Greg McGarity wants to go to eleven.

Sadly, this is what passes for forward-thinking, bold planning in today’s SEC.

Sanford Stadium—and other Southeastern Conference stadiums for that matter—will be able to play recorded music in between plays in an effort to pump up the in-game atmosphere, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said.

“If you need to get people revved up for a big third-down play, you can do that,” McGarity said. “You could always do it with your band, but now you can do it any way you want to. You still have to stop once the quarterback gets over the ball, gets under the center or in the shotgun.”

McGarity said the SEC has relaxed its rules on playing music over the stadium sound system that should give Georgia the same kind of environment during the game as the Bulldogs saw in last year’s season-opener at ACC member Clemson.

“They were able to do things in the ACC that we were not in the SEC,” McGarity said. “The rules have changed now for 2014 where we’re able to utilize songs and music up until the point when the quarterback gets over the ball. That’s a big change in the in-game atmosphere.”

McGarity is on an SEC working group, chaired by Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, that looks at marketing, promotions and fan interaction and declining attendance.

That group felt like adding music to the in-game atmosphere “would create more excitement across the conference,” and entertain fans more and help generate more enthusiasm, McGarity said.

Implicit in all this nonsense is an admission that the conference recognizes its on-field product is no longer compelling enough on its own merits for its fan base.  That’s one helluva marketing strategy you got there, fellas.

The obvious way to get SEC fans revved up would be to serve them a better home schedule with fewer cupcake games.  But that tends to be a lot more expensive than paying for the right to shatter ear drums with a stirring rendition of “Zombie Nation”.  And when the day comes when it dawns on them that fake juice doesn’t work, they’ll console themselves with the notion that at least they tried to give us what we wanted.  Then they’ll move on to the next stupid, cheap stunt that gets their attention.

McGarity threatens/promises to test out a few choice numbers at G-Day. Anyone got a spare Masters ticket?

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65 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

65 responses to “Greg McGarity wants to go to eleven.

  1. Sober me says this is a bad idea, I should hate it, and all the neighborhood kids need to stay off my lawn.

    But the version of me that typically stumbles into the stadium is actually probably going to like it, if I’m being honest.

  2. Honesty is the best policy! :)

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Great, Georgia games will be like the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Are we going to have the dog racing around the gridiron and the three leg races at the end of each quarter?

  4. Rival

    T-shirt cannons!

    Interns dressed as Uga’s doghouse, the hedges, and a bugle racing in a 40-yard dash!

    Me still at home watching on my big screen TV so I don’t have to witness any of the above live!

  5. Hackerdog

    At the LSU game last season, I admit that I never thought, “Boy, what could make this atmosphere even more intense is some Baba O’Riley in between plays.” What a stupid I am.

    • Exactly. And exactly the point. Like the Senator indicated, you don’t need fake juice for real games.

      As discussed just last week, Damon Evans ran me off when he began playing recorded music during pregame and timeouts, going on 10 years ago. I took it for more than a year, until early-season 2006, when I’d finally had enough.

      Now that was just me. But now, we get it in between plays. Goodness. It’ll make the TV broadcasts even more attractive to many game-goers, I would think.

      I’ll admit I don’t get it. I guess people at games just don’t think about the game itself anymore. Just aren’t into the game. For if they were, they’d have no need to be entertained. Now those that are into the game have an obnoxious distraction to deal with.

      I’m already out. But I feel for those who have cherished their gamedays in the stadium for a long time, but will now lose their experience, or at least have it tarnished. And there are a number of those.
      ~~~

  6. Cojones

    During bad games, can we smoke in the second half? Nevermind. I’ll just bring cookies prepared by a friend’s recipe using butter mixed with a THC- chrystal water. Effect is much more immediate than brownies.

    Until they outlaw old farts with oatmeal cookies, I don’t care what Mac decides to do to enhance attendance.

    • pantslesspatdye

      I don’t think you can bring outside food, so it is kind of outlawed. I’m sure it would be considered low-level contraband and easy to do, but against the rules, nonetheless.

  7. Took my kids to a Lady Dawgs game last week. They were handing out free tickets at the door and it was only 25% full, but it was a late season thursday night game. We ended up needing to leave around the third quarter because my son couldn’t handle the noise. Not the cheering, mind you, and it was a really close game that UGA won over LSU. It was the pumped in noise. Mind you, the basketball band was there playing and I liked the sound – kind of a jazzed up version of the football standards. There were cheerleaders, there was a full dance team. But the pumped in noise just was too much. The live elements were awesome. The music and loudspeaker mess sucks. It didn’t make the atmosphere any better. It was annoying to anyone there to actually, you know, watch an cheer for the game.

      • Sanford222view

        +1000

        One of my sons ((5 years at the time) did not like the volume of the piped in music in Sanford two years ago.

        The administration does not get it. Auburn, for example, has a great atmosphere not because of the piped in music but because its fans are loud and cheer constantly. I have always felt Georgia fans in Sanford are pretty weak when it comes to pumping up the team. We wait for the team to give us something to cheer about rather than helping them by being loud.

        Another factor is the traditional Georgia cheers do not lend themselves to being loud except for the “GEORgia….bullDOGS!” cheer that goes across the stadium. “Gooooooooo Georgia Bulldogs” and other cheers while cool to me just aren’t easy to do loudly.

        Other than handling out mini bottles of our favorite bourbon at the gates I don’t know what the answer is. I do know, however, that piped in musuc is not the answer.

  8. Cousin Eddie

    Don’t get to excited, McGarity has yet to realize this will cost tens of dollars in electricity to do. Que the band.

  9. Bob Sackamano

    Dr Who, Dr Whoooooo…OOO…HEY!
    Y’all Ready for this?

  10. PTC DAWG

    I thought everyone wanted free Wifi?!?

  11. Dawglicious

    I remember we tried this in 96, with the Macarana pumping through Sanford. Munson hated it, along with (most) everyone else

  12. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Loud music prevents crowd interaction or even having and conversation with the person next to you – WHICH IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WATCHING AT HOME VERSUS BEING IN THE STANDS.

    Loud music and video board games are why I no longer attend pro sporting events. Seriously.

  13. Bob

    Insane. Damn red panties. This AD is a total joke and an embarrassment.

    I hope that loud music puts the Kibosh on the Southern Jaguar attack. Sheeesh.

  14. Chuck

    Well, if that means the Redcoats can bring back the thundering electric bass they had back in the 70s, I am okay with it.

  15. RobDawg

    Dawglicious I also remember the Donnan era when we tried canned music and fog machine the team ran through and remember vividly the fans around us not in support at all. I recall the song Celebration being played over speakers and people literally laughing at how embarrassing it was in the Sanford Stadium tradition rich atmosphere. I predict it will be a flop again if they try it

  16. Scorpio Jones, III

    Declining attendance….oh, what a shame, pass the TV money please.

  17. Spence

    Mother effer – I just re pledged Hartman.

    I swear ill quit paying if they turn this shit into a Hawks game. This is horrible horrible news.

  18. Spence

    I have a hard time with the older generation bitching about me and those younger than me having short attention spans, yet filling every room and i

  19. 81Dog

    This sounds like a bad idea. Welcome to Sanford Stadium, Presented to you by Adderall and the hearing aid manufacturer of your choice. Bleah.

    I don’t care if all the ADHD slackers get their Wi-Fi boost and ruin their thumbs and eyes texting all game instead of, you know, WATCHING THE ACTUAL GAME. At least those people are quiet. The aural barrage is a mare of a different hue. In attracting the new target audience of people who find watching a game boring and so 1975, they’re going to run off all the people who actually LIKE football and watch the games. You know: the folks with money and good jobs and staff.

    Brilliant!!!! Maybe all the 26 year olds can afford Skybox seats because they’re all on their parents health insurance now, and they can make up the difference in ticket sales.

  20. Macallanlover

    McFrugal may be the AD equivalent of Lane Kiffin, damn the traditions, “I am setting the standards here now”!

  21. old dawg

    attendance is down? really? I suppose the 400 hours of ESPN/CBS/whomever weekend saturation has nothing to do with that. Just put a consistent winner on the field and let the fans enjoy the games. It’s not rocket science.

  22. Spike

    Win, and they will come and be noisy…

  23. Athens Dog

    I can’t believe he is this tone deaf. I may be an old fart but I’m one of the ones shelling out thousands of dollars in support. And Clemson will always suck Why would we want to emulate them in anything?

  24. BCDawg97

    Wasn’t McGarity the one who when he became AD said that there would be less piped in music, that we have traditions and the Red Coats can lead the music and get the crowd involved?

  25. I Wanna Red Cup

    Can’t wait to hear the music choices in 2015 for Southern. Lousiana Directional and Ga Southern. Maybe they’ll play Statesboro Blues ? Nah, the target audience has never heard of the AB

  26. DawgPhan

    This thread is so full of win.

    guessing most of you will be not ordering season tickets next month.

  27. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    Another disappointing decision from those at the top. When you’ve got one of the best bands in the country they need more chances to play, not fewer. Those kids play their hearts out, win or lose, and the level of musicianship is way above what you will hear in most other stadiums. This band needs to be celebrated, not ignored. In the 96 Olympics some folks will remember that the opening ceremony celebrated Georgia traditions, pickup trucks, football, and marching bands. Maybe it should have been pickup trucks, football, and annoying recorded music if that’s the wave of the future.

  28. sUGArdaddy

    I wouldn’t poo poo this. I’ve been to every game about the last 7 years and the atmosphere/distraction at road games is distinctively different. The piped in noise and music at Vandy made a real difference in turning the momentum and crowd in that game. Franklin knows what he’s doing in that respect.

    Clemson was loud and bananas because of it, and if you’ve ever been to Williams-Brice, this is real. We rely on older methods. I love the redcoats and good old fashioned hollering, but the simple fact is we’re behind the times on this. It’s happening everywhere, including the stadium that has the Bear’s name on it.

    Everything is different these days. The best children’s hospitals, movie theatres, churches, and malls engage the younger generation with media and technology. Just embrace it and cheer for the dawgs. Whether we like it or not, we’re behind on this, and it makes a difference in the atmosphere and to recruits. UT mics up the band and puts speakers around the stadium. There’s a million ways to do it, but if we can make it louder and choose not to because of some hoity toity principal that we belive in old fashioned crowd noise, that’s the stupid decision.

    • To be fair, any extra noise probably helps at Vandy. ;)

      Georgia miked up the band this past season, just like UT. Which is fine by me.

      I’ve been to enough pro basketball and hockey games to know how obnoxious the piped-in stuff can easily be. There may be “a million ways to do it”, as you put it, but I suspect in practical terms it’ll wind up being handled the same way every sports venue does – overdone.

    • Ginny

      “Just embrace it and cheer for the dawgs.”

      Exactly. I don’t get what the big deal is. You go to the games to watch your favorite team play. You can still do that.

      • I can watch my favorite team play on television. I go to the games to enjoy the live experience. And they’re screwing with that.

        • Ginny

          So you’re saying you won’t enjoy watching the dawgs play in Sanford anymore because of some music? I feel like this is just kind of trivial.

          • PatinDC

            Not if my ears are bleeding like at the basketball games.

          • Always Someone Else's Fault

            It’s not “some music.” A Panthers game is 10 seconds of football, 20 seconds of an AC/DC concert – repeat non-stop for 4 hours. You cannot talk to the person next to you without shouting. It’s absurd.

  29. JRod1229

    Another thing to complain about.. and I bet it has zero affect on the attendance (which we’ve recently seen is completely unfazed lately).

    I for one really enjoyed Soulja Boy (not the lyrics) when it was pumped in and had the team and stadium absolutely rocking during a certain Auburn game.

    Will it work for noon games? No, but nothing really will.

    I’m sorry that people can’t understand that 17-21 year olds don’t get jacked up to listen to the band play, but they can to their favorite musical artists. This isn’t a fault of theirs in my opinion.

    • I always thought the reason the blackout game worked so well was because the clothing and the music were fresh/spontaneous. People often lose sight of the power of that. It’s not that hard to run something into the ground and I have little doubt that’s exactly what we’re in store for.

  30. Ben

    I live far away from Athens, and we don’t have a lot of opportunity to get there for games (because I work on Sundays), but the last game we attended was the Tech game in 2010. And that was the first game I’d been to since the Alabama game of 03. (Remember when we broke all of their QBs and still almost lost in the 4th quarter? Good times.)

    What was surprising and appalling to me was hearing the pumped-in music; the ridiculous games on the big screen; and the selling of cotton candy and those stupid things people wear on their heads.

    I was at UGA from 99-03 (02 was my last season as a student; what a year), and I’ve been going to games since the late 80s when my grandfather took me to my first one (he was a season ticket holder for many, many years).

    I don’t know where I’m going with this, but it’s appalling to me that people can’t get to the stadium well before kickoff; my girlfriend in college (who is my wife now) really didn’t like getting to the game 1 hour before kickoff and staying until the end (win or lose), but that’s what you do at home games. That’s how you build an atmosphere. It’s not playing zombie nation or shell games or selling cotton candy. It’s getting your ass into the stadium to cheer for your team. If people aren’t willing to do that, there’s no amount of in-game experience or changes you can make.

    Just my thoughts.

  31. MountainDawg

    As a student at the University who reads your blog daily, I’m entirely in favor of this. You can’t complain about student attendance and then complain about changing the atmosphere in the stadium also.

    • Thanks for the perspective. Do you think it will improve student attendance?

      • 81Dog

        I’m in favor of revoking all student tickets that are unused more than 30 minutes before game time and giving them to people on the bridge looking for seats. At least the people on the bridge care enough to show up on time.

  32. Any step towards making our gameday more like the one at Williams-Brice is a mistake. It’s like Eastern Europe with all of the techno over the loudspeakers.

  33. PatinDC

    Ugh. Makes me sad to hear this.

  34. Moe Pritchett

    PERHAPS….it is just me, but there seems to be some negativity regarding Herr McGaritys planned concerto’s.

  35. Old DAWG

    Do the people that make the decision even sit where this will be heard? Of course not, they’re in the box. Move them outside, see how long they can stand it. “This is crap”. Huh. “THIS IS CRAP”. What? “!!!THIS NOISE SUCKS!!! FOR GOD’S SAKE SHUT IT OFF!!!” Sorry I can’t hear you.
    If this is mainly for the students, can’t we use directional speakers aimed at them? But, the students are pretty loud anyway. So we got two groups, one hates it and the other doen’t need it – so what’s the point. (Sorry, why would LOGIC have any voice at UGA admin?)

  36. Bulldog Joe

    Oh great. Something else for the SEC office to selectively enforce.

  37. Russ

    I’m actually glad I don’t have to listen to this and I love loud music. I’m probably the biggest Who fan out there, but what Baba O’Riley has to do with Georgia football I still haven’t figured out. At least it isn’t that rave shit that everyone jumps up and down to at Tech games and other schools.

  38. Debby Balcer

    I enjoy the pregame shows and some canned music but I enjoy the band too. I don’t want non stop playing canned music, use it judiciously. I arrive early and stay until the end no matter who we are playing or the score.

    • Ginny

      These are my sentiments. Keep the band, throw in some canned stuff but use good judgement about it, and cheer on the dawgs.

      • Macallanlover

        Both of you ladies are grounded and always provide stability with your posts. I agree the best answer will be in the balance provided, along with some discretion in song selection. An adjustment for the generational differences should help with the students, but 90%+ of the money comes from the other fans. Don’t move too fast, don’t move too far. The key will still be putting a good product on the field, especially on the Dawgs sideline. But bring in some competitive teams to generate the type of enthusiasm music can never provide.

  39. Cosmic Dawg

    I don’t like the jumbotron and canned music just “because” – it’s too bright, too loud, etc. Also, the band is our band, so it’s unique to us. Sammy Hagar or Usher or whoever can be played anywhere, in a mall, in a car, so it says nothing special about us to co-opt their music.

    And perhaps part of the reason I can’t stand the music is because a marching band is sonically just more even-sounding in a stadium than the harsh, treble-y PA system.

    And when a band plays part of a song it’s arranged – they actually select / adapt a passage with a planned way to stop and start, and no lyrics, so it doesn’t sound incomplete. But you can’t just lift 20 random seconds of a rock song and blast it on 11 and make it enjoyable.

  40. Bulldog Joe

    Welcome to the bush leagues, Georgia.

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