Sugar Bowl won#039;t be the same in Atlanta

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

When Hurricane Katrina came ripping through the Big Easy I thought there would be one building that would withstand those 130-plus mph winds with no problems.

The Louisiana Superdome has been home to many a great football games whether it be college or professional.

No other city has hosted more Super Bowls than New Orleans.

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And the Sugar Bowl has made its home there since Jan. 1, 1935, when Tulane played host to Glen &#8221Pop“ Warner and his Temple Owls.

The Sugar Bowl then moved in 1975 into the 72,000-seat Superdome where it has been until this year.

Now with the extensive damage to the Superdome, the Sugar Bowl will move up the road to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Although it's a logical move, it is one that is hard to conceive.

The Sugar Bowl has always been synonymous with Bourbon Street, Mardis Gras, beignets and gumbo. This year the Sugar Bowl will be known for Peachtree Street, the Varsity, peaches and grits.

Putting the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta is like moving the Rose Bowl to Tempe, Ariz. It just doesn't seem right.

Right or wrong, Atlanta will be the temporary home until the Superdome is either renovated or rebuilt.

It just seems that the Sugar Bowl could have stayed in Louisiana instead of moving to the next available dome up the road.

There would have been nothing wrong with playing the Sugar Bowl at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Sure it's an open stadium, but the game would have at least stayed near New Orleans.

There have been many a great games played inside the Superdome.

If you are an Auburn or an Alabama fan, you can rattle off quite a few right off the top of your head.

Let's take a look at a few of those memorable games inside the Superdome:

n 1979: It took a goal-line stand to turn back Penn State for a 14-7 victory for Alabama. Penn State knocked on the door of the end zone four straight times, and the Tide turned the Nittany Lions back to win a share of the national championship.

n 1987: Auburn had won the Southeastern Conference title, but could not hold off a stout Syracuse team. The teams battled back and forth, but neither could gain an advantage over the other. So the two teams played to a 16-16 tie. Auburn coach Pat Dye took a lot of criticism for playing to a tie.

n 1984: Auburn placekicker Al Del Greco knocked through a chipshot field goal to lead the Tigers to a 9-7 win over Michigan and a possible national title. The Tigers looked poised to be named national champs given that the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the nation had fallen. Only it was No. 4 Miami which vaulted over the Tigers to be named the national champs.

n 1993: Alabama fans to this day still go wild when they see the video highlight of George Teague stripping the ball away from a Miami wide receiver and going the other way. That play was one of a number of incredible plays the Alabama defense made en route to a convincing 34-13 victory over the Hurricanes to claim the school's 12th outright national title.

Somehow with memories like that, the Sugar Bowl just won't be the same in Atlanta.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. E-mail him at or call (334) 382-3111 ext. 122.