Christy McCall has been a Georgia football fan all her life. She and her husband have been season ticket-holders for more than a decade, attending big games home and away.
But they’ve never been to a national title game, something that will change Monday night when the Buford family takes its seats at Lucas Oil Stadium to watch their beloved Dawgs take on SEC rival Alabama for the championship.
“We are very excited,” Christy McCall said. “My husband is off the deep end excited. This is the one we have all been waiting 42 years for.”
Georgia’s last national title came in 1980, but the Bulldogs are slight favorites to win Monday night. Christy McCall will be there along with husband Scott and daughter Ansleigh — a math teacher at Mill Creek High School — hoping to see their team take home the elusive title.
It’s a game the McCall family couldn’t bear to miss. After losing to Alabama in the SEC title game, Christy McCall said her family opted to buy tickets for the team’s semifinal game in the Orange Bowl but decided to forgo buying tickets for the national title game. That quickly changed after the excitement of beating Michigan in the semifinals.
“Once we won the Orange Bowl and everything was so exciting, we decided to buy tickets to the natty,” she said. “We were not going to miss the show.”
For the McCalls, cheering for UGA is a family affair. While neither Christy nor her husband attended Georgia, all three of their girls have — with two of them — Carleigh and Hayleigh — being Double Dawgs with undergraduate and graduate degrees from the school.
Saturdays in the fall are always spent in Athens for UGA home games, with the girls joining their parents at their weekly tailgate in Five Points. That time together means as much as cheering for the Dawgs, Christy McCall said.
“It’s our family time,” she said. “We have fun every week, win or lose. That’s what we take away from it.”
The family, which left Sunday morning for the eight-and-a-half hour trek to Indianapolis, plans to make more memories with this trip. They have reservations at a local steakhouse and plans to check out the happenings in and around the game with other members of their Athens tailgate group.
While all of that will be fun, the elusive title would make the trip unforgettable. However, Christy McCall said she remains cautiously optimistic.
“The memories of this season have been spectacular,” she said. “(No matter what happens) the Dawgs have given me more than I could ever give them.”