Georgia Tech Week Mailbag - Why Sy the Photo Guy was the Quintessential Georgia Tech Graduate

Question: Coach, I know we are playing GTurd this week. In honor of that, can you tell us whether the band camp kids in American Pie or the SciFi geeks in Can’t Hardly Wait are better representatives of future GTurd graduates?

I’m actually going to have to say neither and go in a third direction. While there are certainly overlaps between Georgia Tech graduates and the guys sitting on the roof of the party during Can’t Hardly Wait bragging about non-existent girlfriends and playing with Star Trek figurines, the real truth is something much darker.

And that brings us to the protagonist of One Hour Photo - Sy the Photo Guy, portrayed by Robin Williams. For those who aren’t familiar with the movie, One Hour Photo is about a bizarre employee in the one hour photo section of a store who becomes obsessed with a family that drops off their photos there. 


Though it isn’t in the script, there’s simply no way Sy the Photo Guy doesn’t hold a management degree from Georgia Tech. He’s angry, strange, single, lonely, poorly dressed, socially inept, and believes he has a much more prestigious job than he actually does. He’s the kind of guy who sits in the lunchroom by himself, posts on Stingtalk, and scoffs at passing co-workers who are UGA fans while boasting about his SAT math score. In high school, he used to tell classmates who were giving him a swirlie or shoving his head into a locker that one day he would employ them all when he made millions of dollars in Silicon Valley. In reality, he never made it further west than his aunt’s house in Marietta. He’s the guy who whines to the staff at Beef O’Brady’s and tries to have me ejected when I bark at him.

You know on Saturday morning he’ll be sitting by himself in his apartment and angrily hoping for a win, but preparing a list of insults that reference the value of his degree and the average starting salary of a Georgia Tech graduate when the inevitable loss happens.