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A soggy ending to a wet day

By Walter Geiger It was wet Saturday in Athens. It rained all the way over there. It rained all during the game and it rained all the way home ‘“ a long delayed trip back for Laura and me. It was so wet in Sanford Stadium, the now expected bed-wetting by a Mark Richt coached team in a big game was just drops in the proverbial bucket. The dogs were not ready to play ‘“ that’s on the coaches ‘“ and got blown out by the Alabama Crimson Tide. It wasn’t close. UGA was not even competitive. I never leave a game early but I left this one halfway through the third period. Richt put his backup quarterback in to start the second half and he promptly threw a pick six. The pass was not within 30 yards of a Bulldog. On the second series of the half, the same quarterback went back out and I knew Richt had given up with 28 minutes left to play. Did I mention it was wet? Laura had left the game earlier to visit with our eldest May Melton. As I walked to our meeting point, the bottom fell out. An Uber driver had given them an unwanted tour of Athens since they could not navigate along necessary closed streets. Finally, they got within a couple of miles of where I was and hoofed it the rest of the way in the downpour. Drenched, we walked back to where our car was parked and it was gone. Vanished. It had been towed. We called the campus police force in Athens and were told the car was at a lot a good 15 miles from us. There were signs all over campus about not parking on the grass due to rain. I parked under a grove of trees where I have parked many times before. There was no grass, just mulch. There wasn’t a no parking sign within 100 yards. The car parked to the right of us remained. It made no sense. Still we had been towed. The three of us then embarked on a four-mile trek to May Melton’s sorority house in the downpour to get her car. Along the way, my rain gear and Gore Tex socks gave up the ghost. I was soaked and so were the girls. They didn’t complain. I didn’t stop. Along the way, we passed members of the Red Coat marching band also braving the elements. We wondered why they were walking in the rain while the football players rode a bus. We arrived wet and tired at Phi Mu then drove to the junk yard where we paid $116 to get our car back. The driver who towed it read my mood. He walked me out to the car and told me, ‘There was no reason for them to tow your car. I don’t know why they did it.’ The UGA campus police are notorious for hassling athletes. Now, instead of concentrating on public safety issues and enhancing their guests’ experience, they are harassing fans as well. Parking is at a premium in Athens. I understand that. I guess I was guilty of killing already inert mulch. I certainly won’t park in that spot again. It could be a moot point. If Mark Richt can’t prepare his teams any better than he did Saturday, it won’t be long before I can park anywhere I please. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette and Pike Couny Journal Reporter.

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