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February 21, 2006

Tailgating Trouble on the Horizon

Am I the only one to notice a string of University power plays lately? To that end, last week the Athens Banner-Herald ran a story that ominously hinted at new tailgating rules for game day that would "aim for a broad culture change in sports fan behavior", whatever the hell that means. The gist of the story was that UGA Keystone Cop Jimmy Williamson and a faculty committee have been looking for ideas to deal with "alcohol problems" on campus. The Red&Black ran a similar article today.

Among the lowlights in the article:
Over the next season or two, Williamson would like to see parking on sidewalks around the stadium eliminated in order to provide safe passage for pedestrians, who may otherwise risk an accident when entering the street to get around parked vehicles.

A long-term project could be to "create more of a buffer around the stadium" to improve queues and crowd control, he said. A buffer would include restricting parked and moving vehicles in that zone, which also would improve officials' ability to respond to an emergency or a homeland security alert, he said.
What is interesting to me is that the article lazily accepts Williamson's assertion there is a growing problem with alcohol-fueled misbehavior on campus. However, the "solution" of restricting sidewalk parking has nothing to do with alcohol or fan behavior. Neither does a "buffer" around the stadium relate to curbing public drunkenness.

The recommended solutions have no rational relation to the stated problem. What is more likely is that "fan misbehavior" is being used as a stalking-horse to implement more insidious changes about which fans would otherwise be belligerent.

One problem with Chief Williamson is that above all else, he is a University bureaucrat. Bureaucrats are particularly adept at two functions: (1) justifying their jobs and (2) expanding their budgets. By advancing a solution for the "problem" of fan behavior, he neatly sidesteps the debate whether there is a trend or actual problem with alcohol-related fan behavior. I'm sure more money and a few more officers on the force should solve the problem, right Clancy Wiggum?

What would a discussion of athletics be without input from Coach Michael Adams? Adams is all over this issue, predictably on the lookout for ways to micromanage and deflect blame. According to the article, Adams "condemned fans' drunken behavior, the excessive number of arrests and resulting garbage from the Nov. 12 Auburn game as 'despicable.'" More despicable than secret payoffs to fired football coaches? More despicable than the bungle in the jungle? Probably not.

I think the more realistic explanation for the unusual amount of garbage at the Auburn game is a combination of opponents' behavior and the logical fact that evening games generate more trash than a 1:00 PM kickoff. Of course because the University predictably failed to plan ahead by providing for additional receptacles to handle the additional garbage, there was nowhere to put trash by 6:00 PM. At our tailgate it is a point of pride that all garbage is collected, even if it can only be piled up next to the overflowing trash cans so it can easily be removed.

There are no new policies in place yet, and it is too early to tell how this little power play may manifest itself, but trouble is on the horizon.

Commissioner of Bourbon, Tailgating & Waste Management
Georgia Sports Blog

Photo: Mike Adams briefs reporters on a new blue ribbon panel to improve the game day experience. The group will be made up of well known tailgaters such as professors from the Department of Women's Studies, UGA's Risk Management Actuarials, and members of the Neo-Prohibitionist League.


Anonymous said...

Mike Adams and the Bush Administration have this in common: they both have agendas, and they both seek to attain their goals through the back door; i.e., by creating "problems" that have a little factual basis, and then "addressing" the problems by furthering their agendas which are only tangentially related.

Dean Wormer would be proud of both of them. Consider yourself on double secret probation,imo.

Anonymous said...

I think UGA should convert Stegman to a new facility to be named the Michael Adams Center for the Study if Egomaniacal Behavior.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Paul, you and I could probably create an entirely new Michael Adams Sucks Blog devoted entirely to dumbass things Adams has done, and it'd have as much material as either one of our existing blogs currently do.

Another thing Adams has in common with the Bush administration: inability to accept responsibility for anything. The Harrick disaster? Oh, that was Dooley's fault. Bungle in the Jungle? That was, uh, somebody else. Trashed campus after the Auburn game? Stupid sexy fans! How were we supposed to know they'd create more garbage in 12 hours than they do in 6?

If I didn't know better I'd guess Adams was planted by some wealthy, ridiculously powerful Tech alum to slowly sap all the joy out of being a Bulldog. At this rate his next edict will be that Georgia needs to cut down on its admissions of hot girls.

LD said...

Before this devolves into an Adams bashing comment-thread, I'd like to add my 100% complete agreement with your depiction of Williamson. I've had at least three run-ins with Williamson personally and I can say, wihout a shred of doubt in my mind, that he is clearly the most incompetent person at the University of Georgia and leads the single most inefficient, misguided and poorly-run unit. Each time I read a quote by him in the paper I am stunned that he still has a job. Seriously. He must know where the bodies are buried or something.

Worrier said...

Sure the trash he's referring to isn't the Auburn faithful?

Anonymous said...

Following the events of the Classic City through the ABH and the Red & Black, the timeline of events seem something like this:
Lewis Fish dies after a night of alcohol, cocaine, and oh yeah heroine.
University must do something about "party culture".
University can't condemn underage drinking / partying when they condone the same culture on football game days.
University must curb "culture of alcohol" and "culture of irresponsibiltiy" at home games.
Mike Adams and Jimmy Williamson, (bringing new meaning to the term "untouchable"), state need to address culture at football games.
Therefore, the likelyhood of jack-booted thugs (University Police love to be called jack-booted thugs) interrupting your tailgate and mine will increase exponentially this fall.
All because a couple of 19-20 year olds thought the combination of Jack, crack, and smack was a good idea.
"Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe, and join the National Guard?"

Anonymous said...

Westerdawg has nailed it. The "alcohol abuse" issue is a stalking horse. I see much better behavior now than in my UGA years in the mid-80's. I'm afraid we are victims of our own undying loyalty and football success. "They" know we will jump through any hoop to get our home Saturday fix of pure, uncut Georgia football.

Last year it became increasingly difficult to tailgate at our usual spot and we had our run-in with the Campus Gestapo.

Adams whining about Auburn is ridiculious. We couldn't clean up our tailgate spot because SOMEONE didn't change the timers on the sprinklers. As we are tearing down at the stroke of midnight we get a soaking from the sprinklers.

I ask, if we weren't experiencing such great on-field success, how many would find it too inconvenient to attend?

Anonymous said...

Actually - I didn't write this. Dawgnoxious did.

Anonymous said...

Adams has tried to make UGA a better learning culture, but yet he has failed to do such during his tenure at UGA. Adams has alienated alumni, Greeks, non-Greeks, athletes, and coaches. He has lied to future students (He spoke to us at Orientation and stated that UGA would be competing with UNC and UVA by the time we graduate --> Adams has a year left to cash in on his promise.). Adams is all talk and incompetent action. Adams fails to recognize that if he wants a better school, he has to make admissions more stringent (The admissions at UGA compared to UF is a joke and we make fun of UF for being "trash", when in essence they have a more highly regarded school than us.)and he has to make more concessions to preserve the traditions of this university. Adams is a cancer to our school and he thinks that he can fight an intangible (no obvious enemy, just an idea or state of mind) war. I'm probably going to write a blog bashing Adams sometime in the future, I'm very Anti-Adams and I'm sure most of y'all are on board with that point of view.

Dawgnoxious said...

I wouldn't piss on Mike Adams if he were on fire, less'n I could piss gasoline.

He is a cancer.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what it means, but I was reading your post.. and right as I scrolled down to the picture of Adams, the lone John Mayer song on my iPod came on.. "Why Georgia".

Not sure which is worse.. Adams' continual jackassery or that I just admitted I have a John Mayer song on my iPod.

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