The College Football Minor Celebrity Jinx
As a student at UGA, I went on a number of football road trips during my undergrad years, as we were always a highly ranked team. One of the greatest lessons I learned on these trips is to never get your picture taken with celebrities! They are bad luck, and let me share with you my reasons.
Some buddies and I were on our way north to Baton Rouge for a top ten matchup between UGA and LSU. The weekend started off right as we probably all got three hours of sleep each after a great night of drinking and gambling in The Big Easy. We stopped off at a gas station in Alexandria, LA to get our tailgate beers and other necessary supplies, when in my hung over state I was drawn to the stretch limo a few stalls down. I then glanced over to the store and saw a slick dressed black man on a cell phone walking to the limo, which was surrounded by huge black guys dressed in all black. It finally hit me; it was the good reverend Al Sharpton! In a panic I yelled at all my friends and grabbed a disposable camera, and we walked over to capture the moment in a photograph. Al and his entourage were a bit taken aback by six 21 year old white guys surrounding them and asking for a picture, but they eventually let us get in with the good reverend, it was after all getting close to the primary season, and Al was planning a run for president. I doubt he wanted to ostracize us young voters, even if we were not in his key demographic. All full of excitement after having met this “celebrity”, we headed on down to Baton Rouge, but sadly the good fortune ended as the Dawgs lost 17–10, ending a 10 game winning streak. 0-1
Georgia was undefeated and hosting Tennessee, in a night contest in Athens, which is always a great time in case you have never witnessed one. It was a perfect fall day, as we tailgated for a solid 11 hours, seemingly nothing could go wrong. On our way down to the stadium from the tailgate, my buddy and I stopped off at the Sigma Chi house to meet up with some old friends, when lo and behold none other than Atlanta Braves star outfielder Jeff Francoeur was tailgating there. We approached him and offered him a beer, which he declined, but appreciated our gesture. We joked around with him about how in fact we were not members of “Franc’s Franks” (his fan club at Turner Field), but members of “McCann’s Cans”, the club that supports his roommate and good friend Brian McCann. I’m pretty sure we thought that was funnier than he did, as it only got one of those awkward courtesy laughs out of Jeff. Regardless, we asked him to pose with us in a picture, and he obliged. Yet again though, the day ended in disappointment as the Dawgs blew a 14 point lead and lost by three touchdowns. 0-2
Georgia was yet again matched up with Tennessee, this time in Knoxville on yet another beautiful fall day. We were staying at the Holiday Inn in downtown Knoxville, which I believe is the equivalent of a Four Seasons in a real city, but that is neither here nor there. After another long night of bar hopping, we were heading down to the lobby from our room, when a lady with a guitar case asked me if we had beer in the cooler I was totting. Confused by what I thought was a dumb question on a game day, I responded smartly with “Is there beer in YOUR guitar case?” She then gave me a weird look, and no sooner after we finally made eye contact did I realize I was smarting off to none other than country star Deena Carter, of “Strawberry Wine” fame. Again, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get a picture with another celebrity, and Deena of course obliged. Apparently Deena was tapped to play at half time of the game, but since Tennessee was ahead 28-0, we had already left the stadium in disgust. By this point, my friend Patterson and I were convinced it was our fault because of the celebrity jinx, and we vowed to never get our picture taken with a celebrity before a game again. 0-3
I know this is not the greatest sample size, but still three times we have had our picture taken with celebrities, and three times the Dawgs have lost. It should also be known that two of these losses were on the road, and in the last 8 years coach Mark Richt has only lost FOUR road games, so maybe there really is something to this. Bottom line: if you happen to see Tom Selleck or some other celebrity at your tailgate, do not approach them with a camera or your team will lose, guaranteed.