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Georgia Tech....Love?

The time for hate has passed

Capital One Orange Bowl - Mississippi State v Georgia Tech Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Hi everyone, my name is Drew Schneider, and I’m a hater. I can’t pin point the exact moment I became a hater, mainly because I can’t remember that far back. I pretty much hate everything.

I hate the heat, I hate the cold, I hate the snow, I hate the sun, I hate the rain, I hate it when it’s dry and I hate humidity. I hate other football teams, I hate all other drivers. I hate computers even though I use them all day. I hate phones. I hate working in the yard. I hate it when my yard is a mess. I hate cleaning. I hate a dirty house. I hate most people until I actually meet them....then it’s usually 25% like, 75% hate. I hate cheap domestic beer. I hate overly fussy craft beer. I like liquor but I hate hangovers. I hate jogging. I hate not jogging and getting fat. I loved my hair but I hate that I’m bald. I love spicy food but I hate heartburn. Sometimes I even hate writing this article. In fact, I hated the hate article I intended to post today so much I deleted it and decided to start over.

I just feel like ‘hate’ has gotten stale, so I’m going to try my hand at ‘love’. This is foreign territory for me, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Georgia Tech Institute of Technology Student Body

Some people think Georgia Tech is a repository of nerds. A buzzing hive of dorks going about their nerdy work with smiles on their faces and pocket protectors in shirts. This, however, is an oversimplification of the true nature of Georgia Tech.

My friends, I have a confession to make. I love nerds. In fact, I’m married to one. My wife, soon to be Dr. Schneider, is as nerdy of a nerd as you’re likely to find. She graduated from Clemson in 3 years with a 3.9 (she got a B in speech and still seethes over it). She had the most A.P. credits in the entire Clemson freshman class. She has 14 years of higher education. In fact, she enjoys school so much that she decided to work for one instead of taking a higher paying corporate job.

She’s not just a nerd by education, she’s also a nerd by choice. I’m almost certain she’s seen every Star Trek episode....ever...even the weird spin-offs no one else watched. Every time I get in the car, I have to turn the radio station from NPR....hell, I’m not even sure what percentage of her income goes directly to NPR, but we’ve got a robust tote collection.

Over the years I’ve attempted to buy her nice things for Christmas. I gone with jewelry, clothes, and perfume before, you know, all the traditional stuff, and she’s always very appreciative as she sets them aside in a box labeled “things to put in the back of the closet until he forgets about them and then donate.” Last Christmas, for the first time in our 17 year relationship, I decided to go full nerd with her gift and got her an unlimited subscription to the New York Times crossword puzzle. You know how the people look in the Lexus commercial when they find a 50,000 dollar SUV in their driveway? That’s the look she had on her face as she sprinted upstairs to find her phone and download the app. She uses the subscription every day, and still thanks me for getting her such a wonderful gift.

My point, if there is one, is that nerds are everywhere, and they can be great fun. While my wife is a complete nerd, she also loves to tailgate and will lustily curse officials when she believes they have wronged her Tigers. Most people don’t realize this, but as passionate as I am about Clemson, she probably has me beat. The odds of Dr. Schneider getting in a bar fight over a slight to her Tigers are significantly higher than mine. I can’t even repeat the horrible things she said about Kevin Steele after that Orange Bowl, but I can tell you that after Tavon Austin did his “I’m not actually down, I’m going to get up and keep running” bit for the 3rd time, she picked up the ottoman in our living room and threw it across the room like the Incredible Hulk. I’m not going to lie, I was both scared and impressed at the same time.

Unlike the Clemson variety of nerd (like my wife), Georgia Tech houses a completely different breed of nerd. They cater to the anti-social, angry nerd. The type of nerd that can’t be bothered with a silly sport like football or anything that requires more than 30 minutes away from their super important intellectual endeavors. These are nerds that need special dispensation. They want to be locked away from all human interaction, and Georgia Tech provides them with that exact opportunity.

You see, there are no expectations for school spirit or involvement at Tech. No one is going to try and drag you out of the library to tailgate on a Saturday morning, because everyone else is in the library (in separate study cubicles of course). There’s no pressure to go out on a Friday night, because no one goes out on a Friday night. In fact, if a Tech student wants to alienate their peers, the easiest way to go about it is to go out for a beer on Friday.

I love Georgia Tech, because they offer a sanctuary to anti-social nerds. Tech offers them a safe place to be an anti-social nerd without fear of judgement. They collect all the socially inept nerds in one place and let happy, fun nerds like my wife roam free at Clemson without judgement from angry nerds.

Atlanta Traffic

If given the choice between driving in Atlanta traffic every day or getting a daily colonoscopy, I’m clearing my morning schedule and heading to the clinic, but imagine how much worse Atlanta traffic could be without Georgia Tech’s help.

Seriously, think of the traffic ramifications of an exciting Georgia Tech team with invigorated fan base. Imagine if demand for tickets grew to the point where Tech was forced to expand Bobby Dodd from a stadium that holds roughly the same number of fans as a high school stadium in Texas to an actual, honest to God college football stadium.

Right now Bobby Dodd holds 55k and last year’s average home attendance of 46K doesn’t even justify having that many seats. The added traffic for a Tech home game isn’t even a blip on the Atlanta traffic radar, but if Tech actually took football seriously, that would change, and the results would be disastrous.

What if instead of 46K apathetic fans pulling up to Bobby Dodd just in time for kick, you had 80K rabid Tech fans pouring into the Atlanta area with R.V.’s, trailers, and decked out tailgating fire trucks on Friday night in order to get ready for an epic day of tailgating. That would snarl Atlanta traffic more than 3 snowflakes falling on the road. If Tech actually cared about football, you might leave your Atlanta office on Friday afternoon and make it home just in time to catch the opening kick of the Falcons game on Sunday.

I love Georgia Tech because their football program, and the apathy of their fans, make Atlanta traffic a little easier for everyone else.

Paul Johnson

I’m going to be truthful with you. I haven’t always loved Paul Johnson. Back in 2009 when Tech beat Clemson twice in the same season I couldn’t say the man’s name without spitting on the ground and cursing his name, but things have changed since then.

Now that Clemson regularly embarrasses Tech on the football field, and I can sit back and enjoy all things Paul Johnson, and you should as well. As far as I’m concerned, Paul Johnson should be tied with Will Muschamp as your second favorite college football coach, because he does incredible things for the Clemson football program.

Let’s think about recruiting for a moment. Georgia is still the lifeblood of Clemson recruiting. Sure, we’re to the point now where we can bust out of the Southeast and recruit nationally, but we still need to pull in a chunk of Georgia talent every year. In 2018, 5 of Clemson’s 17 (including #1 overall recruit Trevor Lawrence) recruits were from the Peach State. The 2019 class is shaping up to be another Georgia heavy class, with 7 Georgia natives already signed up to cross the border into South Carolina. Imagine how much more difficult signing Georgia players would be without Paul Johnson.

Paul’s antiquated offense and the hard ceiling it places on Tech in terms of wins and losses and recruiting is the best thing that’s ever happened to Clemson. Instead of having to fight it out with Tech and UGA for the elite talent, we divvy up the spoils with Georgia and let Tech, South Carolina and Tennessee fight it out for the scraps. I mean honestly, we should present Paul with a National Championship ring at half time next year when Tech comes to Clemson, because without Paul Johnson, I’m not sure we win it all.

At this point you guys might think I’m joking, but I’m dead serious. As a Clemson fan, if you’re not flooding social media with Paul Johnson love, you’re doing a disservice to Clemson. Every time I see a post disparaging Paul on twitter I brew a fresh pot of coffee, cancel all my appointments, put on my noise canceling headphones, and go to war.

Every time I eat too much take out Chinese food right before bed, I wake up in a cold sweat around 3 am after having a reoccurring nightmare.

The dream starts off with me sitting in my recliner and watching college football. I’m sipping on a beer, eating some wings and enjoying myself....and then it happens. Something starts to scroll across the bottom of the screen...

Ga Tech: Paul Johnson Fired as Georgia Tech Head Football Coach

In my dream, I drop my beer, it falls in slow motion and explodes on the floor. I look over at my plate of wings and they’ve all turned into buffalo sauce covered yellow jackets squirming on my plate, and that’s when my recliner grows arms and holds me down while a frantically try and grab the remote.

If you’re not into horror, I suggest you stop reading right now, because this is where things truly get frightening.

I try and struggle, but the chair holds me tight as the television cuts over to the Georgia Tech press conference. I try and close my eyes, but my eyelids are paralyzed, all I can do is sit in my hostile recliner and watch as Lane Kiffin struts across the stage, adorned head to toe in sharp looking new Nike Georgia Tech swag.

Kiffen stands at the microphone and says, “I’m proud to accept the head coaching job at Georgia Tech, and my first order of business is to announce a few changes to the program. I accepted this job because the administration has assured me that winning football games is now a priority. We’ll be starting construction on a new, state of the art practice facility tomorrow. Bobby Dodd stadium will undergo a series of renovations to both increase capacity from 55 thousand to 75 thousand and improve the overall fan experience.”

This is when I start screaming in my sleep.

“Over the next few days I’ll be putting my staff together, and I’m looking to hire the best and brightest young recruiters in the business, and I can promise you this, they won’t be permitted to leave the state of Georgia. For too long out of state programs have feasted on Georgia talent while Georgia Tech goes hungry, and that stops today.”

I never make it past this part of the nightmare because my wife always shakes me awake and the first thing I do is scream out “Paul Johnson!” and grab my phone from the bedside table and google “Georgia Tech Head Football Coach.” It’s not until I see Paul’s dour face scowling at me from the glow of my cell phone that I finally start to calm down, but I’m always too worked up to get back to sleep.

I’m not ashamed to say, that as a Clemson fan, I love Paul Johnson, and my fellow Clemson fans, you should love him too.