Here they are now, entertain them.

A little taste of Butts-Mehre attitude for you this morning…

The Bulldogs thrashed the Tigers 71-56 before an announced crowd of 5,229 at Stegeman Coliseum, which is below Georgia’s average of 6,638 for SEC home games this season. Missouri was the highest-rated SEC team that will visit Athens this winter, but Tuesday’s game had a 9 p.m. tip on ESPNU.

“I think sometimes that is used as an excuse,” McGarity said. “I know it creates hardships on people coming from Atlanta and that it absolutely affects them, but tickets were free for our students last night. We’re not in an exam period, and I’ve always felt that with the student body, later is better.”

Free tickets.  Loud piped in music.  Evening start.  And still the students won’t come.

I’m obviously drawing a very different conclusion from McGarity about what that means, but what do I know?  He’s got a much bigger reserve fund than I do.

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UPDATE:  Seth has some more on the subject here.

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54 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

54 responses to “Here they are now, entertain them.

  1. Did they upgrade the WiFi in the Steg? That’s the solution.

    • Given the crowd size, I don’t think that’s much of an issue.

      • +1 – we’ll start hearing the small crowds for basketball as a reason that we can’t have night games in football

        • 79dawg

          My brother and I drove over Tuesday night and, judging by the clear sailing on 316 coming back to Atlanta, there weren’t many others who did… There were about a dozen lowers on stubhub Monday afternoon (ticket office had no lowers), but the lower level wasn’t half full; was a great game though….

  2. Spike

    Just win, baby! And they will come….

    • ncdawg

      They are winning and the students still don’t come!!

      • gastr1

        Not just the students don’t come. I went to every UGA basketball game I could back in the day–when the team was winning a lot, in the late 80s and early 90s– and the empty seats in the season ticket holder sets right behind the benches used to drive my friends and I nuts. If you’re only getting 5K it’s more than a student problem–as it has always been for Dawg basketball. Look here–aren’t we only supposed to be talking about football on this blog? Reserve fund! Reserve fund!

      • Because they were losers so badly early on. We’ve shown it takes about a full season of winning before fans start to show up. We haven’t had that under Fox, not even close.

    • Russ

      And they have been. 3rd in the league.

      • JRod1229

        They may be winning.. but it doesn’t even matter. They are playing for an NIT position. The season was over before the conference games even started.

        The fans have shown they will show up if the product is any good. That’s been proven. While it is nice that the team is finally playing well (and they sold out their last weekend game) none of the games really mean that much except for seeding in the SEC tournament.

  3. Bob

    Mizzou being the highest ranked team they have played speaks volumes.

  4. Russ

    It’s a shame how they jerk the team and fans around. The article also said they had five different starting times the last five games. Fox and the team have done an amazing job turning their season around. They deserve support.

  5. FarmerDawg

    Beer will make it all better?

  6. Cousin Eddie

    Sell alcohol to underage students, they will come!

  7. cube

    McGarity is about a season or two away from standing in Tate Plaza yelling at students as they walk by ignoring him.

  8. 3rdandGrantham

    I don’t think UGA will ever be a hardcore basketball school or anything of the sort, but with continued success, Stegeman will start filling up more regularly. It typically takes a few years for overall momentum to build, and we’re not even done with this season as of yet.

    Just look to UVA as an example—JPJ was sparsely crowded the first few years of Bennett’s regime (and remember UVA is more of a basketball school than UGA is), even last year in which UVA had a pretty solid season. This year has been a different story, and lately JPJ has been absolutely rocking for every home game. I attended the UVA-Miami game last night and we all commented what a difference a year makes in terms of attendance/excitement.

    If we end the year strong and get off to a solid start next year, I can assure you Stegeman will start rocking, just like it did at times during the Harrick years.

  9. Most importantly, nice Nirvana reference. ;)

  10. DawgPhan

    So wait, we are assuming that there were less students there last night because of what? Because you want to complain the music is too loud?

    shakes fist Get Off my LAWN!!!!

    Seems like game time might have had something to do with lower attendance and that those missing are probably professionals who can’t even consider a mid-week 9pm tip.

    “All four SEC games with late Tuesday night tips drew below-average crowds this month, including Florida’s hosting of Missouri on Feb. 4. Georgia played a late game Feb. 18 at Tennessee, with the announced crowd of 13,852 noticeably below UT’s league average of 15,676.”

    facts dont do what you want them to.

    • Especially when you don’t get the point I’m making.

      Small crowd because the game doesn’t mean much. You can dress it up with all the things McGarity thinks will attract the students, like piped in music and later starting times, but it won’t matter. Because people don’t care about showing up for relatively meaningless games. Even if they’re free.

      There’s a lesson to be learned for football. But it’s easier to blame the students.

      • MBK

        But what exactly is your point? If the games were more meaningful / team was a real contender there would be a better crowd? Of course. But what are you suggesting be done?

        The late start time is a mistake, it may help with students but it keeps everyone else home. That said I think free student tickets, and yes, “piped in music”, DOES help the live environment somewhat. And in the long run having a better live environment will help recruiting and everything else.

      • Exactly. The fans don’t come because NIT-ology is bullsh*t. They threw away the season in the preseason. If he had coached like his job was on the line (which it should have been) then he wouldn’t have been running those YMCA rosters out there. I would STILL fire his ass because there is an NIT ceiling on this roster. And next year with everyone back and no incoming recruits it’s still an NIT roster.

        great coaches don’t do less with more. They do more with more. Great ADs push their coaches towards some sort of vision. McGarity frequently says “at the end of the day” because that’s how far his vision extends. The end of the day is when he most drive to the bank and deposit the checks.

        We will extend this guy and further drive the program apathy into the ocean.

        It infuriates me. At this point it isn’t even about Fox. It’s about McGarity not having a plan for well….anything.

        • That’s exactly why I’m amused by the fire Richt crowd – not because it’s wrong to want better, but because I’ve seen no evidence that B-M would recognize better if better walked up and bit it on the ass.

          • That is quite the defeatist attitude though Senator. We can’t expect better in [insert sport of fandom here] because the guys calling our shots can’t do better and will fail anyway? How the hell did B-M get so much money if they can’t recognize quality workmanship among coaches (and aside from men’s hoops, the track record on quality coach hiring and retention in head coaches of all sports this school competes in kind of speaks for itself here, doesn’t it)?

            • … and aside from men’s hoops, the track record on quality coach hiring and retention in head coaches of all sports this school competes in kind of speaks for itself here, doesn’t it…

              Really? Sure seems hit or miss to me.

        • AlphaDawg

          Yes, Yes, Yes…I stopped my donation to the BEF last year once KCP left and it was obvious Fox was returning. The guy is in the 3rd or 4th best state for BB talent and can’t recruit. I’m not even sure he’s good coach. It does appear he’ll be extended and my apathy about the program will only worsen.

  11. Macallanlover

    Convert Stegeman into a IPF for football and build a small cozy basketball arena for 6K people that is wired for loud, mind splitting music. It will look full, and UGA can have STs practice 24/7. Win/win.

  12. sniffer

    This has nothing to do with the subject, but I hate that GM sits so close to the bench. He has a “deer in the headlights” look and it’s just awkward. Fox can’t tell his boss to f**k off, but I bet he’d like to.

    • Dog in Fla

      Greg is there for net points. He’s been in the arena. At least he not
      sitting on a high chair beside the net.

  13. MBK

    I was at the game. You are off base, the student section was fairly crowded (prob due to the free tickets to students but still) and was fairly boisterous by UGA hoops standards. It was the rest of the seating that was empty, probably 80% of the upper sections.

    The reality is that to fill Stegeman they need to get people there with families. And a 9pm tipoff is too late to bring your kids to the game.

    • Don’t blame me. I’m only quoting what McGarity had to say.

      And from what I saw on TV, the student section didn’t look any more particularly packed than other games I’ve attended this year.

    • MBK

      To wit, the Ole Miss game was a sellout (and a loud crowd, great environment) partially because everyone hates Marshall Henderson, but also because it was on a Saturday at 4:00pm. Tons of kids there.

    • MBK

      It was a better than average student crowd.

  14. 69Dawg

    What we still play basketball, who knew. Georgia has never been a hot bed of basketball and that has killed us with the Atlanta players. Heck I only went to one or two basketball games my years at UGA. It was to see Pistol Pete and LSU. The place was packed and the crowd was loud. The only problem was we were loud for Pistol Pete. UGA was stalling in the days before the shot clock and we wanted to see Pete with the ball. Georgia’s coach got so mad he wrote a letter to the Red & Black criticizing the UGA fans. We were happy because Pete put on a show capped off by a half court hook shot that was a thing of beauty.

  15. Macallanlover

    From my experience and observation, late starting times have never been, nor do I expect them to ever be, a contributing factor to lack of attendance. That is reserved for the alums, and even then I don’t think that is a legit excuse. I am not a basketball fan so it doesn’t matter what they do, I am not attending, but give me an exciting football game and it doesn’t matter to me if I get home at midnight, or 4 AM, and just hit Medicare. Frankly, after a great football matchup, my adrenaline doesn’t allow me to sleep until 3-4 AM anyway. If I couldn’t drive back to South Georgia because I was too sleepy, I would get a hotel room on the way. There are plenty available for reasonable prices an hour or so out of Athens. Attendance for UGA football isn’t a problem at night for highly anticipated games, now Idaho State isn’t going to get folks there regardless of the start time.

    • Dog in Fla

      “If I couldn’t drive back to South Georgia because I was too sleepy, I would get a hotel room on the way.”

      I did that one time in beautiful downtown Macon after midnight and my adrenaline didn’t allow me to sleep

      • Gravidy

        I’m from Macon – “from” being the key word in that sentence.

        • Dog in Fla

          Being from south Alabama, I know exactly what you mean.

        • Dog in Fla

          h/t to Macon though for having God awful enough I’m going to make a man out of you high heat and humidity Summer weather that matches/exceeds Hogtown, New Orleans and/or Houston Summer weather misery.

          • Gravidy

            Well, I only live about 60 miles from Macon, so I still have the same kind of heat – if not slightly worse. But that heat is a lot more bearable when you experience it surrounded by quiet wilderness rather than asphalt and the constant wailing of sirens.

  16. Bulldog Joe

    Give Greg credit for trying to boost student attendance with the free admission.

    However, he should know the students are in the midterm exam period.

  17. Nashville West

    We West Coast Dawgs appreciated the 6pm(PST) start. Got home from work, popped a beer and settled in to watch the Dawgs kick Mizzou’s a$$!