Daily Archives: June 4, 2016

Gettin’ banged for the buck

Groo posits that the worst thing about the announced increase in ticket costs is what can best be described as an additional hidden expense.

Even as the cost to attend home games rises, many of the more attractive games going forward are likely to be off-campus. For Smart, it makes sense for the reasons outlined above. He saw the benefit of the big neutral site games while at Alabama. It also makes sense for Georgia’s bank account: neutral site games come with premium ticket prices and bring in more money than a home-and-home series would with the same opponent.

Fans will be asked to contribute more for what’s likely to be a lesser home schedule. You’ll have the usual SEC slate, and Tech will visit every other year, and more attractive opponents in Athens are likely to be few and far between. Alabama under Nick Saban has hosted only one power conference opponent at home: Penn State in 2010. (That’s no knock on their schedule; they almost always have a challenging opener.) Georgia will have a visit from Notre Dame in 2019 which was arranged before Smart took over. But if you want to see some of the better non-conference games on Georgia’s future schedules, be prepared to travel and pay on top of your increased donation and season tickets.  [Emphasis added.]

Listen carefully and there’s a mournful tone of inevitability accompanying his observation.  Although I do wonder if that can be countered with two points. First, Kirby isn’t ultimately calling the shots on scheduling, at least according to the terms of his just-signed contract.

–Smart is to work “in good faith” with the athletic director in scheduling future opponents, but the athletic director has the final say in scheduling.

Second, while nobody at Butts-Mehre wants to acknowledge the possibility that there is a limit to our wallets’ generosity, you better believe somebody has taken notice of the fact that the cumulative Hartman Fund cut off score to renew the receipt of two season tickets fell from 6701 in 2015 to 1201 in 2016.  Sure, one season doth not a trend make, but in the wake of a coaching change supposedly jazzing up the fan base – #93k, good times, remember? – it doesn’t appear to reflect the sense of enthusiasm for the program that’s being pushed in many quarters.

Moar sure:  yeah, win an SECCG or two and that fall will be arrested.  The question is, will that be enough in the years to come for Georgia fans to continue shelling out “more for what’s likely to be a lesser home schedule”?  We know Greg McGarity hopes that’s the case.  If it’s not, is there any more of a Plan B in place than expecting television revenues to make up the slack?  You know how impressed I’ve been with the business acumen of the athletic department, but, obviously, your mileage may vary there.

In the meantime, you’d better treasure that home-and-home with Notre Dame.  If Groo’s right, we may not see its like again for a while.

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Musical palate cleanser, “with integrity and the occasional whiskey” edition

If you’re a fan of British folk-rock, as I am, this is a sad thing to hear.

Dave Swarbrick, a fiddler who electrified the British folk tradition as a member of the band Fairport Convention, died on Friday. He was 75.

His death was announced on his website. The announcement did not say where he died or specify the cause, but he had emphysema for many years.

Swarb was a heavy smoker and his health had been questionable for a long time, something that wasn’t exactly unknown.

A smoker since his teens, Mr. Swarbrick struggled with failing health in the 1990s. He underwent three tracheotomies, and his emphysema grew so severe that at one point he needed oxygen onstage to perform…

A double lung transplant in 2004 improved his condition.

He was a remarkable musician.  My first real appreciation  of his abilities came on Liege and Lief, the first Fairport Convention album in which he joined the group as a full member.  Listen to this take of “Matty Groves”, especially when things really kick off at the 4:30 mark.

And this clip is impossible to pass up.

Ah, the rare British hippie in the wild…

Finally, here’s a recent set with Richard Thompson (whom I really need to feature in a MPC).

And of course you can’t mention Swarbrick’s passing without bringing this up:

… in 1999 however, he joined a list of people, including Bob Hope, Mark Twain and Alfred Nobel, whose deaths have been announced prematurely – in Swarbrick’s case in a Daily Telegraph obituary.

The Telegraph, Swarbrick’s paper of choice (“I’m not a Tory but have always had a soft spot for its gung-ho attitude”), had received erroneous information that he had died in his home city of Coventry. When informed that the musician was still alive (though recovering in hospital from a bout of emphysema) the obituaries editor and his staff were said to be “distraught”. Luckily the piece made flattering reading, describing Swarbrick as “a small, dynamic, charismatic figure, cigarette perched precariously on his bottom lip, unruly hair flapping over his face, pint of beer ever at hand, who could electrify an audience with a single frenzied sweep of his bow”

After the initial shock and apologies Swarbrick could see the funny side, coming out with the priceless one-liner: “It’s not the first time I’ve died in Coventry.”

“After all, I’d enjoyed the text of the obit – it was very complimentary,” he explained. “And it had answered a question I’d often asked myself: whether any paper would bother when I died.” His wife, Jill, said: “He read the obituary and didn’t quarrel with any of the spellings or the facts – apart from the obvious one.”

In fact Swarbrick, or “Swarb” as he was known, went on to turn the newspaper’s error to his advantage, admitting that “I never got half as much attention playing as by dying.”

“In fact,” he told the Oxford Times in 2014, “I photocopied the obits, took them to gigs, signed them “RIP Dave Swarbrick” and sold them for £1. After all, where else are you going to get a signed obituary? I had to stop, though, when The Telegraph got in touch and told me I couldn’t do it as they had the copyright.”

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