ESPN Music: Georgia Bulldogs
October, 20, 2012
By Marty Smith | ESPN The Magazine
Chris McKay/Getty ImagesLifelong Bulldogs fan Aldean surprised UGA students with a performance in Athens earlier this week.It is late summer in Georgia, a decade ago, and Jason Aldean is holding a ticket. It’s not the scratch-off type and offers no financial fantasy. But for a poor country boy from Macon, Ga., it is an avenue to dreams far richer.
Aldean’s father acquired the ticket from a friend and knew well its fleeting value. But he couldn’t cash in just then, so he threw his boy a bone only a Bulldog could love.
The ticket granted entrance to a college football game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers. It included field access, which meant Aldean would walk the famous Sanford Stadium hedge line and achieve a lifelong dream.
He would share that dream with his cousin, Dale. They’re the same age and as close as brothers. Neither had ever attended a Georgia football game, though both were die-hards.
Come game day, there they stood, on the Bulldogs' sideline, overwhelmed by the spectacle of 92,746 brethren.
“It was like going to church,” Aldean says. “I didn’t think it was possible, but I became an even bigger fan after that. Experiencing the players running by you and petting Uga ... it was surreal. It was spiritual.”