Bulldog Fans Taking Over Bourbon Street

By Tim Guidera

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- On the final Sunday of the NFL season and with the Saints playing for a spot in the playoffs, the two biggest teams in New Orleans' most famous neighborhood were still two days away from their game.

From Jackson Brewery to Bourbon Street, Sugar Bowl fans had taken over the French Quarter preparing to celebrate the new year along with their school's berth in a BCS bowl.

"Hawaii fans don't get to travel too much but this is the one chance we have,'' said Norman Aweau, who traveled from Oahu for Tuesday's game. "This could be history, that's why we're here.''

To this point, it had been mostly Hawaii fans arriving in New Orleans.

But by midday Sunday, the volume in town started to favor Georgia, in numbers and in noise.

"I'm surprised at how many Hawaii fans are here, really surprised, but we're getting ready to take over,'' said Jack Green, a UGA junior who was celebrating his 21st birthday Saturday in New Orleans. "We're going to run Bourbon Street.

"The Georgia fans are coming, we saw them on I-85,'' said Tiffany Williams, who drove down from Athens Sunday morning. "We are going to be here in force.''

And as the crowd on Bourbon Street grew, you never knew who you might see.

But you certainly who they were for.

"I think you're going to start seeing a lot more red here,'' said Georgia Athletics Director Damon Evans, who mingled with Bulldog fans downtown Sunday. "I think as it gets darker, it's going to get a lot more, uh, festive.''

By Tuesday night, when Georgia figures to have about 80 percent of the crowd at the Super Dome on its side, New Orleans could be even more of a Bulldog party.

"It's going to be wild,'' said UGA fan Scott Lester. "I understand they're going to do a white out compared to our blackout, but it's going to be all right. I think we're going to go in there and take care of business.''