Our Fan Base

MonroeJacket

GT Athlete
Messages
763
First off, this definitely doesn’t apply to everyone, so older fans don’t come at me. This has been on my mind for a while, and it happened again today, so I figured I’d post about it here and see if others have experienced the same thing.

I feel like 99% of the time I encounter an older Tech fan in the wild, and say something like “Go Jackets,” they usually never say it back, and instead opt to respond with some sort of negative comment about the program and/or the school itself. Today, I’m walking in the Buc-ee’s in Calhoun, I’m wearing Tech gear, I pass an elder gentleman walking out of the store wearing a shirt that reads “Go Jackets.” As I pass right by him, I gesture towards him and say “Go Jackets”…he just looks at me curmudgeonly and walks on.

I live in Nashville, and it’s really rare to see Tech folks up here. One time, I saw an older Tech fan up here, I was wearing a navy Tech polo, he was wearing a gold Tech t-shirt. As always, I say “Go Jackets.” His response? He looks at me and says “wrong color” and walks off.

One of my favorites was this past fall. The week of the UNC game. I was having a convo with a baseball alumni, probably in his late 50s. I see this gentleman the same week every year for an event I do. He’s always kind of a woe is me, snobby Tech butthead, didn’t like Johnson, etc. We briefly talked about the coaching search, and to him it was “Prime or bust.” I go on to say I like what Key is doing and that I thought we could beat anyone in the Coastal. Then he laughs and says “North Carolina?” Then said we were about to get boat raced by UNC and Drake Maye. I told him I thought we had a chance. He laughed.

Oh! Almost forgot this. I once ran into a younger, recent baseball alumni, who is in my same line of work, which is really rare! He’s even from the same area of muttville I am, which makes us even more relatable. He couldn’t have cared less.

Like most of you, I get a little spark of joy every time I see a Tech fan in the wild, especially outside of the state. I feel like there is and should be some sort of camaraderie amongst us because we’re all fans/alumni of a unique place and went through all of the same sh*t together. A proud and select group. We complain about our dwindling number of fans, yet some act like this when encountered by other Tech fans and alumni. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
 

Buzzbomb

Mello Yellow-Jacket
Messages
12,014
Opposite for me and my son. He always alerts me in a Mall if someone has a GT logo on their clothes or tag/GT on a window of their vehicle. We both approach and get readily accepted back. Duluth, Lawrenceville, Buford, Norcross are the areas, unless in Midtown for one of our games. C.J. generally has on something Tech, weather shirt, pants, cap. Although, he does wear KC Chiefs or GS Warriors, on at the same time with a different article of clothing. So we do get stopped for them too.
 

dtm1997

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
15,610
You know what our fan base needs to stop doing? Correcting kids on Twitter when they say they got an offer from Georgia Tech University or University of Georgia Tech.

I get it. It makes your skin crawl. Better to let them learn the correct way from the coaches recruiting them (they will), than have their first impression of our fans be negative because we cared more about correcting them than their excitement for the offer.

Just stop doing this.
 

Lil G

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
546
You know what our fan base needs to stop doing? Correcting kids on Twitter when they say they got an offer from Georgia Tech University or University of Georgia Tech.

I get it. It makes your skin crawl. Better to let them learn the correct way from the coaches recruiting them (they will), than have their first impression of our fans be negative because we cared more about correcting them than their excitement for the offer.

Just stop doing this.
Couldn’t second this enough. Makes us look so pompous.
 

Richard7125

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
404
I’ve NEVER gotten a response to “What’s the good word?” from any Tech fan I’ve ever encountered in public.
On the other end of the spectrum, my daughter graduated from UGA and now works in Madison, Ws. She is a massive Georgia fan. She was in a staff meeting and her boss comes in and says, What’s the good word (no affiliation with Tech). My daughter immediately says, Tell hell with Georgia. She said everyone looked at her like she had three heads except for one person on her team who she found out went to Tech.

Both of my kids graduated from UGA and both will immediately say, To Hell with Georgia if you ask them, What’s the good word. They think it’s like a secret handshake.
 

jgtengineer

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,755
On the other end of the spectrum, my daughter graduated from UGA and now works in Madison, Ws. She is a massive Georgia fan. She was in a staff meeting and her boss comes in and says, What’s the good word (no affiliation with Tech). My daughter immediately says, Tell hell with Georgia. She said everyone looked at her like she had three heads except for one person on her team who she found out went to Tech.

Both of my kids graduated from UGA and both will immediately say, To Hell with Georgia if you ask them, What’s the good word. They think it’s like a secret handshake.
Trained right.
 

BainbridgeJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,210
Drives me crazy when I see someone wearing GT gear & ask "What's the Good Word?" & get a blank stare. I guess I can sort of understand some fans not knowing the answer but I certainly expect to get a smile & thumbs up when I say "Go Jackets".
WTGW always receives a blank stare. I've just stopped trying it. Go jackets doesn't have much better luck for me, but might generate a slight wave though it's not a good call and response. All things considered, I honestly don't really like fellow Tech fans.
 

684Bee

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,600
WTGW always receives a blank stare. I've just stopped trying it. Go jackets doesn't have much better luck for me, but might generate a slight wave though it's not a good call and response. All things considered, I honestly don't really like fellow Tech fans.
Look, GT fans are, generally, a more socially odd group. Whenever I see someone wearing GT gear, I simply say, “I like your hat/shirt”.
 

TooTall

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,000
Location
Vidalia
Are we just so surprised to see a fellow GT fan acknowledge us in the wild that we are left speechless?

If I see one of us in the wild, wearing GT gear, I always comment how much I like their shirt, hat whatever. Never much of a response, I am a stranger-a big one at that, but they generally do smile.

But I always tell anyone wearing a mutt shirt that they have a bad stain on their shirt... gives me pleasure that they look for it for a lil bit before they realize what I mean.
 

CEB

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,172
The irony here is rich... this thread about Tech fans acting like Tech fans sounds very “techie.” :)

I am have gotten a few disappointing reactions from Tech fans but I almost always get a positive acknowledgement (if not as enthusiastic as I’d like). By and large I have more people say something to me than I say to others....probably because I am often wearing something GT. “Go Jackets” is the most common but a lot say something that isn’t a “catch phrase.” I had an older man walk by me at Publix the other day and say “Georgia Tech is the best school in the world.” Not catchy, but high praise. I told him “you’re a good man... Go Jackets!” I love it when someone confidently says “Go Jackets” but I’m not hung up on catch phrases or replies.
I have to admit; a time or two, I may have been caught off guard or in my own little world and I’ve been guilty of a less than enthusiastic reaction myself. I have never had a reaction as you’ve described, though. I hope they are outliers.
I haven’t given anyone WTGW outside of a Tech event and honestly I don’t think anyone has asked me that in the wild either.
Ironically, the place I got the most comments on GT gear recently... Athens. My kids had a week long band event at UGA and drop off day was rainy. I had my GT polo and because of the rain, a huge gold (wrong shade) GT umbrella. I took some grief but probably more positive comments overall. Although, I got a lot of, “You’ve got some nerve..” remarks that I consider positive. :)
Grumbling curmudgeons beget grumbling curmudgeons... similarly enthusiastic “Go Jackets” will beget enthusiastic “Go Jackets!”
Keep up the good fight

TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!
GO JACKETS!
 

CEB

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,172
Are we just so surprised to see a fellow GT fan acknowledge us in the wild that we are left speechless?

If I see one of us in the wild, wearing GT gear, I always comment how much I like their shirt, hat whatever. Never much of a response, I am a stranger-a big one at that, but they generally do smile.

But I always tell anyone wearing a mutt shirt that they have a bad stain on their shirt... gives me pleasure that they look for it for a lil bit before they realize what I mean.
That’s always good fun! I caught a guy in a parking lot in a new truck with UGAg magnets, tags, window flags, etc just all over it. As he was getting out I said, “I once had a car vandalized too... but it’s nothing compared to what to what they did to you. That was a nice looking truck.”
The worry / bewilderment made my morning
 

LargeFO

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,226
You know what our fan base needs to stop doing? Correcting kids on Twitter when they say they got an offer from Georgia Tech University or University of Georgia Tech.

I get it. It makes your skin crawl. Better to let them learn the correct way from the coaches recruiting them (they will), than have their first impression of our fans be negative because we cared more about correcting them than their excitement for the offer.

Just stop doing this.

Yes, seen this for years and roll my eyes every time.
 

Flajacket

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
84
Long time ago, our dorm, Folk, went to a Flames game in the Omni. Since they’re about 40 of us, they put ‘Welcome Folk dorm from Ga Tech’ on the message board during one of the intermissions.

I asked to add ‘What’s the good word?’ also, but they demurred. Some people have no sense of humor.
 

slugboy

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,858
Couldn’t second this enough. Makes us look so pompous.
(FIFY)

It’s pedantic and foolish for us to celebrate our ratings as one of the top universities in the country (and in the world), and then berate a recruit by saying “we aren’t a university”.

Also, Happy Memorial Day. :D

FWIW, I think “Go Jackets” should be a suitable answer for “What’s the Good Word?”. I know “To Hell With Georgia” is the traditional response, but “Go Jackets” is about us, and that’s a good thing.
 
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Techster

Helluva Engineer
Messages
17,889
I've told this story a few times over the years, and I'll repeat it again because it's funny and it's a great example of the OP.

CPJ use to frequent this bar in Vinings that I also happen to go to every now and again. One time in the pool room, as CPJ was leaving (he use to LOVE playing pool there with friends), he said to an older guy (probably in his 50's or 60's) wearing a GT hat, "Nice hat!". The guy just had a curious look on his face...and you could hear him ask his friend "Who was that?!"

I think a lot of people who wear GT gear are proud of the institution and wear it because they went to school there, or a family member that went to school there. I'm not sure a good portion of people that wear GT gear even follow GT Athletics.

Over the years I've actually changed up my greeting to someone wearing GT stuff. I now just say "Georgia Tech! That's a smart man/woman with great taste!"

I'll usually get a "Yes sir!" and an occasional "Go Jackets!"

I've accepted GT sports for what it is now, and GT fans for who we are. It is what it is...
 

5277hike

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
210
First off, this definitely doesn’t apply to everyone, so older fans don’t come at me. This has been on my mind for a while, and it happened again today, so I figured I’d post about it here and see if others have experienced the same thing.

I feel like 99% of the time I encounter an older Tech fan in the wild, and say something like “Go Jackets,” they usually never say it back, and instead opt to respond with some sort of negative comment about the program and/or the school itself. Today, I’m walking in the Buc-ee’s in Calhoun, I’m wearing Tech gear, I pass an elder gentleman walking out of the store wearing a shirt that reads “Go Jackets.” As I pass right by him, I gesture towards him and say “Go Jackets”…he just looks at me curmudgeonly and walks on.

I live in Nashville, and it’s really rare to see Tech folks up here. One time, I saw an older Tech fan up here, I was wearing a navy Tech polo, he was wearing a gold Tech t-shirt. As always, I say “Go Jackets.” His response? He looks at me and says “wrong color” and walks off.

One of my favorites was this past fall. The week of the UNC game. I was having a convo with a baseball alumni, probably in his late 50s. I see this gentleman the same week every year for an event I do. He’s always kind of a woe is me, snobby Tech butthead, didn’t like Johnson, etc. We briefly talked about the coaching search, and to him it was “Prime or bust.” I go on to say I like what Key is doing and that I thought we could beat anyone in the Coastal. Then he laughs and says “North Carolina?” Then said we were about to get boat raced by UNC and Drake Maye. I told him I thought we had a chance. He laughed.

Oh! Almost forgot this. I once ran into a younger, recent baseball alumni, who is in my same line of work, which is really rare! He’s even from the same area of muttville I am, which makes us even more relatable. He couldn’t have cared less.

Like most of you, I get a little spark of joy every time I see a Tech fan in the wild, especially outside of the state. I feel like there is and should be some sort of camaraderie amongst us because we’re all fans/alumni of a unique place and went through all of the same sh*t together. A proud and select group. We complain about our dwindling number of fans, yet some act like this when encountered by other Tech fans and alumni. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
I enrolled at Tech 51 years ago and consider myself an official OF. Please feel free if you ever see me to say “go Jackets” and be assured I’ll say it back to you. I’ll probably even ask you when you got out. If you are wearing Tech gear I’ll be the one to ask you WTGW. I’ll probably also have a smile on my face. SWMBO says I’m too optimistic about Tech football because I can almost always see a pathway to victory before the games.
I don’t doubt at all the experiences that you describe. Just know that all old timers are not that way. It has to do more with the person and how you decide to go through life. I choose to do it with a smile on my face and love in my heart.
End of sermon.
 

Northeast Stinger

Helluva Engineer
Messages
9,800
On the other end of the spectrum, my daughter graduated from UGA and now works in Madison, Ws. She is a massive Georgia fan. She was in a staff meeting and her boss comes in and says, What’s the good word (no affiliation with Tech). My daughter immediately says, Tell hell with Georgia. She said everyone looked at her like she had three heads except for one person on her team who she found out went to Tech.

Both of my kids graduated from UGA and both will immediately say, To Hell with Georgia if you ask them, What’s the good word. They think it’s like a secret handshake.
One of my best friends went to uga and taught at Georgia for several years. He is a Tech fan. Part of that is that his dad played football at Tech. But the biggest part is he hated how football took priority with the students. Exams, term papers, class attendance, all were expected to be modified or canceled by “game day.” Even deans / heads of departments encouraged professors to “go light” on students during football season. He says his students got progressively worse about this each year. That and lousy pay causes him to seek employment elsewhere.
 
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