UGA fan heads to national championship years after open heart surgery

UGA fan heads to national championship years after open heart surgery
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:27 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - In a basement in Winder, Georgia, about 25 miles from Athens, David Brock has hundreds of ticket stubs, posters and helmets.

His red and black “man cave” is mostly devoted to his alma mater, The University of Georgia.

“Every piece in here has some meaning to me in some way,” Brock said. “It just brings back old memories of great times we’ve had in Athens.”

David is a UGA grad. Along with his wife Susan, daughter Savannah, and son Bailey who is named after UGA superstar and Hall of Famer, Champ Bailey.

“Both of our children we started taking to the games when they were 3 years old,” Brock said.

For more than 20 years, the Brocks have spent most football Saturdays in the same four seats inside Sanford Stadium. So about five years ago when the Dawgs traveled to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, David planned a secret trip for his dawg-loving family.

“When we accepted the bid to the Rose Bowl in 2017 I secured the tickets, but I didn’t tell the kids that and we did and we surprised them. And we made a little video that all four of us as a family were going to go to Pasadena and enjoy what was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us,” Brock said.

But just days before the game, that once-in-a-lifetime trip to California was canceled. After some mild chest pains, David’s doctor told him needed double bypass open-heart surgery.

“He told me bluntly that if you would’ve gotten on that plane for Pasadena, you wouldn’t have come home,” Brock said.

David had the surgery in Athens at Piedmont Regional Hospital, not far from campus. He made it through and watched the Dawgs clinch a double-overtime Rose Bowl victory. David was admittedly sad not to see it in person.

David is back to normal. A clean bill of health allowed him to travel to Indianapolis last year where the Dawgs won it all for the first time in more than four decades.

“It all hit me at once. I was a flood of emotions for Georgia winning. I had tears of joy for that. But I am not ashamed to say this, I actually sobbed a little in the stadium then as well because I was thinking about how God had graced me to get to that point and get through what I did to be able to experience something that, frankly after those 41 years, I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to experience ever again,” Brock said.

David and his daughter flew to Los Angeles to watch the 2023 National Championship at SoFi stadium. They’re hoping for another epic Dawgs win.