‘We sold you out to Geico.’

Admittedly, it’s a story about the basketball team and a tradition which I’ve never exactly warmed up to, but, still, this strikes me as both creepy and depressing.

Tom Fell, a senior broadcast news major from Charleston, S.C., was unable to make his signature run reminiscent of the classic “Rocky” films when the University Athletic Association’s marketing and promotions department sold his usual timeout spot to auto insurance company Geico…

… Fell was asked to run through the student section, rather than his usual route at the opposite end of the court, handing out Geico gift cards on the way up, then boxing the Geico mascot — a giant gecko — during the timeout.

In rejecting the offer, even a guy who dresses like this –

Photo by Sarah Caldwell/R&B

– shows that he knows there are limits.  Or at least should be limits.

“But then the game ends, and I could see clearly where these people’s allegiances lie — with Geico, some massive non-local corporate car insurance company who is one of the most advertised companies out there.”

Maybe they can find a way to monetize the halftime show in Sanford Stadium.  The gecko would look great with the girl tossing the batons on fire.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

35 responses to “‘We sold you out to Geico.’

  1. Bulldog Joe

    Geico would be better off advertising at Foley Field as our baseball season is headed for another car wreck.


  2. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Kudos to McGarity on making lemons out of lemon-aid …

    Fell will be allowed to perform the “Rocky run” in future games if the situation calls for it, according to athletic director Greg McGarity.

    “It’s all straightened up now,” McGarity said. “There was some discussion on it, and I think there are some things that we think as a staff are sacred, and [Rocky] I think draws a lot of interest and excitement. It’s something we need to pretty much count for every game.”


    • crapsandwich

      Let them run together because they both creep me out.


    • Dog in Fla

      McGarity said… “some things that we think as a staff are sacred,”

      Amen. You’re lucky, he’s lucky, we’re all lucky. All things having to do with any Rocky are sacred.


  3. Blumine

    There’s a growing segment of students at games that can be heard booing this kid. This “tradition” makes us look terrible and needs to be ended.


    • Normaltown Mike

      I don’t think he should be booed, but the Rocky bit was an appropriate antic in the Felton era, er reign of horrors.

      Now that Fox is building a team worth watching, I’d hope such gimmicks could be tossed. This should include the Animal House (apologies Bluto) and other videos they show at breaks. A pep band is far more enthusiastic and enjoyable.


  4. I’d have much less of a problem with this creeping corporate influence if I thought that the filthy luchre we received from Geico was getting reinvested in the athletics program. That’s something we’re now finding Damon Evans wasn’t very good at. Hopefully McGarity will be a bit more active in that area.


  5. Careful Brad

    I don’t get the Rocky, Banana, Monty Python, etc. dress up by students. Those characters have nothing to do with our university. If you want to dress up do something school related otherwise you are trying to draw attention to yourself as an individual, not a part of the student body fanbase. If you want to make a scene and draw attention to yourself do it at Tate Center, not at a basketball game where it should be about the team that busts its butt preparing for the games. The crowd should be there to give support and be loud all for the team.
    I guess I just turned into an old out of touch alumni but give me the guy in the XXXL sweater or Mike “Big Dawg” Woods any day over these guys.
    And another thing, Stop holding up four fingers for the fourth quarter, there are TWO HALVES in a basketball game!


    • Dog in Fla

      “Stop holding up four fingers for the fourth quarter”

      Good point. Maybe a little overly technical, but good nonetheless. The four-finger sign is sacred, however.


      • ed

        The “four-finger sign” is stupid. Everyone who is paying attention in a game knows that it is the 4th quarter and we better FTD. No need in holding up 4 fingers.

        The “rocky” kid needs to graduate quick.


      • anon

        The 4th quarter finger thing is asinine and not even a tradition. It’s not a UGA thing, as countless other programs do it.

        Oh, and Careful Brad, how many home hoops games you been to this year? Those characters you deride have been to nearly all of them. And they make a crapload of racket.

        Sweater guy is an idiot. Talk about somebody who wants to draw attention to himself…


        • Old School Brad

          I have not been to as many games as I would like this year. It’s not easy to get away when you have two kids under three and you live over an hour from Athens, as a student I was at every game too. I am glad they are there rooting on the team, they just do it in a different way than I would. Which one are you Anon? I’ll say hello at the next game.
          How can you praise those students and put down sweater guy who has been at close to every game since at least the Tubby years, when those kids were still in diapers, wait doesn’t one of them still dress up in diapers?


        • Kevin

          So let me get this straight:

          You want us to drop anything that’s not original that another university does but you don’t want us to do anything out of the ordinary that has nothing to do with our school.

          Hmm. We lose about 95% of our “traditions” then.


    • Bulldog Joe

      Let ’em have fun. It’s college.


    • D.N. Nation

      This just in:

      18-year-olds sometimes act like 18-year-olds.


    • D.N. Nation


      “Those characters have nothing to do with our university.”

      Neither do vikings/ninjas with Duke. Someone should tell the Cameron Crazies that they just aren’t a very good student section because of this disparity.


      • hassan


        Let the kids have fun anyway they want to. Colleges have a history of that kind of stuff. Half the sacred traditions in in the NCAA were started as a lark.


      • Careful Brad

        You know what I did when I was 18? I showed up to games, wore my “Harrick’s Hounds” shirt and cheered on a 10-20 basketball team.
        Additionally, I’m so tired of every basketball fan base having to be compared to the Cameron Crazies. They can do their thing, we can do ours. I just think it looks better when a student section is uniform, but maybe you like when our students wear peanut butter from head to toe.
        I admitted that I am on old out of touch alumni, but I was just sharing my opinion.


    • hailtogeorgia

      What’s the big deal? If it gets the crowd pumped and contributes to a more hostile atmosphere at the Steg, then who cares how it’s brought about? Hell, the first mascot ever for the University of Georgia had absolutely nothing to do with the University itself…it was a goat with a blanket with a G on it brought along by one of the students…shortly thereafter, we were the University of Georgia Goats.

      As for the four fingers thing, it’s done at the under four timeout to indicate that there are four minutes left in the game. Sure, it’s taken from football, but again…it’s getting the crowd pumped, so no biggie.


    • bigeasydawg

      It should also be noted that at one point in time bulldogs, hedges, chapel bells, and Larry Munson had nothing to do with the University. If you think its lame, fine, I agree with you. But I don’t think something has to be associated with to be fun to do and to get the crowd into it.

      When I was at UGA (late 90’s, early 2000’s) the pep band played Come on Eileen all the time (they still might). Everybody loved it and I can’t hear that without thinking about going to a Ron Jirsa game (god help me). If the students come to games and don’t do anything profane, do whatever you want to to have fun.


      • Old School Brad

        I get what you are saying but the day the Rocky Run becomes as much of a tradition as those other things you mentioned we might as well start playing the Budweiser song.

        I am all for getting the crowd excited but I just wish it was the team they were getting excited about. That’s just life when you are trying to build a program. I guess I’m just old school.


        • GreenDawg

          No, the Rocky thing will probably never be a great tradition like those other things, but who says it has to be? IMO, as long as the students are the ones making most of the noise they can do whatever they want. It’s a fun, quirky “tradition” at a school and conference that have never cared much for basketball. It’s never going to have the grandeur of SEC football, so why not make it fun?

          I can understand not caring for it, but I don’t see why people are so up-in-arms about it.


          • Old School Brad

            I get it and I was really just voicing my opinion, that’s what the comments section is for right?

            In the long run we’re all trying to do what’s best to support the team we just have different ideas on how to do it.
            Go Dawgs!


  6. History Dawg

    My wife and I went to the Miss. State game a month ago, and she graduated from Wake Forest.

    She said to me, “Some of the football traditions don’t translate to basketball well, do they?”.


  7. Marshall

    I’m sort of “whatever” with both the Rocky kid and the peanut butter guy; however, the guy in the last few years that has attended some football and a few basketball games who puts paint all over his face and body and wears the wig and has like this half Elvis and half evangelical preacher vibe and throws his hands up, convulses, and speaks in tongues…now that’s good stuff! I can appreciate that!

    Kudos to whoever on the Jirsa reference earlier…He started my senior year. He pretty much sucked but was actually really funny and pretty likeable. I got to experience the two Tubby years and got to see Hugh, who I had been watching all my life as a kid, my freshman year.


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  9. hassan

    Hugh was also my Freshman year and I lived through some good Tubby times and low Jirsa times as well. I remember one game we had a “Late Show” night and everybody wore David Letterman masks. No affiliation to the school there. But it was fun.

    For all that, (with the exception of a few big games) I don’t recall the level of hope and expectation that Fox has brought to the program. When we lost a close one back then, oh well… When we lose a close one now, people are a bit angry because we feel better than that. That kind of attitude is the first step to getting a program with swagger (both with the fans and the players).

    At the end of the day, the game is for the students and by the students. The rest of us have used money to buy our way back in. And the Universities take it to boost the programs. Whatever the current crop wants to do is fine by me. As long as they are excited and support the team as the 6th man, more power to them.


    • Old School Brad

      “I’d like to be cowboys from Arizona or pimps from Oakland but it’s not Halloween. Grow up; Peter Pan, Count Chocula.”

      No really, I get it.
      I hope that Rocky and Co. are in Houston the first weekend in April. Hell, I’ll buy the peanut butter. Go Dawgs!


  10. anon

    Maybe they should just throw out Charter Cable tshirts the whole game. That’s the only time the sections behind the benches stand up anyway . . .


  11. Is this really that surprising? During the basketball games, if you looked at the seatbacks on the teams benches, you’d think it was the University of Charter Communications and not the University of Georgia, which is absolutely absurd.

    I’m not a fan of the Rocky ‘tradition’ at all. It got a bit lame after the 50th time, but the kid has a point.

    Having the U of Charter Communications seatbacks when GEORGIA is on all the chairs bothers me more than stroking ‘Rocky’s’ ego.

    Go Dawgs!