By Rachel Kelso and Alexandria Richbourg
The George-Anne contributors
The most talked about game of the season is right around the corner. This Saturday the Eagles will face the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium in Athens, and while the festivities are meant to be fun and competitive, you want to be safe while you and the rest of Eagle Nation live it up and cheer on our team. With two passionate fan bases facing off, emotions will be running at an all-time high, so use these safety tips to enjoy the game and the weekend to the fullest extent.
1. Use the buddy system
Carpool, tailgate, and explore Athens with other fellow Eagles. The last thing you want is to end up alone in an unfamiliar area on what is expected to be one of the most intense game days this season. Athens is a fun town and has a lot to offer, but it’s even more fun when you’re getting to experience it with a great group of friends.
“Travel in groups! Don’t go anywhere alone. Additionally, just be careful. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. If you think, ‘this might get me in trouble, I should probably not do this,’ Go with your gut feeling. Don’t do it. Even though the games are super fun, this is a time where people can act a little off the wall and people can get a little crazy,” Karly Smith, UGA junior marketing major, said.
2. Show your True Blue spirit honorably
While it may be tempting to stir the pot and mess with the Bulldog fans, let’s show them that the Georgia Southern fan base can respect the territory, rules, and one another. We are the visiting team, so we need to show respect to the town, the campus, and the community. That being said, paint up, wear your best blue and gold attire, and get ready to show UGA whose house this really is with good sportsmanship and respect.
3. Drink Responsibly
If you do decide to drink, make sure you do so wisely. Not only do you want to be sober enough to remember the game, but you also don’t want to end up in trouble with Athens law enforcement. Police will be on high alert for drunk and disorderly fans, so make sure you are smart about your drinking and handle yourself appropriately. Don’t have a DD? Call an Uber! Yes, there is UBER in Athens, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
“To stay safe, UGA students always make sure we have a designated driver if people are going to be partaking in drinking alcoholic beverages. Call an Uber. At the end of the day you’d rather pay a little more for an Uber than to end up with a charge,” Smith said.
4. Don’t jaywalk
This might sound like a strange safety tip, but Athens cops are known to give out hefty fines to those who don’t wait their turn to cross the street. Jaywalking is one of the most popular ways that cops in this town will stop you. As tempting as the other side of the road may look, just wait for your signal to legally cross.
5. Have fun!
It’s okay to have fun, party, and enjoy the weekend in Athens but just remember to be safe not only for yourself, but for the people around you as well. This game is a highly anticipated and very important one for Georgia Southern, so get excited! Make the trip to support your Eagles an unforgettable one. Have fun, be safe and Hail Southern!
According to UGA’s website Safe & Secure: A guide for Students, Faculty, staff and Visitors of the University of Georgia, if you are on campus and you want to report a crime, you can contact the UGA’s police Department at (706) 542-2200. In addition, if you ever witness a crime off campus and it isn’t an emergency, you can call the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at (706) 613-3330.
Have fun in Athens, Eagles. Represent your school, and be safe doing it!
Learn more about UGA safety tips at http://safeandsecure.uga.edu/index.html