Georgia Southern fans gathered at GoDaddy pep rally

Ethan Flynn

Fans from Georgia Southern University and Bowling Green University gathered at the SMG Mobile Convention Center to usher in the GoDaddy Bowl festivities.


As fans entered the building, the sounds of both bands battling it out could be heard resonating throughout. The main area in which the two teams’ bands and fans gathered was a large open meeting like an area in which the only divide between the two opponents was an opera house style curtain. Fans from both sides could be seen peering around the curtain as if they were spying on the other team. Both teams may not come from the same conferences but one thing is clear, the fans are hyped for what this matchup will bring.


This bowl game marks the first bowl game in Georgia Southern’s storied history. From speaking with fans from the Eagle Nation, they’re more than ready for this 7 p.m. CST kickoff in Mobile, Ala.


“It’s so exciting,” said sisters and current students, Natalie and Nicole Suckow as they approached the entrance into the pep rally.


The Eagle Nation looked to be in high spirits. “Let me tell you this, I was at the very first game at Georgia Southern ever played. I was at the first game we ever played in Paulson Stadium. I’ve been a fan and season ticket holder since Paulson Stadium opened. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life. I could not experience a better opportunity than seeing the GoDaddy Bowl,” said alum, Sean Peck.


Georgia Southern has a primetime showing on ESPN for the entire world to witness. The Eagle Nation is awaiting that opportunity. Peck went onto say, “I want us to show well on ESPN. We have a primetime showing. Everybody in the country is watching us tomorrow. Let’s put on a show. Let’s get some recruits in here. Let’s get this country in here and build this program stronger than it has ever been.”


Someone who knows Georgia Southern football like the back of their hand is Mike Neely, an avid Georgia Southern fan who rarely misses a football practice.


“It means a lot to see these boys play in their first bowl game,” Neely said.


Players took to the @GeorgeAnneSports Twitter account to voice their opinion on Neely.


“Mr. Neely is truly a Die hard Ga Southern fan! I enjoyed shaking his hand before almost every practice,” said Lennie Richardson (@GaBoy_54).


As the Southern Pride Marching Band continued to play the fight songs, it was evident Eagles fans were paying their respects to the dedication they put into their craft. Eagles fans could be seen tipping their hats during the “Alma Mater” song.


“We’ve waited for a long time to see this. I’m surprised with how many folks are at the pep rally and I hope to see more fans at the game. We wish the fans at home could be here to see us come out with a victory,” said alum, Eddie Lee.


The GoDaddy team was walking around passing out ‘Mardi Gras’ themed beads and masks and Eagles fans could be seen enjoying the Gulf Coast culture Mobile, Alabama embodies.


“Interacting with the teams and see fans enjoy the environment. Both teams have great reputations. We’re excited to see how the game is going to be,” said GoDaddy Bowl interns, Katie Conner and Kelly McKeough.


As the pep rally wrapped up, Robby Kurbes from Georgia Southern’s Athletic Marketing Department said, “The first ever bowl game makes it easier for us to do our job. It gets us out there. We’re going to be on primetime. What’s a better way to get us out there then on ESPN? We’re really looking forward to it!”


Interim President Jean Bartels and former President Dr. Brooks Keel were both in attendance at the pep rally with their significant others and plan to attend tonight’s game. Eagles fans could be seen taking photos with them both presidents and Freedom as they made their way through the pep rally.


Upon leaving the pep rally, Eagles fans could be heard chanting, “Georgiaaaa! Southernnnn!” in anticipation for tonight’s game at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN.


Paying respect to the most legendary coach in Georgia Southern history, Erk Russell, “…one more time for the greatest team in America!”