacksonville,” said Costigan, 55, who has been a season ticket holder for 30 years and flew back once or twice a season for games when he lived out West.
Goddard said the Braves are “hitting another gear” with their push down the stretch of the season.
He doesn’t believe in any curse on Georgia sports teams whose fans have felt their share of heartache through the years.
“I’m not that guy. I don’t think there’s an actual curse on Georgia sports fans,” Goddard said. “I will say if you live in this state or don’t live in this state… it is insane when you think what is it going to take? You see these other clubs pop up and get it done. There is something to be said for the drought. It comes down to the players on the field performing and I don’t think half these kids and all these other folks have given any mind to that at all.”
Georgia nose guard Jordan Davis went to a regular season Braves game and also attended Game 2 of the NLCS. His roommate, former Bulldog walk-on Blake Anderson, has season tickets. He’s hoping to get a chance to get to a Game 5 this weekend.
“Chop on, Braves,” Davis said. “We’re rooting for them. Definitely pulling for them in the World Series. That would be crazy to experience that. Hopefully I’ll get to catch a game on Sunday. Go Braves!”
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