Georgia bowl games a family tradition for father, daughter

Alex Edquist doesn’t exactly know why she and her father Darrell started a family tradition of donning face paint and wacky wigs for Georgia Bulldog bowl games, but she sure remembers when the ball got rolling.


“My freshman year, my dad and I went to the Capital One Bowl game and didn’t know we’d be doing something like this,” said Edquist, a UGA Foundation Fellow who graduated in 2016 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics.

“We found places with paint and wigs and went to the game,” she said. “We were on TV and my mother didn’t even recognize us because she didn’t know we were going to do what we did. Since that first year, it’s become a tradition that we go to Georgia’s bowl game (and get dressed up).”

Edquist and her father have since attended five bowl games, including the recent Rose Bowl, in their red-and-black get-ups, and as one might imagine, every game has yielded a pretty good story.

There was that Capital One Bowl in 2013, when the family cut a ski trip short to travel to Orlando to see the Bulldogs defeat Nebraska 45-31. The next year’s Gator Bowl wasn’t as pleasant as the Edquists experienced their only bowl loss with Georgia bowing to Nebraska 24-19.

Bowl trips during Edquist’s junior and senior years ended on much more positive notes as the Bulldogs defeated Louisville at the frigid Belk Bowl in 2014 and then slipped by Penn State in the TaySlayer Bowl, which was the first bowl Edquist’s sister Austin performed at as a UGA cheerleader.

And while Edquist, who works as a business consultant in Atlanta, and her father, a loan officer for a metro Atlanta home mortgage company, enjoyed their time together cheering on the Bulldogs and making occasional appearances on bowl telecasts, it was somewhat bothersome to them (and, obviously, many others) that Georgia wasn’t garnering invitations from the top-tier bowls.

“Since they’ve played in a lot of crappy bowl games the last few years, it was easy to get good tickets,” she said.

But all those memories were summarily erased when the Edquist family joined the Bulldog Nation in California for the Rose Bowl. It was a particularly notable trip for Darrell Edquist, who was born and raised in the Golden State.

“My dad was going to play football at Utah State, but was injured in a car accident and wound up going to Cal State-Fullerton,” said Edquist, who added that her father met her mother Sue in California. “They don’t have a football team at his school and he’s a big college football fan, so he’s never really had a college team to root for. He went all-in when we went to Georgia.”

Edquist, who with her father turned up a time or two during ESPN’s Rose Bowl broadcast, admits she was experiencing a mini-crisis in faith during the first half against Oklahoma.

“I am a Bulldog fan, so I’m kind of accustomed not letting my expectations get too high, and it took me a while to realize how good they actually were,” she said. “It took a while for me to believe.

“The first half was kind of tough, especially because we were sitting next to a bunch of Sooners fans. You’re trying your best to believe, to remember they fell behind to Auburn at the SEC championships and still pulled that off. But we just couldn’t get to halftime quick enough. When they came out and forced those three-and-outs and scored a few times, I knew we were on our way. The energy in the crowd was so different before halftime. I guess the fans needed to reset as well.”

Barring some kind of 11th hour miracle, Alex and Darrell Edquist probably won’t be in attendance for Monday’s national championship game between No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

“The ticket situation is impossible,” she said. “I guess that’s the main problem with being a good football team – it’s expensive. We’re going to be in town and if we see tickets we can afford, we’ll be there.”