Mike Slive prepares to take a victory lap.

You get the flow of this congratulatory piece from the opening – “Mike Slive sprawls in a comfy arm chair, propping his feet on a coffee table…”.  Yes, on the seventh day, Slive rested.  A little slow on the uptake?  Okay, how about “Slive, whose deal with the league runs through next July, sounds like a man contemplating his legacy even if he balks a bit at the term.”?

Read the story in its entirety and Slive’s legacy sounds like it boils down to returning everybody’s phone calls and making sure the money keeps rolling in, and with regard to the latter, in a world where a Paul Finebaum has been able to cash in on the passions of goobers to cut a national deal with ESPN, that hardly seems like a creating light from the darkness move.

If he is leaving next July, there will be a few loose ends for the next guy to pick up.  There’s the whole scheduling format snafu that’s resulted from the last round of expansion.  The odds on that getting settled next week in Destin?  Well, if that occurred, it would be, shall I say, miraculous.

And there’s another issue looming on the horizon that the SEC’s self-proclaimed holder of “almost a public trust” hasn’t come to grips with yet.

Advances in technology in recent years have halted the advance of attendance numbers in college football, and Southeastern Conference officials as well as the league’s athletic directors have taken notice. Nine of the 14 SEC schools suffered declines last season, with Tennessee’s average home attendance dipping under 90,000 for the first time since 1979 and Kentucky’s slipping under 50,000 for the first time since 1996.

Tennessee and Kentucky had disappointing seasons, but Florida went 11-1 during the regular season after going 6-6 in 2011 and still endured a drop of nearly 1,500 fans a game.

It’s kind of like the weather.  Everyone talks about it, but nobody has the first clue what to do about it.

“It’s at the top of our list of concerns, and we talk about it constantly,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “We talk about improving the experience and doing things in our stadium that people are doing at home. We provided look-ins this past year on our video board of other games going on, and I don’t think that would have even been thought of 10 years ago.

“The majority of people are coming to the games to enjoy the team. There is a tradition here, but if we ever took the stance that people are just going to show up and the game will unfold, that’s when problems will really escalate.”

Ah, yes, there’s that “tradition” thing.  You know what tradition is – it’s the public sentiment that the conference taps when it needs a few more bucks.

Hey, I think we’ve just put our fingers on Mike Slive’s true legacy.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Mike Slive prepares to take a victory lap.

  1. GaskillDawg

    To the ADs making the in stadium experience more like home means broadcasting commercials on the screen, banners and PA.

  2. Cojones

    You would think that with a name like Slive, he would be nicknamed according to his business acumen; – “Sly”. No? Why not?

    Do you mean to tell me that computer programers at this multimillion dollar company can”t get a schedule together? That has ALL traditional games in the schedule? Somebody got some ‘splainin’ to do!

    This is the friggin’ news from Destin?

  3. Mg4life0331

    So McGarity is in favor for brown water in the stands?

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    If they want me to show up more, they can start by reducing the volume and frequency of that incessant piped in music.

  5. Scorpio Jones,III

    As economic woes trickle through the middle class, and with decent tickets about the same cost as sending your child to Athens to school for a year, section HD is becoming more and more attractive.

    Most folks find it hard to admit shrinking discretionary income plays a part in deciding to watch on TV, but it simply has to. The days when you could drive from say….Chattanooga to Athens, spend the night and feed your self for about $100 are long gone.

    Maybe the SEC brain trust actually figured this was coming, thus the grasping at TV money to replace attendance that was probably going to decline anyway.

  6. Cojones

    Robbie Andreu, SEC Staff writer for Slive, writes that Slive will divvy up monies this week to” 16 conference members…”

    Wha….? Freudian slip?

  7. Cosmic Dawg

    I am in agreement with the rest of you. The way to get me out of my home is not to ask me to fork over $600 so that my bride and I can be assaulted by your big stupid stinking jumbotron with its bright lights and sirens and alarms that treat us like we’re getting attacked by an invading army from Mars.

    Commercials are the cost of watching the game at HOME – and that cost is zero. I get equally annoyed when I pay for a plane ticket and am hostage to the Lincoln commercial on Delta. Do I really have to go to first class just to avoid your stupid video coming at me from a hundred screens in the cabin? Are my eyeballs really worth $400 for five minutes?

    The funniest part is – I sell high-end video production / post production for a living…ha!

    ack.

  8. South FL Dawg

    You have been on a roll senator. I keep coming back to the tax exempt status of the AA’s which getting rid of, while it won’t fix everything, will be a good start.

  9. IveyLeaguer

    I’ve always enjoyed the game atmosphere. When TV timeouts began to escalate, that was a setback. But not a deterrence.
    What got me was when, sometime under Damon’s watch, we copied the pros (who never had bands) and began blasting hard rock, rap, and other secular music.
    We’ve got one of the very best bands in the world, yet we have to have this piped in music, as if it weren’t available anywhere else, or people couldn’t do without it for a few hours.
    It ruined it for me, and I finally just quit going.
    ~~~

  10. Debby Balcer

    I love being in Athens to watch the game, the atmosphere can’t be duplicated at home. The seating is more comfortable at home and there is no two hour drive home but the atmosphere makes the drive worthwhile. If they wan to improve the stadium make the seats more comfortable.

  11. Dog in Fla

    “in a world where a Paul Finebaum has been able to cash in on the passions of goobers to cut a national deal with ESPN,”

    In a world where the earth was no longer in our control with our survival at stake, we have one chance and that chance is to fight back. Get ready for the most thrill-ride television event of the year, Apocalypse Finebaum in flat monitors everywhere