Dugan Bridges’ (ABJ ’06) “distillery” helps entrepreneurs find the spirit of their idea

Dugan Bridges’ walk to work has, over the years, put him on bustling New York City sidewalks and Hollywood studio lots. Those walks through the global financial capital and the center of the entertainment universe taught him a lot and helped him grow. But it’s his walk to work today—past the Chapel, by the Arch and under the oak trees of North Campus—that he calls “heaven on earth.”

The Oconee County native came to UGA in 2002 with a strong interest in media production, so he set his sights on an ABJ in Telecommunication Arts. In his first three years at UGA, he took on a fairly high-profile extracurricular activity: the position of UGA Mic Man.

The Mic Man is a student who works to fire up Bulldog fans at football games. If you’ve watched or attended a game in Sanford Stadium and seen someone cheering, dancing, and screaming in front of the student section next to Hairy Dawg, you were looking at the Mic Man.

“I was baptized into college football and became a huge Georgia fan because of that,” said Dugan. “I traveled to all the games with the cheerleading team and the mascot. I ate with the athletes, I worked out with the athletes. It was an amazing experience.”

Dugan served as the Mic Man for three years, after which he focused on his major coursework and new extracurricular pursuits.

“I built relationships with people who are some of my best friends now, and we were making films on the side with whatever cameras I could get a hold of through the journalism school,” said Dugan. “I loved it, and I fell in love with UGA.”

Dugan, as Mic Man, leads the student section in Calling The Dawgs.

After graduating in 2006, Dugan headed for New York, where he found a job with a large marketing firm producing corporate videos for brands like Ford, Gillette and American Airlines. The work—though different from what he’d done in college—provided experience and connections.

It was also during this time that he met Jennifer, a New York-born woman who shared a surprising connection with Dugan.

“She loved that I was from Athens,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘How do you know about Athens?’ And I found out she was a big music fan, particularly REM. She said, ‘I read a book about them and the town they’re from, and I’ve always wanted to go there.’”

The future Mrs. Dugan Bridges would eventually get her wish. But for now, they were just dating, while Dugan and the college friends who accompanied him to New York continued to produce short films that were getting accepted to more and more film festivals.

In 2012, Dugan began eyeing a move to California. The prospect of leaving his college friends spurred the group to act on an idea they’d been kicking around since their Athens days. Financing was the big question, until someone suggested what was then a relatively unknown avenue for funding: Kickstarter.

“Time was running out, and it was the only shot we had,” said Dugan. “We thought we knew enough people, but movies are expensive, so this was the kind of favor you can only ask for once. We hoped that our network would show up, and thankfully, they did.”

“The Little Tin Man” became one of the first feature films to be funded by Kickstarter. The film premiered in 2013, was accepted to numerous film festivals around the country and eventually garnered interest from Gravitas Ventures and Amazon, who became its distributors.

Dugan and friends at an event for “The Little Tin Man”

By this time, Dugan and Jennifer had moved to Los Angeles, where the film’s success opened doors for Dugan as he began to pivot his career.

“In New York, I was doing more producing, some writing,” said Dugan. “But in LA, I was much more focused on pursuing writing and directing. The success of the film helped me meet working Hollywood screenwriters and producers and have them treat with me respect and not as some outsider.”

Those opened doors turned into a variety of opportunities for Dugan: mentors gained through writers groups, the chance to direct a fully funded short film, a position working for Robert Zemeckis, the award-winning director of “Forrest Gump” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

In 2016, Dugan and Jennifer welcomed their first child, Ronen. Dugan’s career continued to develop as Ronen did, but when his son took his first steps, Dugan’s perspective began to shift.

“As soon as he was able to start walking around, it was like I started having visions,” said Dugan. “For the first time in my adult life, a yard with green grass, a house, all that stuff really started to appeal to me.”

As Dugan’s interest in keeping his family in a one-bedroom apartment waned, his interest in returning to Georgia grew. But because of his work, leaving LA was a big decision.

“Ultimately, I realized that Hollywood is not a place—it’s a direction that you’re going,” said Dugan. “I realized I could go to Georgia, create, stay in contact with my networks in Los Angeles and New York, and help the community that’s growing here and has a desire to make something permanent.”

The Bridges family moved to Athens in 2018. Over the next year, Jennifer got a job with St. Mary’s Health Care System, Dugan got the pieces in place for a business, and Ronen got a brother. When Clark was born, the demands of home began to compete with the demands of work, and the family took a leap: Dugan would launch his business, and Jennifer would stay home with the kids.

Dugan with Jennifer and Clark

Dugan created F7 Film Distillery, a company that helps organizations and individuals refine the stories they share to their audiences. Dugan started F7 in his home, but reached out to UGA early on.

“I wanted to be in a creative environment, and I couldn’t think of a better one than on campus at UGA,” he said. “So, I put out some feelers, and the message I got was ‘This is a great idea, and we have something in the works, so we’ll get back to you.'”

That something was the Delta Innovation Hub. Located on Spring Street near downtown Athens, the Delta Innovation Hub is part of UGA’s Innovation District and hosts startup venture efforts, helps faculty become entrepreneurs, provides students the chance to work alongside UGA corporate partners and serves as the university’s front door for industry engagement.

In late 2020, Dugan was offered a space in the Hub, which opened earlier this year. In September, F7 Film Distillery officially moved in.

Dugan on the set of “Rubber Room,” a TV pilot he directed and co-wrote

Now, alongside his F7 work, Dugan is working with UGA student interns, sharing ideas with other start-ups in the building and preparing to take part in pitch competitions to help aspiring entrepreneurs sharpen and curate their ideas. And when he leaves work, he’s able to walk back under those North Campus oaks, by the Arch and past the Chapel on his way home, to a family that’s grown by two—Micah, 2, and Scarlett, 6 months—since they moved to Athens.

“When I moved back into town from LA and New York, I asked myself, ‘If I’m going to plant here for the next decade, how do I want to live it?’ And all I could think was, ‘I’d love to be back on campus,'” Dugan said. “There’s just so much energy. Surrounding yourself with these aspirational people takes you back to an aspirational time in your own life.

“That’s the environment I wanted to be in, and I found it.”

History of the Rivalry: Florida

The University of Georgia Bulldogs once kicked off from their own 8-yard line. This wasn’t at a time when the rules of football were dramatically different, nor was it the result of player error. The Dawgs kicked off in the shadow of their own goal posts by choice.

It was so important that they thumb their nose at their opponent and break the rules of the game that they said, “Fine. Put the ball wherever.”

What drives a team to this point? Winning at this level of college football requires scratching out every last tiny advantage, but UGA was willing to give up nearly 30 yards of field position in the first quarter of a game against a hated rival.

Why? It’s a long answer, over a century old, but it’s the reason the Georgia-Florida rivalry is one of the best in sports. And while there are dozens of moments one could point to, we’ll isolate three pivotal snapshots in the series.

Our villain’s origin story

 It’s 4th and 8 for the Gators. Down 20-10 against the Bulldogs, they’re on their own 25 with time running out. Stephen Spurrier is under center, the senior quarterback responsible for so many great Gator moments. Just last week, he had mounted a heroic, fourth-quarter drive against Auburn and kicked the game-winning field goal himself, practically cementing his place as the 1966 Heisman frontrunner.

The seventh-ranked Gators needed some of those heroics now, but Spurrier was having a bad day—multiple sacks and three interceptions—and he had always struggled in Jacksonville, having gone 1-1 against the Bulldogs, who were on the rise under third-year coach Vince Dooley.

Florida’s first undefeated season, a shot at their first SEC Championship, and the pride of having conquered the hated Bulldogs all hung in the balance for Spurrier on this fourth down.

The ball is snapped, and almost immediately Georgia’s pass rush is in his face. But Spurrier spots a receiver dashing for the first down marker. He finds his man two yards from a new set of downs and a sliver of hope. In an instant, three red shirts appear and topple Florida’s hopes.

Just like that, it was over: no undefeated season, likely no SEC title, and a losing record for Spurrier in his playing career against the Bulldogs.

In a post-game interview, Spurrier said, “I’ve never had a good day in the Gator Bowl and I guess I never will. It’s a jinx place for me.”

The Bulldogs couldn’t know it then, but embarrassing the hyper-competitive Spurrier here planted a seed. What grew out of it, nearly a quarter century later, would give the Gators everything they ever wanted and give the Bulldogs an archnemesis for the ages.

Reasons to destroy some property

After Spurrier left Gainesville, the Dawgs took control of the series, going 16-6-1 from 1967 – 1989. The Gators were no pushovers during this stretch: Ten times in those 23 games, the Gators came to Jacksonville ranked, and only once did they walk away with a victory. This run included perhaps the most well-known moment of the Georgia-Florida series.

But in 1990, Florida called their Heisman winner home, and the impact was immediate: The Gators went from 7-5 in 1989 to 9-2 in 1990. Meanwhile, Georgia was in its second year under Ray Goff, who had been named head coach after Vince Dooley retired in 1988. In ’89, Goff’s Dawgs could only reach 6-6, but they did get a win over Florida.

That was Goff’s last victory over the Gators. Spurrier and his Florida teams began their ascent, and Georgia—despite going 9-3 in ’91 and 10-2 in ’92—got swallowed in the Gators’ wake. And in 1995, it all came to a head.

In the mid-90s, Jacksonville’s stadium was being rebuilt to prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the Georgia-Florida game moved to each team’s home stadium for the ’94 and ’95 seasons. The 1994 game was played in Gainesville, where the Gators romped, winning 52-14. In 1995, things didn’t look much better. The Gators, back-to-back SEC champs, came to Athens with two wins over top-10 teams, while Georgia had not beaten a ranked team since January 1993.

So, on October 28, 1995, the Gators walked into Sanford Stadium for the first time in 63 years, and things played out exactly as you’d expect. Future Heisman-winner Danny Wuerffel threw 5 touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter. His backup would throw two more and bring the final score to 52-17.

It remains the record for points allowed by the Bulldogs at home. Legend has it that Spurrier stated after the game that he had wanted to “hang half a hundred” on Georgia because “we heard no one had ever done that before.”

This account is disputed by Spurrier, but whether it’s true or not, he exacted humiliating revenge on the Bulldogs that night, a highlight for his Florida coaching career, which ended in 2001 with 6 SEC titles, a national championship and an 11-1 record against Georgia.

“And here comes the entire team!”

The 2001 season began with a new head coach for UGA, Mark Richt—formerly the offensive coordinator for some of Bobby Bowden’s best Florida State teams—and it ended with Steve Spurrier’s departure from Florida.

Richt would quickly re-establish UGA as a contender, winning the SEC in 2002 and 2005, but he could not find consistent success against the Gators. This was especially frustrating for Georgia fans who watched Ron Zook, Spurrier’s successor, win no more than 8 games every year.

Things became even more frustrating when, after Richt’s first win against Florida in 2004, the Gators fired Zook and hired Urban Meyer, who immediately returned UF to their Bulldog-beating ways and won a national title in year two.

This brings us back to the start of our story. By 2007, Richt had more SEC titles (2) than he had wins against Florida (1). And with a trip to Jacksonville to play the defending national champions looming, Richt and every other Bulldog on Earth was well aware that the Dawgs were 2-15 against Florida since 1990.

Richt knew the Dawgs needed something, anything, to shake off this bad juju and inject some swagger into their game if they hoped to compete with the Gator Goliath. In the week leading up to the game, he told his team: after our first touchdown, celebrate so much that you get a penalty.

So, when Knowshon Moreno leapt over a pile of bodies to score the first touchdown of the game midway through the first quarter, the entire offense celebrated in the end zone. Eleven Bulldogs quickly turned into 53 as the Georgia sideline migrated as one into the endzone.

Nearly every referee on the field hurled a yellow flag into the air as Georgia players jumped, screamed, danced, posed, chest-thumped and fist-pumped in the end zone.

It felt like a dam breaking. Decades of nerves, doom-saying and head-shaking all shaken off with one exuberant moment. The Gators answered back with a touchdown almost immediately, but it didn’t matter: the “Gator Stomp” was such an unexpected, audacious and spirited action that the Gators flinched, and Georgia knew that was all they needed.

UGA won, 42-30, and the brazen celebration launched them to finish the season as the no. 3 team in the nation. Even when Florida won the next three matches, often by a great margin, the Gators knew Georgia could no longer be counted on to dutifully suffer through their Jacksonville trip on the way to a 9-3 record and a good-not-great bowl game.

Florida knew now that if you weren’t careful, the Bulldogs would stomp you.

Since the Gator Stomp, the Georgia-Florida series has been dead even, with both teams winning seven games. However, since Kirby Smart’s return to Athens in 2016, the Dawgs have taken four games to the Gators’ two. This year will be especially interesting, as Billy Napier will lead the Gators into TIAA Bank Field for the first time. Georgia is at the height of its powers and Napier has rekindled hope in the hearts of Florida fans, so expect a classic Georgia-Florida contest: a charged battle between two well-acquainted foes with championship aspirations.

One of whom wears jean shorts.

Your one-stop shop for UGA football fandom is alumni.uga.edu/football! Check in every week for new football blogs and videos, information on UGA Alumni events, and more.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 8, 2021: Florida

Call him crazy, but Jerry feels pretty good about the best-in-the-nation Georgia Bulldogs versus the SEC East’s fourth best team.

Make sure you Never Bark Alone by finding game-watching parties near you at alumni.uga.edu/football!

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 7, 2021: Kentucky

Hard to believe Mark Stoops has been at Kentucky 9 years. [checks record against UGA] Here’s to 9 more, coach!

Homecoming is here! To find out everything that’s going on this week and weekend, head over to alumni.uga.edu/football.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

UGA claims Beat Week victory (again)

It’s always an exciting matchup when UGA and Auburn go head-to-head, and Beat Week 2021 was no exception.

Beat Week is the philanthropic counterpart to “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” and the rules are simple: the university with the most gifts raised during the week leading up to the game wins!

Following our narrow 3,200 to 2,900 victory last season, Auburn was looking to even the series this year—and early on, it appeared they might just do it.

However, the UGA community overcame a slow start and took a Monday afternoon lead, which they never relinquished. The result was a double dose of victory for UGA on and off the field. And when the dust settled in the Gift Accounting office, the final score stood:

  • UGA–2,790
  • Auburn–2,247

A good coach always acknowledges that every win is a team effort, and that’s certainly true for Beat Week. Everyone played a role: alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of UGA!

UGA’s student body had an impressive outing worthy of SportsCenter’s Top-10 performances; over 800 students flexed their philanthropic muscles and took part in the effort!

Beat Week raised over $650,000 to over 200 fund designations across campus supporting scholarships, research, academic programming and a lot more; proving that UGA isn’t just No. 1 in the latest AP Poll, but also in generosity.

Thank you to everyone who made Beat Week a success! GO DAWGS!

Written by Evan Tighe (BSED ’08, MA ’11), Senior Director of Annual and Special Giving

Celebrating Global Diversity Awareness Month by highlighting a special mentoring relationship

Graduate student Kehinde “Kenny” Lawal came to the University of Georgia from Nigeria. She credits her mentor, Alex Gomez (BSBCHE ’13), with helping her make the most of her time on campus.

The Mentee

Kenny decided to attend UGA because she wanted to earn a Master of Science in engineering at a reputable university. Her husband, also a graduate student at UGA, influenced her decision.

Moving to Athens also was Kenny’s first time in the United States. She found the university system here different from back home, and it took her a couple of semesters to feel comfortable.

Kenny eventually joined the UGA Mentor Program to gain a better understanding of the American energy industry. Her search to find a mentor with experience in that field led her to Alex.

“My mentor has been great at showing me where I was at the time and where I needed to be,” Kenny said. “He guided me in setting short- and long-term goals. He also made me aware of opportunities available at UGA to help me build a brand for myself.”

Kenny says her positive experience with Alex has inspired her to become a UGA Mentor when she graduates.

The Mentor

Here, in his own words, Alex describes his experience mentoring Kenny.

It has been a pleasure to get to know Kenny. As an international student, she has overcome unique challenges that I never experienced as a student. Talking through stories together, I got to see how those challenges have her well-prepared for times of transition. Her resilience will not only benefit her career, but it also serves as an example for me to learn from. I use the insights I gain from talking with Kenny to illustrate to others who are considering becoming mentors that mentorship is a two-way learning experience.

I am always impressed by students who are taking advantage of the opportunities UGA provides, and that goes for Kenny, too. Mentorship is an investment. It requires that both mentors and mentees put in energy and effort in order to come out with a valuable experience. Kenny always took any “homework” I gave her and acted on her own to get it done. Her initiative has continuously encouraged me, especially how seamlessly she manages classes, research and family—all while still prioritizing personal development.

Kenny is goal-oriented, proactive, curious about educational and career opportunities, and extremely qualified to excel in whatever she does. Itt has been rewarding for me to watch her confidence grow to match her abilities and qualifications. Kenny is certain to go on to be a great reflection of UGA.

It may amaze you how much you get out of being a UGA Mentor

 

A holistic Dawg

Nancy Juneau’s commitment to the University of Georgia is a way of life.

She’s a UGA grad (BSED ’82), a Georgia Bulldogs sports fan and the mother of a UGA alumna. Her company, Juneau Construction, helped grow UGA’s campus and build new residence halls on East Campus. And when she became a UGA Foundation Trustee, she visited every UGA school and college to meet their development directors to learn about what mattered to their area of campus. She followed those discussions by making separate donations in support of each and every school/college. And then, she and her husband, Les, funded four Georgia Commitment Scholarships, and she mentors those scholarship recipients. “There are so many ways you can make a difference!” she always says.

Underscoring her commitment, Nancy also is a member of the Heritage Society. She included language in her will that specifies a gift to the University of Georgia Foundation as part of her estate plan. “Paying it forward and giving others opportunity. This is what is important to me,” Nancy explains. “UGA made it easy and personal.”

Nancy and Les Juneau

What it means to give holistically

A ‘blended gift’ combines annual giving with a planned gift, allowing you to see the impact of your philanthropy today while continuing to support the university’s mission well into the future. The planned giving team in UGA’s Office of Gift and Estate Planning are happy to show you how to give in the way that is most advantageous to you. Just a few minutes of your time can ensure your generosity has the greatest impact now and long after you’re gone.

 

Grady College of Journalism celebrates its 40 Under 40 honorees

Sarah Freeman and Dayne Young, along with other talented members of Grady’s team of writers, put these features together!

Seven Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication graduates are represented in this year’s 40 Under 40 class. This annual program celebrates young alumni leading the pack in their industries and communities, and Grady was proud to highlight each of them on their blog this summer/fall.

Angela Alfano

Angela Alfano

Angela Alfano (ABJ ’10, AB ’10) is the senior director of corporate communications for Major League Soccer. She used her public relations education and experience with UGA Athletics to embark on a trailblazing career in professional sports. Alfano also has worked in corporate communications for the National Football League, Washington Football Team and Tough Mudder. She regularly shares her time and expertise with UGA students. Alfano was recognized as a 2019 John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award winner.

Learn more about Angela.

Jennifer Bellamy

Jennifer Bellamy

Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ ’08) is an anchor and reporter for 11 Alive News in Atlanta. Bellamy has been a journalist for multiple television stations around the south. Bellamy’s fellow Grady grads, mentors and past professors supported her on her journey through broadcast news. She has earned various awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 2015 for Outstanding Local Television Investigative Reporting for report on “DSS: When the System Fails,” the Bronze Medallion from the Society of Professional Journalists and several Southeast Emmy awards.

Learn more about Jennifer.

Greg Bluestein

Greg Bluestein

Greg Bluestein (ABJ ’04, AB ’04) is a political reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and covers the governor’s office and state politics. He joined the newspaper in June 2012 after spending seven years with the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press, where he covered a range of beats including politics and legal affairs. He contributes to the AJC’s Political Insider blog and is writing a book, “How the Peach State Turned Purple,” about the 2020 Georgia elections. He discussed the publication process and identifying local angles in national stories in this episode of Grady College’s The Lead podcast.

Learn more about Greg.

Marie Green Broder

Marie Greene Broder

Marie Greene Broder (ABJ ’06, AB ’06, JD ’10) is the first female district attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, including Fayette, Pike, Spalding and Upson counties. Broder graduated from UGA as a dual public relations and speech communications major and continued with a law degree. She has developed a specialty in trying crimes against women and children, and is involved with Promise Place and the Southern Crescent Sexual Assault Child Advocacy Center.

Learn more about Marie.

Bowen Reichert Shoemaker

Bowen Reichert Shoemaker

Elizabeth “Bowen” Reichert Shoemaker (ABJ ’06) is an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a position she has held since 2018. Previously, she was a senior associate at Alston & Bird, LLP and a law clerk to Judge Hugh Lawson. While at UGA, she majored in public relations and was in the Honors Program and Arch Society. Shoemaker earned her law degree from Mercer Law School where she served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review. In her hometown of Macon, Shoemaker serves on the executive board of the Macon Rotary Club, as an adjunct professor at Mercer Law School, and on the executive committee of the Macon Arts Alliance.

Learn more about Bowen.

Britanny Thoms

Brittany Thoms

Brittany Thoms (ABJ ’04) is the co-founder and president of See.Spark.Go, an Athens-based public relations agency. She and her husband, Andy Thoms (BSFCS ’02), founded See.Spark.Go in 2007 with the goal of telling the best stories in the world. They specialize in publicity, social media and digital marketing. Their team has worked with some of the nation’s largest brands on many successful campaigns and events.

Learn more about Brittany.

View the full list of honorees

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 6, 2021: Auburn

Let’s welcome first-year Auburn coach Bryan Harsin to the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry! By the way, if you lose, it’s the first time in 70 years Auburn’s lost five in a row. No pressure!

Beat Week is a one-week giving challenge where alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and fans are called together to show their support for Georgia and Auburn. Help UGA claim a second consecutive Beat Week victory, by making a donation of any size at AUvUGA.com!

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Alumni Podcast Spotlight: Waitin’ Since Last Saturday

Born in Five Points in Athens, Waitin’ Since Last Saturday is a podcast focused on UGA athletics helmed by two Dawgs—Scott Duvall (AB ’00) and Tony Waller (BSA ’90, JD ’93)—and an Illinois grad who quickly developed his own Bulldog fandom, Will Leitch. We asked the three of them about how the podcast came to be, their personal UGA-fan “origin stories,” favorite moments from the pod, and more.

How did you all meet?

Scott: Will and his wife moved to Athens and we hung out for a couple years. He got to experience his first-ever Georgia game-watching party with me and my friends in 2013. The Dawgs lost against Clemson, but he was sold on the fun and passion of being a Georgia fan.

I met Tony through Will. He introduced me to Tony at a Georgia basketball game and I remember asking Will, ‘Hey, is he that famous Georgia blogger?’ He was indeed that. The next couple of times I ran into him, it was like we had hung out for years.

What was your UGA experience like?

Scott: My UGA experience was fantastic. As far as football goes, there were many ups and downs and a lot of losses to Florida. But the years I spent as an undergrad in Athens caused me to fall in love with the city—and fall in love with my girlfriend, whom I married a year after graduation. I graduated with a BA in Speech Communication and have used those skills to help develop my talent as a filmmaker, photographer and podcaster.

Tony: It was an interesting time in the University’s life. We were transitioning from the Davidson to the Knapp years, downtown was transitioning from mom-and-pop stores to more student focused businesses, parking was still out on the other side of the railroad tracks near the loop. I was fortunate to live in my fraternity house for three years after a year in Russell, so I was always close to campus—a great thing because I was very involved in campus activities.

Will: My wife is an alum, and we met in New York City in 2007. I knew she loved football—how could you go to UGA and not?—but I didn’t quite realize how much until the 2012 SEC Championship Game. We were living on the 22nd floor of a high-rise apartment building in downtown Brooklyn, watching the game with our new infant sleeping in the next room. When Chris Conley came up just short at the goal line, I was legitimately afraid my wife was going to throw an office chair out the window and onto unsuspecting New Yorkers hundreds of feet below. I wanted to be a part of anything that would make someone so passionate. When we moved here in 2013, with our kids going to school just across the street from Butts-Mehre, it was impossible not to get sucked in.

When did you know you were a Bulldog?

Scott: I was playing in a high school baseball game my senior year, and my mom held up my acceptance letter to UGA while I was in the on deck circle. I have no idea what I did during my plate appearance that day, but I was as excited as I could be. A few months later, I moved into Creswell Hall.

Tony: In 1978, when I was listening to Munson call the Rex Robinson FG to win at Kentucky while riding back from a rec. sports playoff football game in Port Wentworth.

What was the inspiration behind Waitin’ Since Last Saturday?

Scott: We were at Grindhouse Burgers on Lumpkin Street talking Georgia football, of course. I remember Will casually saying, “I’d do a podcast with you two.” Tony and I looked at each other and basically in unison, said, “Oh, we’re so doing this.”

Tony and I thought it was cool to have Will as a co-host. He wasn’t from here, didn’t grow up a Georgia fan and didn’t even attend Georgia. It would be a journey for him to learn in real time, during shows, the little nuances of why we do things a certain way in Athens.

Tony: I’ve had two different UGA Athletics-focused blogs over the years. I’ve always liked talking more than writing, so I’ve been doing podcasts in my head for years. Given the chance to work with a talented producer like Scott and a smart writer like Will just gave me an excuse to do so out loud.

How did you get started?

Scott: Our first show and the majority of our shows for the 2015 and 2016 seasons were recorded at my house in east Athens. Why my house? Well, I had one condenser microphone. I remember we had a hard time getting the sound just right. You could imagine three guys talking into one mic. But that’s what we did for the first few episodes. Then Tony bought two more. We still use those same three mics today.

How has the podcast grown over the past 6 years?

Scott: We just hit over half a million downloads. But, in all honesty, we gauge our growth on interactions. When someone stops us at a football game, or at a restaurant and lets us know how much they enjoy the show, that means so much to me. I especially love it when it happens when my family is around— my kids usually just roll their eyes.

We have sponsors during the football season and that helps validate the hours we put into the show. Growth is good, but the three of us would probably still do it only if 50 people listened.

Was there a moment where you felt like the podcast really took off?

Tony: We had fortuitous timing, in that we started a podcast in August of Coach Richt’s last season. Having a coaching transition and the excitement of Coach Smart’s first season helped us grow, but 2017 really gave us legs.

Scott: Some of the best shows we did coincided with the Dawgs’ 2017 season. It was the “revenge tour”—that’s how we kept referring to it—and the response on social media and download numbers shot up dramatically as Georgia kept winning games.

How do you balance the podcast with other commitments? When do you find the time to record?

Scott: I’m always editing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporate video for the University of Georgia or a local non-profit, or if I’m going through a photoshoot for a client. I’m always editing, and I love it. Having said that, there are times where I have a huge deadline and Will and Tony are great to understand that I either can’t join them or won’t be able to edit the show.

Tony: We just have to be intentional about carving out time. My wife gets that talking with these two is my personal counseling time. The fact Scott hits record is just a bonus.

What has been your favorite moment in creating the podcast?

Scott: My favorite moment is anytime Tony goes off on one of his crazy stories about his trip to Columbia, South Carolina or smoking meats, or throwing shade at opposing fans and coaches. I’m convinced Tony could be a stand-up comic.

Which guests have stuck out to you?

Scott: Georgia beat writer Seth Emerson is always a good one because he has the pulse of the team and it’s great to provide that kind of insight to our listeners.

Tony: The two Australians I spot interviewed in the stands during the break at the start of overtime at the Rose Bowl. These guys picked a heck of a game to get their first American college football game under their belts.

Any new, exciting content that listeners can anticipate this season?

Scott: Yep, I gazed into the future and Georgia’s going to win the national championship this year.

This one’s for Will. You’re an alumnus of the University of Illinois, but having been in Athens this long and in this specific era, do you now consider yourself a bigger fan of UGA or Illinois?

Will: Fortunately, these teams have yet to play each other—other than in women’s college basketball—since I moved here, so I don’t have to face this often. But I grew up right next to Champaign and have orange and blue (the good orange and blue, not the Auburn orange and blue) in my blood. If Illinois ever plays at Stegeman, you’ll see me in my season ticket seats wearing the Illini colors, I’m afraid. But I won’t be a jerk about it.

The real question: Who would my CHILDREN cheer for? Let me know when you know the answer so I can update my will.