Sometimes it’s okay to leave well enough alone. This is one of those times.


 “We have to take the Georgia-Florida game and turn it into something that resembles a National Championship game,” Gator Bowl Sports President and CEO Rick Catlett told 1010XL Jax Sports Radio.  “The events that go on around Georgia-Florida need to significantly be enhanced.  It’s a nice tailgate party in the pavilion area, but it needs to be all down the river.”

“We have to…”“The events… need to…”.

Such urgency.  And for what?  The only thing my cynical heart can suggest is for separating more of the contents of our wallets and purses from us.

You’ve got a great, great game, one of a dwindling number of such with a special tradition.  And you think the Cocktail Party needs to have the amps turned up to eleven.  Of course, there’s only one go-to source out there for making things extra special.

“You’ve got to create a three or four day festival around it.  Friday all day you’re going to have to have special events going on.  When you go to the NFL Experience (at the Super Bowl) it’s not just a tailgate party.  It gives people an opportunity to go to the facility, touch the game, touch the sport, but it also gives all the people coming in from out of town major entertainment, parties, events,” he said.  [Emphasis added.]

Be still, my heart.

This is part of what’s killing college football for me.  There seems to be a concerted effort to shed what makes the sport special to its fans and wrap the pro experience around it.  Rick, if I wanted an NFL Experience, I’d go buy Falcons’ season tickets, dude.

By the way, Chadd Scott’s P.S. is totally delusional.  I don’t care how magical an experience Catlett’s “festival” turns out to be, the minute the schools make more playing the game on a home-and-home basis, they’ll be out of Jacksonville like a shot.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

49 responses to “Sometimes it’s okay to leave well enough alone. This is one of those times.

  1. SCDawg

    Don’t you know how many of us are up at St. Simons and Jekyll Island and all those places where all those Dawg people have got those condominiums for four days? We drive up Saturday morning to Jax for the game and go back after.


    • Hank

      I agree. It is a 3-4+ day festival already, just not all of it in Jax. I haven’t gone down there before Saturday in 20 years. I’ll stick to the islands.


  2. It will have to be adult entertainment. I wouldn’t take my kids before they were 18 due to the very “adult” environment. To whit, in 2006, a dry containment pond next to the Bull Gator parking lot had a large willow tree under which someone had set up a generator powered television showing porn videos for what seemed like hours. I nearly missed the game…


    • Otto

      If a child see that video, they could be charged with some crimes, and make some interesting government maintained lists.


  3. Otto

    Fans of both UGA and UF have their traditions and fan experience. I know we did spending time in the family condo on the beach. Also agreed on the NFL experience, I don’t like the NFL nor do I want it invading the college game. I walked away from the NFL game over a decade ago due to their changes, and don’t want to do the same with the college game.


  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    It’s always interesting to read the thoughts of someone who really does not care about an actual event, in this case the Georgia-Florida game, make suggestions about improving it.

    For me, the GAME is what matters, and frankly some a that other stuff just gets in the way, clogs traffic and keeps me from getting to the stadium a mandatory hour before kickoff.

    I’ve spent many a happy hour on St. Simons, pacing around, waiting, grumpy, nervous, encouraging the damn bus driver to put his foot down a bit, to get to the GAME.

    Turning a football game like Georgia-Florida into some sort of freaking carnival is un American…unless it happens on the field its just more bullshit anyhoo.

    And, His Blutoness is absolutely correct about the schools moving to home and home when it becomes more profitable.

    But hey, maybe these nice people can get the Gators to play Georgia Southern in Jacksonville so they can have their carnival.


    • The guy/gals with those improvement ideas are the same types that wanted to improve the circus by adding a 4th and 5th ring. Sound and Fury signifying nothing.


    • ClydeBoogie

      Damn! Scorp what you been drinking? You’re hitting everything out the park the last few days. Ga Southern in Jacksonville hell to the yeah. Beat their asses again, Dude I’ll be snickering off that one all day.


    • Spence

      “If I wanted an NFL experience…” Amen Senator. I love the NFL but love college football more. The heads at the ncaa don’t get that there’s a monetary value in the uniqueness of college football that they should embrace and monetize. Instead they want the NFL model.

      And to the commenter above, It’s actually quintessentially American. Squeeze every dollar out of something till you choke it to death, then something else comes along and replaces it.


  5. tbia

    Mark my words…and it is not an original thought, because it has been published, but they are doing this in anticipation of Khan taking more seats away from the stadium.


  6. Go Dawgs!

    Funny, I’ve been to the Georgia-Florida game ten times or more and I’ve never once found the experience to be lacking.



    Amelia Island is great to me…..Tailgate Bar pre game ain’t bad either. 😄


  8. Reservoir Dawg

    This is all about Shahid Khan. It never ceases to amaze me that the Cowford city government, so long a client state of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and the Republican party in Florida, has become the plaything of a Pakistani Muslim. Where is Tiny Tears, the GPOOE, when you need him most?


    • I know why you don’t like Tebow, but what do you have against Baptists and Republicans?

      Go ahead, take your time.


      • Reservoir Dawg

        Facts are facts. I live in the Cowford metro area. Baptist republicans are most of what you see on the city council. Rick Catlett is as inside Jacksonville as it gets. He’s a product of the Delaney/Peyton administrations. Don’t get your britches in a bunch. Pray it out.


    • Union Jack

      And you know what else Khan is? He is a soccer team owner. It’s true, he owns a soccer team in England. Plus he bought that team from the father of the guy that died with Princess Diana in Paris so add in that conspiracy too.

      Plus look at the guy, he has a handlebar mustache. You know you else has handlebar mustaches? Cartoon villains!


  9. 3rdandGrantham

    I’d have far more respect for Mr. Catlett if he would have been more upfront and honest with all of us, and instead said something like:

    “Look, we’re paying an awful lot of money to both teams to play the game yearly in J-ville, a not-so-great city with little to offer anyone. I mean, after all, how many people actually plan vacations here? We’re a distant redheaded stepchild to Miami, Tampa, and Orlando…even Naples, so we need to capitalize on such opportunities while we can.

    Thus, we need to squeeze every little bit of economic opportunity out of this that we can, so naturally we’re going to follow the NFL model for such a venture. For example, the NFL actually put up bleachers behind radio row for the week leading up to the Super Bowl, and charged the public money to sit there and stare at all the broadcasters. That’s sheer beauty and is something we need to replicate here. So, until the day UGA finally wises up and moves the series back to a home and home, we’re going to grab as much money as we can from their fans. UF fans too, to a lesser extent of course.”


  10. paul

    People have been showing up here on the island three or four days ahead of the game for years. Apparently, somebody forgot to invite Rick. Oh well.


  11. Macallanlover

    I would hate CFB to emulate the NFL as much as anyone but upgrading the experience could never be a bad goal. How you do it, and what you model it after, could certainly get off track but having a minor-league venue like The Landings as one of the main attractions you can promote outside the football game itself is pretty weak. I realize that many of the veterans here don’t venture into JAX until game day, but a couple of good concerts and a festival of sorts surrounding the stadium area would make it a bigger happening. I feel the city and committee should address this, but don’t look at the Super Bowl as your model. That is a corporate crowd and it has nothing to do with tradition, or college rivalries where fans of both schools are in control of the stadium experience.


    • reipar

      I agree. I think it is a great idea to turn it into a 3 or 4 day draw with an interactive football experience and concerts. Especially if they are able to fix the waterfront area up like they have described. I doubt it will draw me in any earlier (although a big musical act could change that), but it does not hurt me in the least for them to upgrade the experience for others even if it is in a NFL kind of way.


  12. Saltwater Dawg

    note he said the “NFL Experience” at the Super Bowl, not just any NFL game. At a normal NFL game, at least a majority of the attendees are true fans of the teams playing – people are paying for the experience of watching the team they care about play a football game. The Super Bowl is an entire different beast. Most of the people there could care less about the game, they are there for the experience, or entertaining clients, or taking a few hours off from hitting the strip bars, or just doing it so they can brag about “I went to the Super Bowl”.

    Agree Senator that this is not needed for UGA/FL, and would be a horrible decision. Everyone at UGA/FL is there for the game.

    But hey!, who wouldn’t want to pay $$ to watch PAWWWWWL broadcast live from the Landing for 3 days.


  13. Bright Idea

    I thought better wi-fi was the key to drawing crowds.


  14. AusDawg85

    Dear Atlanta,

    Get your act together and put together a bid to bring this game “home”. Are you seriously going to let Jax make more money off of this than you?


    UGA Fans tired of the fleecing by strangers who would rather be fleeced by friends.

    P.S. The bye week before is ideal for your beach and golf parties


    • UGA Fans tired of the fleecing by strangers who would rather be fleeced by friends.

      This is the best you’ve got – a parochial appeal?

      Atlanta wouldn’t get the opportunity to do much fleecing, because most Georgia fans wouldn’t be staying in town for the game.


      • 3rdandGrantham

        But..but…we’d buy t-shirts, parking, and stuff. And onion rings from The Varsity. Surely that counts for something, right?


      • AusDawg85

        If they are going to work on attracting more than ticketholders like the Super Bowl then Atlanta ought to bid for it.

        As far as the best I’ve got? Not even close. You first…what does Jax offer that Atlanta doesn’t for the game? Not interested in hearing about beach parties…just game day around the stadium. Coming from Texas, I’ll take a visit back “home” every time. If I still lived in Atlanta, then I’d be more neutral…because beach & golf.


      • Bazooka Joe

        And the largest gator club in the country is in Atlanta…. plus nobody wants to tailgate/party in downtown Atlanta…. losing scenario.


  15. Athens Dog

    I’ve been attending since Appleby to Washington. Missed maybe three times due to birth of children. Last year, I went to St. Simons, played golf, partied, drove home Saturday morning and watched on TV in Athens. Even had we won, it was great decision.

    I doubt I will ever go back to JAX but this type of “experience” would cement it…………………..


    • 3rdandGrantham

      A friend of mine basically does this yearly—he flies his C182 right into SSI on Mon/Tues, spends the rest of the week having fun with fellow UGA fans, then flies home either Saturday or Sunday morning without ever leaving the island. He loves this routine and wouldn’t attend the game even if you gave him free tickets on the 50.


  16. W Cobb Dawg

    How about Katy Perry at halftime? And it would improve the aesthetics considerably if you got rid of the gator fans.


  17. AB

    They sure are confident of keeping the game in Jacksonville. I know McGarity is a Florida guy but even Florida would move the game on campus if the SEC goes to a 9 game schedule.


  18. Mayor

    Just another reason why the Georgia-Florida game needs to be home and away.


  19. TMC dawg

    Let’s be real folks, it’s the uga fans that are forking out the money. Neutral site my ass. You can not compare our guys staying in hotels and the gay turns jumping on a bus the morning of the game!


  20. Sat next to an Ohio State wrestler a few years ago and he loved the atmosphere and said it was as cool a game as he had ever seen. Don’t let repetition make you forget how unique and special the Cocktail party is. The home and home crowd needs to be reminded of the 50 that the booger eating morons laid on us in Athens prior to the Olympics. The venue hasn’t cost us the games the teams did. Don’t change a f–ing thing.


    • Bazooka Joe

      +1,000,000 don’t screw up a good thing – we do too much of that already. Move it to H/H and its just another game on the schedule.


  21. ASEF

    A trip to a professional sports game reminds me of Vegas. Flashy, loud, frenetic. And judging by the number of people who go to Vegas, it works as an attraction and as entertainment.

    It’s just not for me. Vegas is a lot of hype and distraction aimed at separating you from your cash as quickly and as painlessly as possible. There’s no substance to it, and it leaves me at least counting the days until the convention is over and it’s time to go home.

    But when you have amateurs running a professional sports business (and isn’t that CFB in a nutshell?), they’re just going to copy what the other professional sports do.


    • Bazooka Joe

      Then you do what I do/did when I had NFL season tickets – eat before you go to the game, sneak in your beverage so maybe you buy a few carbonated beverages to mix with and minimize your outlay at places where they get the $