At least he didn’t bring up the weather.

During the most recent Bulldog Hotline, a Georgia fan cites the most offbeat reason I’ve yet heard about why Jacksonville isn’t a neutral site game:  “Lance in Uvalda asks if Richt really thinks it is a neutral field, especially with all of the financial impact that the state of Florida gets from it…”

Maybe Lance needs to be reminded how much the city pays Georgia to play there – a lot of Florida dollars flowing back to a Georgia institution.

Mark Richt, bless his heart, goes from diplomatic to honest in his response.

Richt reminds that he doesn’t make comments on that anymore. Says it is like an away game for both teams, with travel and the 70 man roster. Feels like an away game until you get in the stadium with the 50-50 split. Definitely neutral in the that regard.  [Emphasis added.]

I’ll be curious to see if the Jax grumbling dies down in the near term as a result of the winning streak.

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53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

53 responses to “At least he didn’t bring up the weather.

  1. Gravidy

    I’m not going to weigh in on the neutrality of Jacksonville, Senator. It is safe to say everyone here is buried in a World War I trench on one side of that issue or the other. But you know why that comment was made as well as I do. Anyone who makes a buck in this world (real or imagined, no matter how or why it is made) will always be evil to a portion of our citizenry, and being a Dawg fan, sadly, isn’t an immunization from that malady.

  2. Spike

    There was no grumbling when Dooley and Erk were here.

    • tbia

      There wasn’t constant bitching about how bad our home schedule is either.

      • Russ

        Well, in all fairness…there wasn’t an internet for all of us to waste time on with first-world complaints. :)

        I remember Vince burned in effigy in 1974, I believe. Apparently it worked since 1975 was the original Junkyard Dawgs, and 1976 we won the SEC and shut out Bear Bryant and Bama. (Lost to Ole Miss the following week, though. Just sayin’…)

  3. Bulldog Joe

    Considering how many fans stay and play in the coastal communities for the week, the state of Georgia doesn’t do too bad on this one, either.

    • Hackerdog

      Exactly. The Brunswick, St. Simons, Jekyll Island corridor gets from definite impact from that weekend.

  4. wnc dawg

    “…as a result of the winning streak.”

    Man, is that fun to read.

  5. Gatriguy

    Meh, I’m not changing my tune on this, regardless of how many we win: playing in Jacksonville every year is absurd. But, to each his own.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I’m not changing my tune on that either. Playing FU in JAX is like playing Bama in Birmingham or LSU in the SuperDome, even with an even split of the tickets. Can the Dawgs overcome playing FU as an away game every year? Sure. They have the last 2 years in a row and for extended stretches in the past. But that doesn’t mean that playing the Gators there isn’t an advantage for FU. It just means that the Dawgs were able to overcome the disadvantage.

      • HahiraDawg

        Mayor, read below, maybe I had you and MacLover confused?

        • Macallanlover

          You definitely was all dyslexic on that one my friend. I have never seen one single, logical fact that disadvantages UGA on that argument. Game is absolutely neutral, although UGA gets a few extra shekels from the City of Jax. Now if you owned a business (motel, restaurant, gas station) in Athens, I can see why you would want the additional home game every other year. Beyond that, neutrality argument is simply pathetic.

          Now that is different from saying you would prefer a home and home, that is just an opinion and no one can argue that. But neutrality deals with facts and every single, substantial fact supports neutrality for this game. I do think those who favor a homke and home neglect the fact that FU would benefit from this, The Swamp is a much bigger edge for Florida than Sanford is for UGA. It isn’t as nice, the weather isn’t as good, but it is a huge edge for FU, almost as much as Death Valley is for LSU. That is also an opinion, unlike entrality.

          • Bob

            No, your argument is pathetic. It is an advantage for Florida. Sure the Swamp would be a bigger advantage, but it is an advantage. I mean it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that it is a road game for the football team. It is not for the fans and the party goers, but it is for the team. Patently ridiculous to assume otherwise. It is not necessarily decisive, but it is an edge that we should not be surrendering every year.

            Having said that, I have always felt that the Gators former bye every year was a bigger advantage. But coupled together, it is an advantage.

            Now, it doesn’t matter how much any of us complain, it is not going to change. Having come to the conclusion that it is not going to change, is it possible that the city of Jacksonville which rakes in the money on this game, could at least find an electrician and fix that ridiculous PA system. They know how bad it is or they wouldn’t be using close caption on their scoreboard.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Agreed Bob. The other thing that Mac doesn’t acknowledge is the fact that every other year the Dawgs only get 3 SEC home games as a direct result of the WLOCP being held in JAX, while all the other SEC East teams get 4 (and I would argue that FU gets 5 as playing in JAX is tantamount to a home game for FU). That alone puts UGA at a disadvantage over all the other SEC East teams. Can the Dawgs overcome that disadvantage. Yes and they have time and time again over the years. That doesn’t mean that it is not a disadvantage, though.

            • Macallanlover

              Bob, if you could name just ONE way in which we are disadvantaged relative to FU, people might not accept that our fans are simply whiners (on this issue anyway). Please don’t even begin to say the 45 minute flight versus their bus trip over which is even longer. I assume you have more than that, if not, just go away. No one else has been able to show where we are disadvantaged any more than FU, maybe you are smart enough to have discovered something that would make jeopardizing one of CFB football’s best traditions. But I will say, if anyone should know what is “ridiculous” you should with that retort above where you state an unfounded opinion and have zero facts to bolster your position. Bet that “everyone knows” factoid just tilted the scale your way. LMAO.

              As I said earlier, fine if you just don’t like it, everyone can respect there are personal preferences that vary, but don’t use the neutrality argument, that has been clearly stated many times how UGA actually has the only edge, and it is monetary, has nothing to do with the contest.

  6. In my experience, everyone I talk to who is opposed to keeping the game in Jax has never actually been to the WLOCP. With that said, I love the atmosphere there and I certainly don’t think it would be the same if we played that game home and home.

    • HahiraDawg

      I’m for Jax, mainly because of my history there and the proximity to us in South Georgia. However, I believe the most level-headed poster here, my fellow Scotch lover (although I like Derek & the Mayor too) is opposed to Jax. I also believe he’s a South Georgia Dawg and that he’s been to the game often.

  7. DawgPhan

    playing .500 down there since 2007, which is farther back than some dawg fans seem to be able to remember.

  8. rugbydawg79

    The game in Jacksonville is part of what makes UGA Football special

    • Russ

      +1000 Plus, fans around the country know the WLOCP. It ranks with the Red River Rivalry (nee’ Shootout) in the minds of college football fans. I obviously think our game ranks much higher.

      • Patrick

        Not sure about that.

        In my discussions with legit college football fans from other parts of the country….many of them had no idea the game was played at a neutral site with 50/50 tix. The folks in Montana would probably get about 3 out of 100 on that one.

        Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should change…

    • TomReagan

      Amen.

      It’s as important to Georgia lore and tradition as the Silver Britches, the Chapel Bell, Uga, and the Hedges. We would be insane to throw away something like that–especially since only us, Army/Navy, and Texas/Oklahoma are still doing the neutral site thing.

      Honestly, it’s the only thing that kept the series relevant for most of the past 20 years.

  9. Class A

    I was there in 1980 and haven’t missed a game since 1997. For the first time we actualy stayed on St. Simons, took our wives, saw the students (including my daughter and nephew) on the beach and spent our dollars on Georgia soil. I wouldn’t take it out of Jax for anything!!

  10. Cookinandsmilin

    Jax and games AT Auburn are typically the only games we attend due to logistics. There are a lot of folks from towns in SOUTH GA, like Valdosta, tifton, thomasville, Cairo, waycross, Brunswick, etc… that can’t make the 4-5 hour drive to Athens…. And don’t Dawgs like recruiting players from south GA such as Malcome Mitchell and Lindsay Scott who seem to come up big in JAX in front of their whole family???

  11. NC Dawg

    This is a game for the South Georgia fans, and there are lots of them.

  12. Rocket Dawg

    There is no reason to take this game out of Jax.

  13. Scorpio Jones, III

    Can we please talk about Ole Miss now, just a little bit, it’s nice to beat Florida and all, but jeez…to quote Paul Bryant….can we just “act like we been there before” and move on to Ole Miss.

    • Gravidy

      What?!? You mean you haven’t already secured your tickets and accomodations in Atlanta?

    • Coweta Dawg

      I’m still basking in the glow, too, but here’s some worry-inspiring snippets from Mr. Ashcroft at ESPN:

      “Some weren’t sure whether Ole Miss got it right with Freeze. He wasn’t a sexy name in the coaching world, and many thought the Rebels could do better. Well, after Ole Miss’ 30-27 win over Arkansas, the Rebels are one win from being bowl-eligible for the first time in two years and matching their win total from the past two years combined. Freeze has totally changed the culture at Ole Miss and has made the Rebels relevant again. The offense has been fun to watch, and this team has real fight in it. Players admitted to giving up during games last year, but this year’s team has really bought in to playing for four quarters. This team wasn’t supposed to be remotely close to the bowl picture. Now, it’s a win from the postseason, and Freeze is a major reason. He deserves to be considered for SEC Coach of the Year. ”

      Let the hand-wringing commence.

  14. This could actually be the solution to the nine game schedule. Coaches don’t want nine games because they could be fighting for a job and have 5 SEC away games every other year. Make every school have a neutral site game. Logistics might be a pain for the smaller schools, but I don’t have to worry about that. Chick-fil-a can pay for a lot of it.

  15. JAXDAWG

    I made the comment to my wife that the city of Jacksonville contracts with both schools to have the game here and the last time that contract was up for renewal, Jacksonville received competition from the Atlanta Sports Council who was throwing some bait Jacksonville’s way. This was also a time when we were on the losing end so the chatter about “moving the game” was at an all-time high.

    The fact of the matter is that Jacksonville rewards both schools handsomely, and while the city obviously benefits, so does the entire coast between SSI to then north and St Augustine to the south. Even little towns like Darien are now getting into the mix, so to say that this game benefits one state more than another is a big maybe.

    All that said, if the game hasn’t moved after our dismal record over the past 20 years then it’s not moving anytime soon.

    • All I know is that the Atlanta Sports Council can piss up a rope on the Georgia-Florida game as far as I’m concerned. It’s Jacksonville or home-and-home for me.

      My buddies and I were talking after the game and I’ve always been on Team Jacksonville, but after finally winning the last two years in a row and three of the last six, I’m kinda over Jacksonville. I loved the atmosphere in the stadium. But I’m just sick of everything else having to do with that city. It gets less “neutral” down there every year. I think at some point the restaurateurs and store owners figured out that they didn’t have to pretend not to be pro-Gator just to get our money and they don’t bother hiding it anymore. It’s a Gator town, and that’s obviously Georgia’s fault for letting the series get so far out of hand for so long. We talked about how fun it would be to invade the Swamp. I don’t want to have the Gators in Athens, but it’d be fun to go see their place. So, the idea doesn’t offend me as much anymore.

      That said, having the Georgia-Florida game in the antiseptic Georgia Dome and tailgating in potentially frigid gray Atlanta while remembering that we used to do it in typically warmer JAX in view of sunshine and water would be a ridiculous joke. Don’t do it.

      • DawgVegas

        Oncwe we crossed back into Georgia on the way home Sunday my wife remarked that now she could stop worrying about cooks/waitresses spitting in our food just because of our UGA clothes. I agree that the town and surrounding areas (like on I-295) used to appear to be more neutral.

        • Gatriguy

          It probably was more neutral before 20 years of UGA losing and the FL population boom of the 70′s and 80′s resulted in a glut of 20-somethings that only know UF winning.

          That fact is, Jacksonville isn’t part of South Georgia the way it once was. UF has a much stronger presence there than they did back when they couldn’t get their shit together.

      • We are nuts to complain that Bama uses the GA Dome to open the ATL market for recruiting and then the same fans want to leave Jax which opens up N Fla and South Ga more for us.

        When we win there recruiting has always done well in critical areas for us.

  16. JAXDAWG

    Where the hell is “Uvalda”?

  17. Slaw Dawg

    For me, moving UGA-UF out of J’ville is in the same class as having CFB playoffs, giving up ancient annual rivalries and playing 3 cupcakes a year. Let’s just squeeze everything special out of CFB we can and make it “NFL Lite.” That’s when I take of fishing on autumn Saturdays.

    But Scorp is 100% right. It’s time to get to Ol’ Miss, boys and girls. I don’t like some of the match ups in this one–another big, strong QB + very capable receiving corps (a la UT), more than decent ground game, good ST. Also a focused team that will be determined to beat GA and a coach who has them believing. If the Dawgs show up for this like they did for KY, the Gators will go to Atlanta.

  18. PTC DAWG

    Jax…leave it there…end of story.

  19. Anon

    I think a lot will depend on whether or not the Jaguars remain in town as well. There’s no way they’ll keep throwing money at that stadium with no NFL team to fill it.

    A CFB season kickoff, the Ga/Fla game, some HS playoff games and the Gator Bowl will not be enough to replace NFL dollars.

  20. HVL Dawg

    No to a home and home. Keep those nasty Gators out of Georgia.

    I was in Sanford Stadium the last (only?) time Fla came to town. I don’t want to let those filthy bastards back into my beloved Athens ever again.

  21. evolveddeepsoutherner

    Way off-topic here, but I came here figuring the Senator would have already flagged and front-paged this one:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–spurrier-comments-swinney-stain-lattimore-tribute.html

    I’m kind of speechless.

  22. Mark

    When both teams have to travel the same distance, the same way, etc. then it can be considered neutral.

    • Macallanlover

      LOL Yep, that 45 minutes of air travel is excruciating on a 20 year old, well conditoned athlete. I told you would get very silly trying to find a disadvantage. If we have hit this low point, I suggest we abandon our athetic department because we are incapable of beating a single A middle school girls team. Hope this wasn’t meant to be serious.