Rodrigo Blankenship's family, which includes, from left, girlfriend Logan Harrell, brother Ken, mother Izabel, sister Trina and father Kenny, had to come from all over the place to get there, but they all made it to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl. Courtesy Trina Blankenship for Dawg Nation
Photo: Courtesy Trina Blankenship for Dawg Nation
Photo: Courtesy Trina Blankenship for Dawg Nation

Bulldogs’ success also meaningful to players’ families

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Jake Fromm’s parents, Emerson and Lee Fromm, have made every game this season. Not surprising, until you think about they also were going to all of the games of their twin sons, Dylan and Tyler, who were starring for Warner Robins High School. And the Red Devils’ season didn’t end until the state championship, and then a week late.

The entire Fromm family then headed out to Los Angeles and Pasadena last week for the Rose Bowl, a trip from which they didn’t return until late Wednesday afternoon. All of them are back in Atlanta this weekend, of course.

“Loving it,” Lee Fromm said.

Often forgotten on journeys like this season has been for the Bulldogs is that, while a limited number of tickets are provided each games for players’ families, they still have to get there. And this year, that has meant trips to Notre Dame and Jacksonville, to Nashville, Knoxville and Auburn, to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl and now back to Atlanta.

It took Trina Blankenship, Rodrigo Blankenship’s sister, 13 hours each way to get to Pasadena to watch her brother kick a record 55-yard field goal in the Rose Bowl. That’s because she had multiple connections while seeking the lowest fare — and the trip still cost her $2,500.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” Trina Blankenship said.

And that was just Trina. Her brother Kenny drove from Tucson, Arizona, to New Orleans to meet his father, Kenny, who drove from Atlanta. From there they drove to Phoenix to meet Rodrigo’s mother Izabel and girlfriend Logan Harrell. They then rode together to Pasadena. Afterward, they had to drive by to Phoenix where, thankfully, they were all able to fly back home.

Multiply their travails by 85 athletes, not including non-scholarship players, and you begin to realize commitment of these players’ loved ones for being there to support them. Regardless of Monday night’s outcome in the national championship game against Alabama, it is number 15 for the players and their families.

It has been a remarkable year, indeed, but an expensive one, too. So hats off to all of the Bulldogs’ parents and brothers and sisters, most of whom have been there every step of the way.