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Diamond Dawgs and deja vu

Somewhere, there is a very rare T-shirt.

I can't remember what happened to it, so it may not even exist anymore. I might have thrown it away, but certainly I wouldn't do something so abominable, even though it did have more holes in it than Bonnie and Clyde's Ford.

What I'd like to think - and when I go to Mama's house sometime soon to clean out my old closet like I've been promising to do for years, I'll find out - is that it's stuck in the bottom of a footlocker next to an Operation Desert Shield T-shirt.

Speaking of wars and T-shirts, isn't it funny how history repeats itself?

About this same time in 1990, we were only two months from having soldiers up to their eyeballs in sand, waiting for the order to roll into a place you may have heard of called Iraq. Because of the impending war in the Persian Gulf, gas that summer would get very expensive.

A man named George Bush was in the White House. That summer, people loved him because he was going to kick Saddam's butt, to paraphrase his eloquent statement. Later, he would tell a lot of lies and disappoint enough of his supporters that many would vote for a guy named Perot instead, and in one of history's greatest ironies, give enough electoral votes to an even bigger liar.

Right before all that happened, the Georgia Bulldogs were in the College World Series, which brings me back to that T-shirt.

In June 1990, I was finishing my freshman year at the University of Georgia, the only college I'd ever wanted to attend, and in fact, the only one I applied to. Alabama sent me a letter that said they would accept me if I'd fill out their application. That still makes me laugh.

Student tickets to football games back then were $2 each, which was about all they were worth in Ray Goff's first season. Nothing against Goff, who I hear is a very nice man, but I'd been looking forward all my life to seeing Vince Dooley do that leg kick on the sidelines in person.

Instead, I had to settle for 6-6 in the fall of '89 and then losing to Syracuse in the Peach Bowl. The lone highlight of that season was beating The Evil down in Jacksonville. Still, it was only $2.

But baseball games were free, and talk about a bargain because the Diamond Dawgs were pretty good that year, as you may have gathered from the fact that I told you they were in the College World Series.

And not just in it, but they won it, by God. They beat Oklahoma State 2-1 and were national champions. It might not have been the football title I was hoping to see while I was in school there, but it was a national championship nonetheless.

The following Monday, I bought a T-shirt that had "University of Georgia Bulldogs, 1990 Baseball National Champions" printed on it. I wore it until it had so many of the aforementioned holes that I had to retire it. Like I said, where I retired it to, whether it was that footlocker or a landfill, is unfortunately a question I can't remember the answer to.

The good news is, like I said, history repeats itself. Just look: We're fighting in the desert, gas is through the roof and a guy named Bush is in the White House letting us down.

OK, all that isn't good news, but the Dawgs are in the World Series again, and that is. A win today will put them in the championship series. Two more wins after that and I can buy another championship T-shirt. It'll have to be a little bigger than the first one, but at least I can afford it. I wish I could say the same for gas.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.