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November 5, 2008

Mailbag: Should the Cocktail Party Leave Jacksonville


Image: Josh Massey

I get asked this quite a bit. Given our lack of success, should we move the Georgia vs. Florida game out of Jacksonville. The scenarios proposed are usually:
    A. Go home and home with the series
    B. Go to a Jacksonville / GA Dome Rotation
First off, I don't think the location of the game is the problem. Nor do I think that bye weeks, schedules or talent are the problem. The problem (in my blow hard opinion) is that our team pisses itself upon crossing the Florida state line. Right now, we could play Florida in Gainesville, Tokyo or Peru, and it wouldn't matter. Until our coaches and players decide that enough is enough, it's going to stay like it is. Venue isn't it.

And if you're a player reading this and getting mad. Go ahead and get mad. Then take it out on Florida. But back to the question at hand.

I don't think that Option B is an option at all. I don't see the game ever making a long term rotation through the Georgia Dome, and here's why:
  • Seating Capacity - The Georgia Dome's official capacity is 71,250. Attendance for the most recent UGA vs. UF game in Jacksonville was 84,649. That's a difference of over 13,000 seats. Or 6,500 fewer seats per team. That's roughly 15% fewer tickets per fan base.

  • Sky Rocketing Hartman Fund Cut-Off Levels for UGA Fans - If you moved the game to Atlanta every other year, you would be moving the game closer to the largest segment of the UGA fan base, and you would logically anticipate dramatically higher demand for tickets. Greater demand + fewer tickets would create an upwards explosion in ticket cut-off scores. It's not hard to imagine the cut-off jumping from 8,300 Hartman points to well over 20,000 immediately. The current Cocktail Party is a relatively accessible ticket by comparison.

  • Gator Geography - South Georgia is close to Jacksonville. Atlanta is not close to North Florida. The Gators aren't coming all the way up here. They like the game in Jacksonville because it's close every year, and they are winning. If the game left Jacksonville on a yearly basis, they might as well just play it home and home.
If we leave Jacksonville, it's because we're chicken shit, cowards, and we let the Gators run us out of the state. That is completely unacceptable to me.

Furthermore, Mark Richt complains about other teams playing a neutral site game in Atlanta. He feels that the presence of that season opening Georgia Dome game opens recruiting doors into the fertile Atlanta market for our enemies. By that logic, why would we ever leave a neutral site game in the fertile Florida recruiting area?

Leaving Jacksonville in any scenario other than a 5 game winning streak on our side of the ledger is indefensible. Especially, now that the team can fly out of Ben Epps Airport directly to Jacksonville next year. That means our team's "commute" to the game by plane would only be about an hour longer than the Gator bus ride to the game.

(Note: The game is scheduled to stay in Jax for several more years. This post is a reaction to the question I get via email. It's not a reaction to an immediate discussion from UGA about moving the game.)

Am I crazy? Is there another way to see this?

PWD

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul,
Can you elaborate on the statement "now that the team can fly out of Ben Epps direct to Jacksonville"......what has changed?
Thanks

Paul Westerdawg said...

The team successfully experimented with using 3 smaller planes to fly home from Baton Rouge directly into Athens' Ben Epps Airport.

The runway is too short for a large plane, but 3 planes works fine. That means no bus ride to Hartsfield.

Alabama and Tennessee both flew into and out of Athens this year using 3 planes. The airport can handle that.

We also have the money to do that for UF and long SEC West and OCC trips (Ark, Ok State, etc) going forward.

Hobnail_Boot said...

No, you're not crazy, but you are wrong.

It's a question of common sense versus tradition/bravado. Spurrier was right.. we're idiots to keep the game in enemy territory every year. I'd say the same thing if we had won 10 in a row there.

While I do like the game in Jacksonville, it's not about what I want. Team > me.

Jen said...

What about Option A?

mitch said...

Shame on richt if he gets the game moved from jacksonville. The location isnt the reason we lose. Our team and coaches get scared when they hear the name florida. We can play them anywhere and they will still have the name florida next to them. Until we play with no fear like we did last year, we will never beat florida no matter where it is played. Its alomst like we wait for something bad to happen and then it does and the entire team falls apart. Until we arnt scared of the name florida, we will never beat them.

j.leonardjr said...

Hobnail...can you expand of why you think we are idiots to keep it in Jax? Just because it is enemy territory? Why is that so bad? Do you want home and home? I sure would rather be able to go every year in Jacksonville if I want than have to skip it most likely every other year in Gainesville because it would be a harder ticket.

The game being played in Jax is not the reason for our recent lack of success in that game. Playing on the road seems to be an advantage in every other series we have. Look at our won/loss record on the road under Richt. We have lost more games under Richt at home that we have in opponents stadiums.

I don't understand your common sense argument.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the whole off-week issue is a HUGE deal. The week off gives the team an extra week to heal, rest, and get focused. Also, having the week off gives the team an extra week to study the game plan. Each player has to take a written exam on coverages, terminology, etc. before each game. Don't you feel that would you do better on an exam having an extra week to study for it?

You have obviously never played football - probably just one of those "experts" in the stands holding a trumpet just waiting to play the fight song when the team scores. Rethink your issue on not having the week off. Don't hurt yourself.

Paul Westerdawg said...

2008 - Neither team had an offweek. We got killed.

2005, 2001, 2000, 1999, and 1997 we lost after our off week to Auburn. If bye weeks were that important, they wouldn't just matter before the Florida game.

They're important. But good grief. They aren't worth the type of advantage that UF has over us.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the game should be moved, and I agree that the location isn't the issue. I also think that I speak for a whole lot of fans south of Dublin who like the fact that at least once a year we don't have a 5 hout trek to make for a late afternoon/evening game.

That being said, the offweek is a big deal, at least sometimes. You'll never be able to convince me that this past weekend wouldn't have gone a little better if we had a week off to rest and prepare. Like last year, for example.

Jason said...

Great post PWD, pretty much sums up my feelings.

Personally I think this is all a balk to bilk more cash out of Jax, which I'm all for.

Muckbeast said...

I also think the BYE week is huge.

The history of the UGA-FL series shows that. The team with the bye week has won some insane number in a row - like 10, 11 or more.

I am glad we have the bye week next season. If we can take the series to 3-3 in the last 6, maybe that will start eroding this losing mentality we have with Florida.

Generally, I have been a fan of the rotating Gator/Georgia Dome idea. But the loss of 12,000+ seats is a deal breaker imho.

Also, the recruiting angle is an interesting one. I had not thought of that before reading it here. Just goes to show what you learn by reading blogs!

UgaMatt said...

This is pretty much my soapbox issue. So much so, that I've written a letter to Damon Evans, and haven't been back to Jax since my senior year in '03. It's posted on my site. Everyone is going to blast me about my fear of a riot. That's fine. I hope I'm never right, but I do believe given the right circumstances(two undefeated teams, a 4th quarter game, and Penn Wagers) it could happen.

The FIRST thing Spurrier did at UF was start convincing his teams and the Gator fans that Jax was a home game and we were stupid for wanting to play them at home every year. This has been documented on more than one occasion.

Secondly, how much talent do we actually scoop up from the Jax area? How many of our starters are even from GA anymore? We can recruit nationally, lock down Atlanta, and have a top 5 class every year. I don't see our game in Jax as helping us bring in recruits as the perception of use in North Florida is that we are LOSERS.

It's just a matter of common sense. Shouldn't we play our most important conference rival at home every other year? Would we play UT in Chattanooga every year? Or Auburn in Huntsville? Do you think UF would play LSU in NOLA every year? Better yet, do you think anyone in the SEC would sign up to play their annual game with UF in Jacksonville every year? I doubt it.

Yet, for some reason, we ask for it while they laugh at us. It's pissing in the wind for tradition's sake, and for me it can't end soon enough.

Ludakit said...

"You have obviously never played football - probably just one of those "experts" in the stands holding a trumpet just waiting to play the fight song when the team scores. Rethink your issue on not having the week off. Don't hurt yourself."

Sir, as a former "expert" in the stands holding a trumpet, I say this with great bravado and fervor: You can bl*w me.

However, as far as moving the game from Jax, PWD is dead on with this one. It's not about the location. We crap the bed every year we go down there and when they came to our house, we crap the bed then too.

The off week is important to heal and to gameplan, but it's not necessary for a win. We beat them in 2004 without an off week beforehand. We can do it again without one.

Our problem is that UF is ALWAYS in our head. For some reason, we desperately need the momentum in order to pull out of Jax with a win. If we don't create it through a stunt (which I have and will again go on record as saying it worked and was necessary), then we won't get the momentum. We damn sure ain't creating it on the field through solid play.

We should be absolutely pissed through the spirit of Ooga going into this game every year. Yet, we haven't played like our brains were on fire except for one time in 2007. If we don't get that good old fashioned aggression and hate back into this team to beat our rivals, then we're going to limp away from Jax, Gainesville, Athens and the Georgia Dome.

And trust me, if our attitude doesn't change and we start beating Florida regularly because of it, then we'd better hope the game gets moved to the GA Dome because it's the only time of the season we'll play in it. We damn sure won't make a visit to Atlanta in December at this pace.

mitch said...

We have played them in jacksonville since 1933 and we have a 9 game lead against them. If location was such a factor then they would have a huge lead against us in the series. And also under richt we have a better road record than home record so i dont see a home/home series helping us. We seem to lose all of our big games at home. The players and coaches are scared of the name florida, until that changes and we play with no fear like last year, we will never win.

Lord Braz said...

Why should we, the UGA fans, have to travel down to Jacksonville every year where we're outnumbered at least 2 to 1 outside the stadium? It's not just about the team, it's about the fans, because the team is nothing without the fans. I feel like the Bulldog Nation deserves a home game outside the stadium every other year. It just sucks when we're the ones who have to spend money on hotels and gas, deal with the gator fans that run all of the local establishments (a gator fan running our hotel stole a phone from a dawg fan this year), and deal with an unfamiliar environment.

We were idiots to ever agree to this. I'm definitely in favor of option B because it's neutral in the stadium, and a home/home outside the stadium. As for the "skyrocketing Hartfund cutoff level," that's the least of my concerns. The point is simple: we're entering hostile territory every year. We're just holding our hand out on a table and letting them smash it with a hammer every year; God forbid we want to move our hand (just go with it).

I don't blame Jacksonville for us losing, but that doesn't mean it's not a terrible situation. Are we so insecure of what gator fans think of us that we're worried about them thinking we're leaving with our tail between our legs? These are the same people who worship tim tebow, for God's sake. Just because we got ourselves into this mess doesn't mean we have to stay there out of a false sense of pride.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Outnumbered 2-1 outside of the stadium?


Huh? Are you talking about your tailgate spot? If so, you're tailgating in the wrong lot.

Are you talking about hotels? Every hotel I've ever stayed at was 5 to 1 or 10 to 1 Dawg.

Are you talking about restaurants and surrounding bars? We outnumber them everywhere.

No one complained about the location when we won 17 of 25 under Dooley.

mitch said...

Not all UGA fans drive 5 or 6 hours to the game. We do have UGA fans that live in south georgia that only drive 1 hour or 2 to the game. And i was in section 116 and the stadium was pretty even. There are florida fans sprinkled in on the UGA side and there are UGA fans sprinkled in on the florida side. And those south georgia fans have to drive 5 hours or so everytime we play in sanford and they have to spend money on food/hotels/gas every home game.

Smitty said...

The Dome is not the answer. No atmoshphere and lousy tailgating.

Dawgerton said...

I don't think that being in Jacksonville has THAT much effect on the game that is played. But it COULD have a little. That's not my worry though.

Hear me out Dawg Fans: I didn't really have an opinion on this issue until the past couple of days. Why? Because Saturday was my first time attending the cocktail party.

I had a great time going to the beach and having a mini-vacation (despite only having Friday off at school), so I can understand why people love it there. But at the same time: It is pretty much a home game for Florida. And I don't mean that regarding their team's performance.

If you notice while going to restaurants/doing normal daily life things around Jacksonville, most people you see who live there are wearing Gator clothes, saying Go Gators to each other this weekend, and so forth. Yes, there are some Georgia fans who work and live in that area, but NO WHERE NEAR AS MANY FLORIDA FANS.

So why do I feel sort of bad about how we have the game there?

For one, when we lose (such as Saturday), the Gator fans were yelling "Go home!" despite the neutral site. But they sort of had a point. A lot of them probably only had to drive an hour or less to get back home (even though they probably spent all night at the Landing Gator Chomping each other in celebration).

My Sunday morning hangover at Amelia Island, 30 minutes from Jacksonville, was greeted with a myriad of Gator fans who worked and lived in the area, all proudly donning their Gator gear (although they likely didn't attend the school), and saying "Go Gators" or looking at us, clothed somberly in red and black, sitting at our table in Shoney's, with delight as they Gator chomped at us in their minds.

Jacksonville IS in fact Gator Country, just as towns near Athens are Bulldawg country.

So despite the results of games, I still get a strange feeling when we are at a "neutral site" yet are in "enemy territory."

It would have been nice Sunday morning to have gone out for breakfast and seen Georgia-supporting waitresses giving a consoling, "Go Dawgs," to which I would reply the same.

Instead, I found myself in a swamp, filled with vicious puke-colored Gators with orange and blue ribbons in their hair, silently laughing at our misfortune and wondering when we'll finally go home and away from their state.

Yes indeed, it is a home game for Florida.

Maybe we just need to realize this, so the King of The Road will come to his senses and return us to glory.

Go Dawgs.

Hobnail_Boot said...

j.leonardjr-

Combine ugamatt and lord braz's comments, and that's how I feel.

I just don't buy the notion that Georgia is chicken shit for wanting out of a lopsided contract, and you know what? If they do think that, so what? I could care less.

Florida is not going to revert back to its pre-1990 underachieving ways. That ship sailed a long time ago, and at this current rate, we won't be able to use the series record to console ourselves for much longer.

Let's go Athens/Gainesville.

mitch said...

Yea, lets move it to athens so we can be scared of florida and get our a$$ kicked in front of 80,000 or our own fans instead of 42,000. Until our coaches and players arnt scared of the name florida we wont win no matter where it is played. Not to mention we lose all of our big games at home.

Mid80sDawg said...

I don't get the whining (yes, outright whining) about Jacksonville being in "hostile territory".
1) Jacksonville is home to the largest Bulldog club outside the state of Georgia
2) As a student and alumni, there is nothing short of a Sugar Bowl as exciting as a roadtrip to Jax for the WLOCP.
3) Dooley (who had a high winning percentage in Jax) always said the game was for the South Georgia fans and with the late start times these days, this is more true than ever
4) If you can't find Georgia fans to tailgate with in Jax, you ain't trying
5) The stadium is split 50/50. It's us against them and it's even numbers every year. Somebody in Red & Black will always have your back.
6) It is the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. It's like a mini-Spring Break event in the fall. It is where legendary stories of bravery/stupidity, drunkeness, debauchery, and wild sex stories are made.

I've been attending since 1984. In 84 they carried the goalposts over the top of our car leaving the Gator Bowl. In 85 we beat the #1 ranked Gators, took the field ourselves, and battled the Jax police in hand to hand combat. They had cavalry and batons, we had a belly full of bourbon and hard skulls. It was a draw.

Let's stay in Jax, start winning again, and make more great Georgia memories that no other school can dream of.

mitch said...

And to respond to ugamatt about how much talent we get from florida. Well we have mike moore, geno atkins, jeff owens, bryan evans..ect, and we have aaron murray coming in who is from florida.

Anonymous said...

It shouldn't matter if the game was played in Alaska. We should man up and be ready to whoop some Gator a$$!

Anonymous said...

I'll share with you the letter I send Damon Evans yesterday. Flame away but nobody can deny the only constant in all of this is the location. Something has to change.

Dear Damon:

As a season ticket holder, I’m writing hoping to influence you into moving the Georgia-Florida game from Jacksonville to a home and away series for the following reasons:

It hurts the chances of UGA beating the three teams necessary to get to a national championship game.
-Travel to Jacksonville gives Florida a distinct and unfair advantage every year.
-Many season tickets holders don’t qualify for Florida tickets. It is unfair for season ticket contributors to be left out of the biggest game of the year considering they have donated money for season tickets.
-It is UGA fans that travel and stay in Jacksonville. Many Jacksonville hotels raise prices and require minimum night stays. This makes a trip very expensive.
-3-16 record since 1990 (3-13 in Jacksonville).

If UGA is going to win another national championship we have to beat Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn in the same year. At least one of the Tennessee/Auburn games is away each year and one is home. Then you have a late season game at a “neutral” site 350 miles away from Athens. Florida has to drive 70 miles. Traveling takes a toll on any team. So every year UGA is playing essentially 2 road games against teams that you have to beat to get into the championship game. The current arraignment in Jacksonville does not help win a national championship. At least if you have to go to Gainesville you are in no worse position than you are now every year (2 real road games).

If something isn’t helping you win national championships then it should be stopped. The two constant things in this series have been the location and the poor play. It is time for a change. Make the Gators come to Athens instead of taking a short bus trip. Coach Richt seems to coach better when it is a “true” away game. His record on “neutral” sites isn’t near as good. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the “Swamp” and beat the Gators?

As a season ticket holder each year I fall just short of the points necessary to obtain tickets. I can attest that nobody is a bigger fan of the Dawgs than I am or cheers louder than I do. Can you imagine the noise a home crowd would have made on Saturday? I have to think it might have helped influence the outcome. It certainly couldn’t have hurt.

There have been a lot of retorts about “tradition” in terms of keeping the game in Jacksonville. However, since 1990, the price of “tradition” has been a 3-13 record and 0 national championships. What kind of tradition is that? I personally care about building new traditions by winning national championships. Since 1990, players have come and gone. Coaches have come and gone. Yet no matter if the coach is Spurrier, Zook, or Meyer each has a winning record against UGA. What is the constant in all this? The location.

I challenge you to look at the Alabama/Auburn “Iron Bowl” series that was recently (1989) changed from Birmingham to home and home. For years Alabama dominated the series. However recent history has shown Auburn’s dominance as they have won 6 straight and are 11-8 since the change. I doubt they would have done this if they hadn’t successfully moved the game out of Birmingham.

If money is a primary motivator for keeping the game in Jacksonville, I’m in favor of raising the ticket prices or donation amounts to make up the difference.

To be clear: I’m not blaming the constant losing to Florida on the location. However, UGA is at a disadvantage as long as the game is played in Jacksonville and it should be moved to a home and away series. I certainly don’t see any downside to moving it and it just might help to win a national championship.

Sports Dawg said...

Home and Home. Both seat more than Jax if capacity is the concern. We used to play Auburn in Columbus and that stopped, so this trend can be terminated too.

mitch said...

To be clear you are blaming the game on location. Once again we can play the game in sanford or even the dome and we will still lose until we play with no fear like we did last year. The coaches and players are scared of the name florida. We wait for something bad to happen and then it does and the team falls apart. Until our mindset changes going into the game we will lose. And shame on richt if the game is moved but if it is and florida wins that first game once it is moved, they will have a huge psychological advantage over us. We moved the game because we are scared of florida and then we will lose. Keep it in jax, thats not the problem.

Dante said...

"He feels that the presence of that season opening Georgia Dome game opens recruiting doors into the fertile Atlanta market for our enemies. By that logic, why would we ever leave a neutral site game in the fertile Florida recruiting area?"

Yeah, ask Clemson how much of a recruiting boost they got crapping all over themselves on national television against Bama. Neutral sites are only good for recruiting if you win at least some of the time. We're not doing ourselves any favors in Jacksonville right now. Moving one game out of two to the Georgia Dome would be a mistake but if Florida wants to continue playing us in Jacksonville, let them do it on their home years.

Joel said...

I've never heard a single coach or player say that playing in Jax was unfair.
I don't know the contract details, but I'd imagine its not a "stupid" contract as I'm sure we get paid a pretty penny by the city of Jax
As others have said, we statistically play better away from home, so that is not a valid excuse to want to move the game.
Its fun
The history and tradition of this game does matter - if you think it doesn't then the history and tradition of the program don't matter

Keep the game in Jax

Matt said...

Murray's from Tampa, I think Moore is from Daytona, neither of which is Jax. The rest I'm not sure of. How much talent do we get out of the Jax area?

mitch said...

You dont think kids in florida go to this game? Carlton is from florida, chapas is from florida, tony wilson is from florida, blair is from florida.

Anonymous said...

The bye week absolutely, undoubtedly, unquivocally helps.

There's just no two ways about it.

mitch said...

The bye week helps but the location isnt the reason we lose.

MCG DAWG said...

Keep it in Jacksonville. When the Gators kick our ass in Athens (again) are we going to try and move it away from Sanford?

UgaMatt said...

Mitch,

Then how in the world does LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, and all those other teams that don't sign up to play in Jax every year manage to recruit Florida kids. IF the WLOCP has ANY bearing on our recruiting in FL at all, it would be logical to assume it's negative as we've only beaten FL 3 times in current recruit's lifetime.

Anonymous said...

We still have the upper hand in this series while playing most of the games there. Even mentioning that we should move this game from it't traditional home smacks of "gonna take my ball and go home". It's loser talk that makes me sick. Keep the game in Jacksonville. I don't like Jacksonville, don't like going there, and especially don't like getting beat there, but quit crying like little girls. Beat Florida where we've always beaten them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and talet int the Jacksonville area? A certain Bailey family ring a bell?

Anonymous said...

As a tOSU fan I can say that there is nothing, I mean nothing better than beating your rival in their home stadium. Any true rivarly is home and home in my opinion. The OSU / Michigan rivarly is much bigger obv though so it's probably different. I can tell you that if each fanbase had an even number of seats at a neutral site and they were forced to tailgate together the scene would be ugly.

Josh M. said...

The sign received an updatin' this year.

Dante said...

I thought the Bailey family was from Folkston?

Anonymous said...

*****You should all keep in mind, that until Spurrier got to Gainesville, the Florida fans were proposing exactly this, because they felt that Georgia held some unfair advantage playing in Jacksonville. It has nothing to do with the city, or the distance, it has to do with a psychological advantage that we held over them for most of the history of the series, but which Steve Spurrier figured out how to sway the other way.

Richt either needs to figure out how to get it going in our direction, or eventually it may cost him his job..... Don't forget, if it weren't for the UF game in 2002, CMR might have already won a National Championship for us. BTW, the game was 20-13, meaning 1 TD cost us a MNC.

mitch said...

OSU/Michigan has never been played at a neutral site. Texas/oklahoma and georgia/florida should always be a neutral site game. The game should stay in jax.

Anonymous said...

For all the reasons, Florida wouldn't do Atlanta, we shouldn't do Jacksonville. It's away, the outcome is consistently bad, it's money spend out of state, it hurts our bowl turnout in non-BCS years, and quite frankly the era of dominating Florida in Jacksonville is never, ever returning.

It's the height of foolish pride and bravado to say we shouldn't leave there because it admits our weakness. Sure, we'll be better one day down there, but at what cost? This has continued now with three different coaches. We've lost 16 of 19. What positive thing does losing to Florida every year say about us? The only thing it says to me is we are inferior, and too stupid and headstrong to realize we are playing on an uneven playing field versus an opponent that is now our equal or superior.

Jacksonville, the strip mall that is the Landing, and the Gators can rot.

Josh M. said...

So I think it's settled. The game should be in Tifton every year.

grant said...

Under CMR,
Home: 38-8
Away: 28-4
Jax: 2-6

Take emotion out of the equation, and just look at the facts. Move to home & home.

mitch said...

Anon 2:50. If you move the game they still have the name florida next to them. It doesnt matter where we play them, until our mindset changes going into the game we will lose. Everyone gets scared when they hear the name florida and our coaches and players play like it. Richt needs to step up and find a way to change the series around like SOS did when he first got to florida.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer another alternative. Play the game in Jacksonville every other year. For example: year 1 Jax, year 2 Athens, year 3 Jax, year 4 Gainesville.

This way, every four year player gets to play one game in Athens, one in Gainesville and two in Jacksonville.

The year you play in Gainesville, you then have the opportunity to schedule another BCS school. The top BCS schools want a home and away series versus coming to Athens for one game.

Anonymous said...

I can see both sides of this argument. I just don't understand why UGA continues to wet the bed against uf. I don't think location really matters. Look how poorly UGA played against UT in 2006 and 2007. I will say this, I have only been to a few WLOCP and may not go back anytime soon.

Explain to me why UGA lost the WLOCP in:

2002
2003
2005 (don't use shockley as excuse)
2008

2008 I could have handled losing if UGA shows up to play. If you look at those 4 games, UGA played not to lose and wet the bed. I am tired of seeing so much talent on the field and playing scared. 2007 UGA played to win and won. That is what it takes to change the tide. I don't see location changing this, again see UT 06,07 and Bama 08...

I do hate Jacksonville and I do think it stinks that all the money goes into the city, but I always stay in SSI and drive to the game and back. I don't go to the landing, so my $$$ are spent in GA. Only parking and my ticket to the game go to jax.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTGTR0zdMt8

Anonymous said...

Mitch-

What would you suggest CMR do in order to step up? The celebration didn't change a thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, forgot 2006. uf won the MNC and UGA was several dropped passes from winning the game. And a fumble...I think its the gators that have the mental edge and not the location. This years game was a prime example. I have never seen a UGA team play so poorly at the most crucial times. Ignore the bama game, because UGA was outmanned from the start. But this past game, UGA was moving the ball at will against uf.

Anonymous said...

Paul Westerdawg-

How about a poll?

RedDawg said...

Josh m.

you thought tailgating around the Georgia Dome sucked

A-Phiz said...

All of the people opposed to having the game inJacksonville are just looking to excuses as to why we have had little success against Florida in the past 20 years. We are letting the Gators get into our heads way too much. While I completely agree with the celebration last year, it should not take something like that to get our team up against the GaYtors. Our team always seems to play our best games in tough SEC road games but for some reason the GaYtors have the mental advantage. Until we stop letting GaYtors have their way during these games, the losing will continue: whether in Atlanta or Jacksonville.

The Anti Panty Waist we have become said...

This is crazy.
Are we to believe we would be at an advantage playing Florida in Gainesville?
Would you not prefer to play the best team you face each year at a neutral site?
It still says "Gators" on the helmet.
What would be the solution when we lost 8 in a row to Tennessee, just quit playing them?
I could point by point refute the letter sent to Damon, but he played in the games, so he has his own perspective.
Someone above mentioned the Bailey family, and there is some football talent out of Charlton County. Jax is 42 miles from Folkston. It's like driving from Lake Lanier to Downtown Atlanta.
Waycross is 77 miles from Jax.
Jesup is 101 miles from Jax. Valdosta is 123 miles from Jax.
These people follow the Jacksonville Jaguars, it's their "home team". Let's just tell all the South Georgia football talent it's not worth going to Jax to play, we just get beat there anyway, why don't you drive 5 hours up to Atlanta to the smaller Georgia Dome, I'm sure the hotels will keep prices low for that weekend.

Doug said...

If we can't beat them in Jacksonville, what makes us think we can beat them in the Swamp?

If we couldn't hold Bama below 30 in the first half in our own house, what makes us think we would've done any better against Florida?

The stadium is split straight down the middle, so it's not like either cheering section has an advantage. And there are UF alums in south Florida who have to drive every bit as far, if not farther, to get to the game than Dawg fans in metro Atlanta do.

Whining about the location isn't going to win games for us. Not playing like a bunch of scared girls is what's going to win games for us. Play well, and you can win anywhere. Play like we did Saturday, and they could put the game in Jacksonville, the Georgia Dome, Athens, Los Angeles, Bratislava, or the moon, and it wouldn't make a lick of difference.

mitch said...

Well there is only so much richt can do because the players have to perform on the field but ultimately the blame goes back to the coach. I dont know what they are doing in practice but i would change something up because its not working. But location has nothing to do with terrence edwards dropping that pass, shockly throwing that int that one year.....ect. Its like we wait for something bad to happen because we are playing florida and then the team falls apart. Richt just isnt a real emotional guy and i think he surrounded himself with non emotional coaches. I think this team is really lacking a hard ass coach like van gorder was.

KDAWG59 said...

I'm for moving the game. My first choice is Atlanta/Jax. Second is home and home. Third is Jax only.

This has nothing to do with losing this year's game. I wanted it moved last year, after the 2004 game and after the 1997 game.

To me there are a lot of reasons to move the game. In no particular order here we go:

I stay in Amelia Island (ate at the same Shoney's for breakfast on Sunday morning and had the same thoughts as a previous poster). We spend our money in Florida. Lots of money. After the game all of those "friendly neutral hosts" don their Gator gear and laugh all the way to the bank with our money.

The drinking and taunting has got way out of control. Too many outsiders hanging around getting trashed and trashing a lot of property. A lot of people feel some kind of primal urge to live up to the WLOCP motto. Just an accident waiting to happen.

The Georgia Dome stinks. But, not as bad as the Jax Stadium. Bad views. If you are in the upper deck you quickly notice the lack of concourse space and really enjoy the long time it is going to get down from there. I laughed out loud when they ran their evacuation procedure drill on the message board before the game. You have a better chance of getting out of the upper deck in Columbia than in Jax and that is really saying something. I see virtually no difference in the tailgating areas. It's easier to get to the Dome from local spots than Jax. The concessions in Jax are horrible. Neither is an ideal college atmosphere, but I would say it was even or possibly a slight edge to the sterile anti-septic Georgia Dome. Atlanta would pay more money to get the game that Jax could muster.

Do you think our team enjoys the 4 game stretches away from Athens? Do the fans that travel to all/most of the away games enjoy it? Some "home" game in Jax this year. We drove 600 miles to Baton Rouge. 425 to Jax. 375 to Kentucky this week. Looking forward to that short trip to Auburn. If we had played Florida in Athens this year, it would have really broke up the away schedule. The team can't enjoy become the road warriors. This isn't the 1950's, we make money on games in Athens.

Because of proximity, you can count on all of the loose corporate tickets and other floating tickets will end up in Gator hands. Thus, it is never really truly 50-50 on the split. Now you can blame UGA fans for selling their tickets to Gators or StubHub, but the fact is that we never have 50% of the stadium. Same with the small number of tickets that the City of Jax keeps for themselves.

You point out that Jax has a larger capacity than the Georgia Dome. However, you include the crappy (admittedly not as crappy as they use to be) bleacher seats that Jax has erected in the end zone. You also qoute the official capacity of the Georgia Dome. Why not list the largest crowd ever at the Dome instead? It is something like 75,500 as opposed to the 71,00 figure you quote.

Tradition? The tradition to me was gone when they tore down the Old Gator Bowl and put the NFL stadium on it's spot. We played Auburn in Columbus forever. Auburn went to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech every year for over 50 years. The players on both teams used to be all-white. Things change. Time to move on.

The Gators love it in Jacksonville. If the Gators love something, it is inheritantly bad and wrong for UGA. Look at mullets and jean shorts. They love them. You know that they are a bad idea.

Someone mentioned the Texas-Oklahoma game. No comparasion. The Cotton Bowl is almost exactly 175 miles from each campus. There is a huge number of OU fans and alumni in North Texas and Dallas. Much larger that UGA fans in Jax. Oklahoma has done very well in the series the last few decades. Yet, you still hear from a lot of Sooners that want the game home and home. And they have a MUCH better deal than we get.

Richt wants the game out of Jacksonvile. That ought to be enough for us.

Finally, for me it comes down to a couple of things. When I was old enough to follow Georgia football in 1966 I asked whay we played Florida in Jacksonville every year. It seemed strange to me. I was told because of tradition, a favor to the South Georgia fans, and the "vacation/party". In the 70's and 80's I became old enough to go and even though I was young enough to enjoy the parties and liked the back and forth with Gator fans, I thought to myself that it was strange that we agreed to play away from home EVERY year. Now I'm older and the party scene seems much trashier than it use to be. The Gators, thanks to a lot of societal changes in their state, are much trashier than they were. We get gouged on money worse and worse every year.Even with 12 game schedules, it still screws upo our schedule each and every year.

The bottom line: Other than the food, seeing some old friends and family and the weather (somewhat) I just have enjoyed going to Jacksonville for some time now. In fairness I never enjoyed going there every year that much. Why go somewhere where you don't personally enjoy it and it is bad for our team? Next year I may stay home, go to nice restaurants in the Atlanta area on Friday and Saturday night and watch the game on TV.

Milo said...

The distances are about the same as Auburn playing LSU in NOLA every year. Some fun for Aubbie fans every year, but does not make sense in the rivalry.

Anonymous said...

As an LSU fan I have no dog in this hut. Hey, maybe you guys should look at making the neutral site Baton Rouge based on how both teams pretty much owned LSU this year.

Anyway, just let it go and get better prepared for next year. As much as I've enjoyed the discussion, I would bet that there's hundreds of Gator fans enjoying it more...it appears the Gators are more in your FANS' head than you actual team

Ludakit said...

For anyone who thinks this game is about being in Florida's back yard, you're completely wrong. The reason there were so many Florida fans this year and continue to be so many Florida fans down there every year is because THEY KEEP WINNING.

The Landing sees a Dawg fan on Saturday night once every 4-5 years. Why? Because in the other years, we're getting our doors blown off.

PWD was right when he said this was never an issue when Florida didn't have a team that could beat the Dawgs.

Tradition aside, this team needs a "anytime, any place, anywhere" type attitude and until it gets that, you can move the game to Sanford every year and we'll STILL LOSE.

It's time for folks to realize that the only way to turn the tide is to just win, baby. Somehow, almost magically, if you win in college football, things like this aren't an issue.

mitch said...

You think you have seen athens trashed, just wait until you move the cocktail party to athens. You will see a campus trashed especially after they beat us.

Matt said...

kdawg59,

You absolutely, positively nailed it.

Anonymous said...

As a student, I would MUCH rather stay in Athens. While fall break is nice and SSI is a total shit show, I think it is much more important for our program to see the bulldogs win. Mitch - you have posted about 50 times saying the same thing, that we have a fear of Florida. We get it. Yes, our boys need to man up and show that they're better but LOCATION MATTERS!
I would rather watch the game in downtown Athens every other year than drive to Jacksonville and see the game in person every year.
NOTHING beats the atmosphere in Athens. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

I love the trip but I would say its a bigger hardship on our team than the Gators due to travel distance. The Dome isnt the answer. I think that Jville should be kept in a 3 yr rotation with more away tickets given on home and home years. Sanford and the Swamp both are larger than Jville so more fans can see the game. This is a compromise that meets all criteria -keeps Jville tradition, opens game up to home fans who NEVER can make trip or dont donate enough, gives home field advantage once every 3 yrs and makes Jville trip more special.

mitch said...

So location made terrence edwards drop that pass, location made shockley throw the int, location made us fail on the onside kick..i can keep going if you want me to. The location has no difference on the outcome. Nothing will change in this series until the players and coaches arnt afriad of the name Florida. That atmosphere really helped us beat Bama and it really helped us beat tennessee 2 years ago and Auburn the year before that. We lose our big games at home.

Dante said...

"The location has no difference on the outcome... We lose our big games at home."

Your logic is astounding.

mitch said...

If you really think location is why we lose to florida then you either cant face the facts or are blind.

Matt said...

mitch,

If you think the Florida program of pre-1990 is coming back or that UGA has a 16-3 run of its own coming, you're the one that's delusional. Do I think we lose b/c the game is in Jax? No. Do I think it's an unneeded advantage to the Flordia fans, team, and program? Yes.

mitch said...

Thinking we will beat them just because you change the location is delusional. We lose because we get outcoached and their players dont choke against the name Georgia. If the location is changed all it will do is piss of florida even more and they will beat us when we change the location and then they will really have the psychological edge over us.
Also, in other news, dash on our rivas site said the coaches got after the players ass today. Why does it take an ass kicking for our coaches to finally get a mean steak in them? We really miss a hard ass for a coach like a van gorder.

Dawgeron said...

Oh and by the way, my first experience in Jacksonville showed me a very important thing:

Jacksonville is not that great of a city. In fact, I'll take Atlanta and its mix of dark ghetto-lands and World of Coke, CNN Center, and so forth any day over a river city in Gator Country.

The landing: Also not so great. I get the sense that a lot of these "Don't move the game!" people (not those on this blog or commenting) care a little bit more about going down and partying Friday night rather than the results of the game.

As I said before, Jacksonville IS Gator Country, and as another poster pointed out, THEY like it that way. They know that it is basically their home, and they even gloat about it.

Honestly, I'd rather play every other year in the Swamp and know it's an away game, and play it with that mentality, rather than being duped into thinking we're playing a "neutral site" when it is no such thing.

By the way, to KDawg59: Not only was I sad to see the waitresses donned in Gator gear, high fiving other Gator fan customers as we sat there in red like outsiders who were being sent out of town with a loss, but I also found that Shoney's buffet to suck like no other. We got there at 11 AM, ate the breakfast buffet, were extremely unsatisfied, so waited around until noon to try the lunch buffet. It was pretty bad too.

Anonymous said...

We are crazy for keeping the game in JAX for economic reasons. WHY keep filling the coffers of Florida and the city of Jax when Georgians could make that money? Even in the 70's and 80's when we were winning regularly the businessmen in JAX were laughing to the bank. MOVE THE GAME.
SOS engineered bye weeks and soft opponents prior to playing us to flip the series. IF we move the game and start winning let them call us chickinshits, Georgia businessmen and our team can go laughing to the bank.

mitch said...

Lol, the georgia economy gets plenty of money from the SECC game and the peach bowl.

Anonymous said...

So mitch? We need more!

mitch said...

Lol, the SECC in basketball is also held at the dome almost every year.

PTC DAWG said...

KEEP THE GAME IN JAX AND LET THE TEAM MAN UP FOR A CHANGE...

Anonymous said...

Mitch, please get your own web log

mitch said...

Thats a no.

Anonymous said...

The history of our series with Florida has always been streaky. With each team holding numerous 4-6 game winning streaks. We dominated the series in the 30's and 40s and 70's and 80's. They have dominated in the 50's and 60's and 90's and 00's. No one can deny that the Florida domination of the last two decades hurts the most, but the tide will eventually turn. It's just the nature of our matchup. So, why do we keep losing? Maybe because we just aren't the better team. A bitter pill to swallow, but a truth we all need to accept. We have an excellent coach that we should all be extremely thankful for. Maybe some of you have forgotten that prior to 2001 we were a perennial mid of the pack SEC East team. He wants to win as much as we do; probably more. His job is on the line each weekend not yours. None of our players are proud of getting whipped year in and year out. Execution and luck have to be on your side. They haven't been on our side and the record books show it. It only takes a couple of defining wins against the gators and the series will be back on our side. If some of y'all are so sure we are doomed in J-ville then do the rest of us a favor and just stay home. The team and coaches deserves to have fans in the stands that believe in them.

Matt said...

PWD,

Well, if nothing else you hit a nerve. I could really rail on this forever, but there's no point. It's basically going to come down to Evans, Richt, and Adams. Prior to this year, I'd have handicapped it about 2-1 of it staying in Jax. After this game, I think it's as good as gone.

S.E. Dawg said...

If we're pissing on ourselves as we cross the Fla. line, then I sure as heck would like to give it another shot in Athens.

Anonymous said...

Have been a fan since before Dooley and even during the years of Dooley's great run against Fl always questioned "the neutral site". Back during those days Auburn and Fl always played the week before the Ga/Fl game giving Ga the advantage in our game with FL. The week after the Ga/Fl game we played and usually struggled against Auburn, thus Dooley's poor record against Auburn.

mitch said...

How about this stat if anyone knows. What is each teams record when they have a bye before the game? I believe that a bye before the game is a big factor.

Anonymous said...

Mitch,
Since 1990, when Spurrier circled the game and scheduled a bye week for Florida b4 Georgia each year, the team with the bye week is something like 15-2. That may be slightly inaccurate, however the fact is the bye week makes a tremendous difference in the outcome of this game. And since we have a bye week b4 Florida in 2009, I expect a much better performance from UGA.

As for moving the game, anyone who wants to move for the sole reason of improving our chances to win is a [ussy. I will come to your house and beat your brains out every day for the next 20 years until you decide to grow a backbone and fight back.
Until we fight back and bring a gun to a knife fight, we are doomed to lose regardless of where the game is played.

Alas, until Richt and staff take defeating the gators as seriously as Meyer takes beating us, we are doomed to lose. Circle this F'ING GAME and WIN! No excuses!

Anonymous said...

We live in Southern KY. The game in Jacksonville costs us approximately $600 for airline tickets and parking and gas to/from the airport. The hotels run at least $500 for three nights. The food for 2 people from 3 days is a minimum $500 and anything else can be counted on for another $500 plus stadium parking not counting the tickets AND the donation to get tickets. That's over 2 grand. My trip time basically triples if I would have to drive so that's out and I can't get as many tickets as I have season tickets, so someone is left out every single year. Jacksonville is nasty for tailgaiting. Both Gainesville and Athens beat the crap out Jax for this. Then they(Jax citizens whether FL or UGA) gouge us on all prices. I'd much rather do it every other year than every single one. If Florida wants it in Jax, let them have their home game there. It's time to cut the travel, have home field every other year and enjoy Athens one extra time every 2 years. If I want to go to the beach I'll go in the summer. Home & Home or Home & Jax(UF)

Aladawg

ProudDawg said...

Mitch, and anyone else who continues to call our team 'scared' of Florida- PLEASE, PLEASE, tell me when you plan on telling Jeff Owens, Dannell Ellerbe, Rennie Curran, Asher Allen, and Cade Weston, etc... TO THEIR FACE (not hiding behind some freaking blog)that they are SCARED of Florida because I want to be there in person to watch you soil yourself and then have to pry your face up from the pavement!! I will pay money to see it in person!! They might be psyched out, but scared??? Please!!

I'm a fan of over 30 years and can honestly say I never understood why we play this game in Jax. There are only 2 reasons why this game STAYS (nothing to do with the past) in Jax. Money and alcohol. Money rules college football and it always will. Perhaps one day it will be financially appealing to play elsewhere, home and home, dome, etc. The alcohol at this game is utterly out of control. I was totally embarrassed to have my teenage daughter attend this year's game with me! We are actually fans who like to come to THE GAME. My daughter's statement: Some of you people need to grow up and get a life not totally consumed by alcohol!

Season ticket holders deserve a chance to see the dawgs play every team once every 5 years. But for those under the cutoff, they never see the UGA-Florida game.

Travelling to a home game...unbelievable!!!

mitch said...

The cutoff is 8,000 for the game, thats not that much. And please dont go back, there will be 42,000 other dawg fans that will be happy to be there. And year after year our players choke and their step up.

Hobnail_Boot said...

..and there are still people who claim that Tech is our biggest/most important rival.

Bradshaw said...

I sure hope that the team is concentrating on Kentucky and not Florida. We have three more games to play and win. Let's move on. We can't play Florida again for 360 some odd days.

Gilbert said...

ProudDawg-
I thought it was understood that the Ga/Fla game was an adult weekend. It always was in my family. My parents NEVER took me to the game. They said I could go when I went to college and took myself. I am sorry but if anyone takes their kids to that game then they get what you ask for.
It has always been a drunk and from my understanding a lot worse than it is today. It is what it is so it is your faiult if you don't take that into consideration. Plenty of games in Athens to take your kids to.
By the way I have been going to the game for 17 years so it is not like I haven't seen my share.

Anonymous said...

Having used to live in Jacksonville and being a Georgia fan I think that far more Georgia fans actually live in Jacksonville then Gator fans, believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

How about we move the game so we can have more home games? Last year Florida State had 8 home games. I'm pretty sure we could have this every other year as well if we didn't have the game in Jacksonville

Anonymous said...

It does not surprise me Paul that you would take this spin when every possible break went Florida's way. The negotiations are underway, as we speak.

If you cannot say it Paul, I can. Florida has our number. Next year is year 20, and we've won 3. Why didn't you say that Paul ? Let's attempt to level the playing field for our boys. This is not getting old; it's been old to everyone but you.

dean said...

I've already made this argument over a Blutarsky's blog but for those who missed it;
3 words: Red River Shootout!
Oklahoma doesn't seem to have a problem going to Dallas every year to play Texas. So why should we bitch about going to Jacksonville to play Florida? The difference, Oklahoma has been winning in Dallas not this year obviously but that's the difference.

Honestly how many of us really believe it would have made a difference where we played the Spurrier teams of the 90's. The two years we played a home-n-home they hung a half-a-hundred on us. They were better coached and had better athletes.

The first thing we have to fix is our red zone offense. Until we can consistently put 6's on the board we will continue to struggle with not only UF but other opponents as well. If we score TD's in the red zone of the 1st half we go into halftime leading 21-14. Instead we continue to look like Pop Warner teams inside the 20 and have to settle for field goals. However Richt hasn't been able to fix that in 8 years at UGA so don't expect it to change anytime soon.

Scott said...

FSU had 5 home games last year - They have 7 this year, plus one in Jax that is an 8th home game since it was the return game from last year's trip to Colorado. They played a game vs Bama in Jax last year, but I believe the tickets were split much like UGA/UF tickets since Bama would not agree to a home and home series, only a neutral site and Bowden really wanted to play Alabama one time before he retires. I know all this since I am a dawg trapped in Tallahassee. I want to get a degree in civil engineering, but as I was born in Athens and reared on Herschel Walker, I refused to even send a application to Tech and opted to pay the out-of-state tuition to FSU.

Paul Westerdawg said...

MITCH

I appreciate you posting on my blog, but you need to tone it down a little. You made your point.

There are 95 posts on this thread. You have posted 24 times saying basically the same thing over and over.

Let someone else talk for a change. We're fully up to speed on your position.

Dawgfan said...

Thanks Paul! Mitch was getting a little old.

mitch said...

No problem PWD. I have vented my frustrations with the Florida game. I'm done talking about it. It's time to move on.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Dean-

Half the OU alumni/fanbase lives in the greater Dallas area. The same cannot be said for Jacksonville and Georgia alumni.

And whoever is using the Jacksonville Bulldog club as an argument, please realize that the reason they are that huge is due to the parking pass situation around the Gator Bowl.

Ty said...

It's simple:

Build a $100 million stadium in Savannah and Gators won't have to complain about a long drive.

Anonymous said...

We got no breaks. None. Nothing.

Let's try to get our boys a break every other year and see if we can cut into this next year being year 20 and us with 3 wins.

Charlie said...

Here's the problem with continuing to play the game in Jacksonville. It's not a neutral site game. It's as simple as that. According to mapquest.com, it takes 5 hours and 57 minutes to travel from Athens to Jacksonville. It only takes 1 hour and 21 minutes to get from Gainesville to Jacksonville. That's a whopping 4 and a half hour difference! It doesn't matter how far the fans have to go. It matters when the team has to travel the extra miles.

This year is a perfect example of why Georgia is disadvantaged as long as the game remains in Jax. In the years where Georgia is the home team in Jax (even years), then Georgia only plays three conference games in Athens. They play 4 away and one in Jax because this counts as the fourth home game. In contrast, Florida gets 4 games in the Swamp, one in Jacksonville, and only 3 on the road. Truth be told this is like the Gators getting 5 home games while the Dawgs only get 3.

Next year it evens a little with Georgia getting 4 home games plus the game in Jacksonville while Florida gets 3 at home and the one in Jax. In my opinion, this is an even slate. The problem, then, is the even years as outlined above. I think the present set up would be fairer if we were not in the same division which magnifies the importance of the game exponentially. When the conference did not have divisions it did not matter so much who won this game, but it certainly does now.

I understand that Georgia has traditionally faired well in the series, but no objective observer would say that has been true as of late, Spurrier or not.

I know CMR wants it home and home and it only makes sense. This isn't admitting that we stink and we can't compete at a neutral site. Why? BECAUSE IT"S NOT NEUTRAL.

 
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