Jeff Saturday and Hines Ward are set to ride together in a KIA Sportage on Saturday (from KIA motors), having been chosen as the honorees for Kia Game Ball Delivery at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game; not that college football predictions enthusiasts care enough to comment on this issue.
It has become the norm for team celebrities to be recognized before the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. The KIA Sportage that Saturday and Ward will ride in is the official vehicle of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The pair will ride to the midfield shortly before the coin flip.
They are expected to present the officiating crew with game balls from the two teams. If all goes according to plan then the coaching legend himself, Vince Dooley, will make an appearance accompanied to the midfield by nephews Ashton and Sean (the late Bill Dooley’s sons).
Bill and Vince both famously coached at North Carolina and Georgia. They were set to appear together at the event. However, Bill died tragically earlier in the month (at the age of 82).
His death will be recognized by a moment of silence, this before his sons and their uncle participate in the honorary coin toss.
It will fall upon Hines Ward, Georgia’s dynamic offensive weapon, to deliver the game ball to the bulldogs. Ward was entered into the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Hall of Fame in 2015 in recognition of the many years he spent with the Bulldogs, playing primarily as a wide receiver.
Ward garnered quite the reputation, boasting 149 career receptions for 1,965 yards. While he spent most of his career as a wide receiver, Ward also played tailback, tallying up an impressive number of all-purpose yards.
Ward broke records during his time, displacing the likes of Herschel Walker in the record books. Drafted by the Steelers in 1998 (following his tour of Athens), Ward spent more than a decade in the Steel City, eventually taking home the MVP of Super Bowl XL.
It will fall on the shoulders of Jeff Saturday to deliver the game ball for the Tar Heels. Jeff enjoyed a long and lucrative career as a footballer, winning numerous accolades, and this isn’t even taking into account the two times he was named the team captain.
Kicking his career off with the Baltimore Ravens, Jeff eventually went to and spent more than a decade with the Indianapolis Colts. The Atlantic Native is a Super Bowl Champion that was named to Six Pro Bowls.
Georgia and North Carolina haven’t met for many decades, in fact, not since the 1971 Gator Bowl. Hines and Saturday will share the cheers at the 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with Vince Dooley, who spent more than two decades as head coach at the University of Georgia.
Vince is no lightweight, having won six SEC titles and a national championship in the 1980s. Bill assisted his brother during his days at Georgia, boasting three ACC titles of his own. He might be the Tar Heels’ winningest coach ever, eventually going on to find success at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Georgia and North Carolina will face off in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game on the third of September at 5:30 p.m., with ESPN televising the game nationally.