So they fed a little red meat to the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club last night.

In the midst of rallying the troops for ’07, Mark Richt had this to say about the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party:

Another thing some believe has been in the way of Georgia winning is the location of the game. For three more years it’s scheduled to be in Jacksonville. When that contract is up, Richt would be in favor of moving it.

“Do I truly think it is a neutral site?” Richt said. “No, I don’t. That doesn’t feel very neutral to me. If you want to have a neutral game, let’s have a neutral game in Atlanta. I would not be against rotating the thing around.”

Richt said the two schools’ campuses and Jacksonville could all be considered a part of that rotation.

“Whatever Damon says goes,” Richt added. “The bottom line is we have got to win the game.”

Now I respect Mark Richt greatly. I’ve mentioned before that on the subject of playoffs he walks with the angels. But to blame the location for Georgia’s recent abysmal record against the Gators is nothing more than a cop out.

The game is one of the great traditions of Georgia football. It’s something that a large chunk of the fan base looks forward to every year. It’s also one of the few bones that get thrown to the fans in south Georgia, who one time a year have the shorter drive to the game.

Neutral site games are becoming a trend lately. ‘Bama and FSU are playing in Jacksonville this year. Notre Dame is out shopping for sites as I write this. The Big 12 is looking to put a game in Jerry Jones’ new stadium. And yet we want to abandon the second oldest of these games (the Red River Shootout in Dallas predates us by four years) because the Dawgs haven’t been successful on the field in a while.

Bad idea. The negative PR alone will be awful. Don’t think Urban Meyer won’t have a field day with it in recruiting. Plus, Michael Adams will probably see it as a victory in his epic war against having a good time at football games.

As I said, it’s nothing more than a poor excuse for not winning. Playing in the Gator Bowl wasn’t a problem for Dooley and playing at Alltel shouldn’t have been a problem for Richt (how did he lose two out of three to the Zooker, anyway?).

And let’s not forget the “be careful what you wish for” admonition: what happens if the series goes home and home and Georgia still can’t start winning? Does anyone need to be reminded what the results were the last time the games were played home and home?

Don’t do it, Damon. Please.


UPDATE:  Groo has some more thoughts here.  He makes a valid point with regard to offensive point totals and our head coach’s mindset going into J’ville.


Filed under Georgia Football

19 responses to “Nooooooooooooooo….

  1. kckd

    It’s also a game we give an opponent with as good or better players than us a slight advantage every year.

    And some foolish Dawg fans want to do it, cause they like once a year to go get smashed several hours or a short flight away from home.

    Anyone who claims UF has “NO” advantage by taking a bus ride to Jax while we fly is insane.


  2. Sigh.

    So how come Dooley was so successful? It’s not like Georgia was overwhelmingly superior talent-wise to the Gators during his term as HC.

    If you haven’t experienced a few WLOCPs, you can’t understand why it’s so beloved by much of the fan base.

    I do find it pretty funny that a two hour plane ride and a short bus ride could wear out a bunch of strapping 20 year olds so much. Van Halanger better get on that right away. 😉


  3. Sorry, Senator. I think you are thinking with your liver on this one.

    The Gators have a monumental advantage in this game – and I agree completely with Richt.

    But then again, you and I don’t see eye to eye on other things either? 🙂


  4. kckd

    Dooley did have a significant edge talent wise during those years. We also had a significant edge coaching wise too. Have fun changing out your coozies. This pleasing the southern GA. fans is BS. Everybody knows it’s the party that you old farts are really beeyotching about. And we’ve known for years that having your mini October vacation was more important than the game anyway.


  5. “Dooley did have a significant edge talent wise during those years.”

    What are you talking about? The only time Dooley had a sustained edge in talent was from ’79-’81. UF had some very good teams in the 70’s that saw their seasons ruined at the WLOCP. The Gators were #1 when Georgia beat them in ’85 with an inferior bunch.

    J’ville’s a poor excuse to use for Georgia losing 15 of the last 17. Georgia had the better team and coach in ’02, ’03 and ’04, yet only managed one win. Blaming that on a plane ride is pathetic.


  6. kckd

    Check the NFL rosters and get back with me.

    And show me more than five people who see it your way that don’t spend the whole weekend in Jax. That’s the ones who piss their pants every time Richt brings this up. Some of us actually care about the game more.


  7. I’ve attended every UGA-UF game since ’79, except the one in Gainesville (couldn’t get a ticket), but you care about the game more.

    Yeah, sure.


  8. kckd

    How many times did you just go to the game? And how many times did you take a vacation?

    If it’s just the game that you care about, you wouldn’t care where it was played. You like the location, and you like your cocktails.


  9. Hey, hey now. You guys need to chill.

    The Senator is right, in 02, 03 and 04 we had the better teams and should have won. I am not blaming the losses on the site.

    I am saying that calling the site neutral is not accurate. It is not a neutral site. Everything from the weather, to the distance from campus, to the dang name of the state the game is played in all cry: FLORIDA!!!!

    Easy fellas, we are all on the same team here.


  10. kckd

    Dude, it’s really not that big of a deal to me. It’s just to funny to see all the guys in and around Atlanta claim we do it for those poor saps in the south who have to drive to Athens every weekend. What a load of BS!!!!. If they felt that way, they’d give their tickets to them. Cause I know a lot of people from south GA who have home tickets to Athens games, but can’t buy one for the cocktail party. That game is about the party as much as the game. And the Senator knows it. The folks with the money don’t want to have to party in a place they can go to every weekend. That’s what this is about.


  11. If you really think Georgia is at a significant disadvantage at the WLOCP because of location, could you explain why Georgia under MR has such a terrific record in opponents’ stadiums, but is 1-5 in J’ville?


  12. kckd

    I never said significant if you mean large.

    The truth is that on the roster we are even or maybe have a slight disadvantage.

    Coaching staff we are even.

    So why would we want to give a rival who may cost us a trip to Atlanta if we lose the game, an advantage, ever how slight, every year.

    Why? Because we like to party baby!!!!!!

    Now damn it, Richt win this game so we can get puke drunk Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and still go to Atlanta in December. And may be Monday morning I’ll remember the score.


  13. You got something against folks having a good time, kckd?

    Georgia’s been to the SECCG three times under Richt. The Dawgs didn’t beat Florida in any of those seasons.

    If you want to point a finger at advantages in the series, why don’t you look at scheduling? UF normally has a week off before the WLOCP to get prepared and Georgia doesn’t. This year we have the opposite. It’ll be interesting to see if that has an effect on the outcome of the game.


  14. kckd

    Have nothing against having a good time. But giving the team the best chance to win should come first.

    The only argument anyone has is “Dooley did it.”

    Well, I’m younger than you, but I know the rosters of those UF teams back in the seventies and eighties. And they were not as loaded as what we’ve gone up against with Spurrier, Zook and Meyer.

    About every third year UF would be considered a favorite to win the SEC, but never could get it done. But they weren’t constantly at the top of the nation in ranking or talent like they have been since 1990 on.

    But again, the need for alcohol can skew things, even when you ain’t drinkin’ it. (wink, wink)


  15. First of all, it’s not just that Dooley did it. Even with the wretched outcome of the last 17 games, Georgia still holds the series margin at this point.

    I’m glad you know the Florida rosters, but I’ve watched the teams go head to head since the mid-70s, and other than the Herschel years, there weren’t many times when I looked down on the field and thought Georgia was far more talented than Florida.

    I do agree with you that pre-Spurrier, Georgia often had superior coaching to the Gators. But not so as to talent.

    As for the “need for alcohol”, you act like people need the excuse of traveling to an exotic site to indulge. What do you think goes on at most tailgates in Athens before a game? We’re not all just drinking iced tea, you know.


  16. kckd

    Exactly, and you can do it in Atlanta too. But you don’t do it for two or three days straight. Like I said, it’s the minivacation. And the ones who are vocal about keeping there are not the guys who drive in from South Georgia. But the ones who make a weekend of it from Athens and Atlanta.


  17. I guess you associate with different folks than I do. I have lots of friends from places like Waycross and Valdosta that like having a game down that way. I imagine there are a lot of businesses down in places like St. Simons that are happy about it, too.

    In any event, what’s the sin in keeping a large portion of your fan base happy? And before you start on this “we can’t give our opponent an edge” stuff, I again remind you that Georgia is a very good road team under Richt. So, unless you are suggesting that there is something specifically about Jacksonville that negates Georgia’s ability to win on the road, I don’t think you’ve got a very convincing argument there.

    Would you feel the same need to move the game if Georgia had a winning record against Florida over the last 17 games?

    I think Groo’s take on the game and MR is pretty accurate.


  18. kckd

    If it is a slight advantage, it is still and advantage.

    Arguing the road record is like saying, “Hell, let’s see if we can play ’em all on the road and just ask if we can receive the ticket sales every other year.” I’m sure our opponents would go for that one, even with our road record.

    The game is more important to me than anything. Winning it is more important to me than anything too. Tradition, partying, etc. is just not as important.

    Therefore I’d like to see us have the same advantage as UF every other year. Heck, at least we won’t ask them to play in the Dawg bowl.

    But, other folks like the idea of our guys playing on the road while the Gaytors take a little drive over to their other stadium.



  19. Arguing the road record is like saying, “Hell, let’s see if we can play ‘em all on the road and just ask if we can receive the ticket sales every other year.”

    No it’s not. It’s simply pointing out that, whatever the problems are in J’ville, travel is the least of them.

    I recognize that neither the historical record, nor MR’s ability to get his team prepared for road games, makes any difference to you. And I guess that if the game gets moved and Georgia still can’t get off the schneid, you’ll at least have the satisfaction of knowing that some people didn’t get a “mini-vacation” out of it.