Countdown to Kickoff... A Success

Former Bulldogs Matt and Jon Stinchcomb organized the first annual "Countdown to Kickoff" and it was a success. Over 1,500 fans of all ages came to Woodruff Practice Fields to see their favorite Georgia Bulldogs. Proceeds from the event benefited Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Transplant Foundation and The Arch Foundation.

Despite extreme heat and a brief rain storm Georgia fans of all ages came out to see their favorite Bulldogs and to support a good cause. I asked one of the staff members how many tickets were sold and he said he did not know, but it was over 1,500. He later said it was like Picture Day, but better because it was for a good cause.

It was a carnival type atmosphere. Kids were playing in games throughout the fields. From throwing footballs to jumping in the moonwalk everyone seemed to have a good time.

Fans also lined up to get autographs from their favorite Bulldogs. There must have been around 50-100 current and former players signing their names. Everyone was happy to help out. "I heard about it through a letterman's letter, so I quickly e-mailed Matt to find out how I can help" explains former All-SEC and NFL tackle Scott Adams. He was not the only former NFL star there. Garrison Hearst was in attendance as well as current players Will Witherspoon, George Foster, Jermaine Phillips and Sean Jones to name a few.

Of course the biggest line of the day was fans waiting in line to get their picture with "UGA". Adults, kids and babies posed with the nation's number one mascot. He seems to steal the show every time.

The weather was a little uncomfortable, but the event was well prepared. Free Water and Cokes to whomever needed one and a mist machine the people can stand under to cool off. Plenty of food was there in case people got hungry. It was very sunny until a quick storm hit the fields.

All of a sudden it was extremely windy and it poured. One of the moonwalk rides stared to go airborn and almost flip over the fence. Then Jon Stinchcomb became a "superhero" and ran about 50 yards and grabbed the ride and pulled it back in. Fans waited and then came back out.

"You have to hand it to the fans, they did not give up, they were here in the sun and in the rain and the weather didn't slow them down one bit" says Jon Stinchcomb. He later explained how proud he was, "this was a big success, it was great seeing all these people." He was not the only Stinchcomb that was proud. Matt explains, "I couldn't ask for anything better, the crowd support was incredible." He was also very thankful for the players who showed up, "They came on their own and have done a terrific job."

At this time it is not known how much money was raised, but everyone should be proud. Hopefully this is just the first of many more "Countdown to Kickoffs."

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