On Saturday, the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia will square off yet again with the Yellow Jackets of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
After dozens of meetings over the decades, the intense rivalry between UGA and Georgia Tech has developed its own history of contempt, derision and misery as the teams clash again and again, working to prove superiority for at least the next 364 days.
The rivalry even has its own catchphrase/nickname, one that sums up much of the passion of rivalry in its succinct nature: “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.”
It’s a nickname that could just as easily apply to the dozens of other high-stakes games going on this weekend on what is popularly known as Rivalry Week, when teams take on their most disliked foes: Alabama vs. Auburn. Ohio State vs. Michigan. And so on and so forth, enough games to fill the day with impassioned hatred.
Of course, the beauty of football hatred is it tends to stay on the field. The next day, there may be some derisive comments from winners to losers, some trash talk about next year, but neighbors generally go back to being neighbors as soon as the last seconds tick off the clock.
Let’s take that as a goal for the future as our nation continues to treat political divisions as some never-ending form of Rivalry Week. Even here in Walton County, Republicans and Democrats must live alongside one another, so let’s keep the “hate” figurative. We can boast about winning the next election later. For today, being good neighbors should be our goal.