“There is no lobbying amongst A.D.’s.”

Seth Emerson asks Greg McGarity what’s up with all the noon starts and gets this as an answer:

“I never get any complaints about a 3:30 time start. But we do have an equal amount of complaints for 7:30 games (as noon games), because of the fans that have to drive three and four hours home, we hear about how inconvenient that is for our fans that have to travel back home,” McGarity said. “So it’s one of these situations where 3:30 is perfect but we know we can’t be there (every time).”

I get the equal amount of complaints part fine.  Makes complete sense to me that with as large a fan base as McGarity has to work with, he’s going to have a sizeable contingent of folks from South Georgia and parents with young children on one side of the divide and people who like tailgating or later starts in general on the other.  No way to make everyone happy every week, right?

But from there, his reasoning starts to fall apart.  If it all really comes down to what television, in conjunction with the SEC office, decide, as he argues…

“Once contracts were agreed upon in the beginning years ago, everyone understood the dynamics and rights of the rights holders.”

… that still brings you back to the pesky math that was the subject of my post yesterday.

nooner

It’s quite simple, really.  If everyone plays by the same TV rules and athletic directors don’t lobby the SEC office, why is Georgia the only team in the conference with more early starts than the other times, and by a wide margin at that?  If that doesn’t make you suspect a certain degree of bullshit in McGarity’s attempted deflection of responsibility, the claim about no lobbying by ADs certainly should, given the overwhelming number of night games LSU plays.  It’s either that, or accepting at face value what looks like one helluva coincidence.

To me, the logical way to deal with the schism in the Georgia fan base would be to split the baby into an equal number of early and later games (and it wouldn’t bother me to take the weather into account in allocating those; the fewer noon games in September, the better) so that every fan with an opinion on the matter gets treated fairly.  The numbers over the past four seasons would suggest that either the school doesn’t care enough to make the effort or actually prefers loading up the schedule with noon starts.

Either way, what you just heard from the AD was a total dodge of the question.

60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

60 responses to ““There is no lobbying amongst A.D.’s.”

  1. OurADisaGlorifiedAccountant

    There should be a FOIA request regarding Conms between UGA Ad office, UGa president, Coach and Police for AC-C and UGA on the topic of night games. I would wager he is lying.

    Like

    • The weird part is the motivation for his answer. What’s the big deal in just saying “all other things being equal, we prefer early starts”?

      Like

      • Maybe because he knows if he said that publicly, he would be flooded with emails ripping him for selling out the program and the fans …

        For those of you who think we should stop complaining about this, why do you think UF, LSU, Bama, and Auburn have good home field advantages? Sure, some of it is that they have good players. A lot of it is that their fans have most if not all day to get ready for the game. When we play at 3:30 or later, typically the crowd including the students is there early and fired up regardless of the opponent.

        Like

    • FisheriesDawg

      Doubt you’d find anything. Attended an alumni association meeting this summer where he said he doesn’t write anything down due to fear of GORA. If he’s had those conversations, I promise they were over the phone or in person.

      Like

  2. Ben

    I’m sure there’s something there about it saving them money; I wonder how all the noon/early starts affect the downtown economy, though.

    Like

    • Borodawg

      Can’t speak for Athens but since Georgia Southern started having Thursday night games, 2 at home this year, it’s had a negative impact on hotels and restaurants in Statesboro. But it has been good for the college with tv time (even though GSU stinks this year) and exposure.
      I would suspect that a noon game in Athens would allow people more time to hang out and eat before they go home. I have not been to a UGA home game in years but regardless of the start time I would get home after midnight and I lived in Augusta at the time.

      Like

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Start times have never bothered me.😉

        Like

      • Debby Balcer

        We live in Greenville SC now but used to live in Augusta the drive home takes the same amount of time just around 2 hours. My favorite time for a game is 3:30. We have to leave too early to get there for a noon game. Night games are fun but we don’t get home until around 2am. We are there whenever they play and in the stadium as soon as the open the gates. Noon games in September are miserably hot.

        Like

    • sniffer

      Would it be safe to assume campus clean-up is half the cost as 7pm games? I mean, North Campus looks like Hacksaw Ridge at 3:30.

      Like

  3. If UGA would let people park on campus, provide better trash disposal, and get ACC to do a better job with traffic control, we’d probably see more night games. I’ve been to night games at plenty of other schools…their set up is better.

    Like

    • TheRealDrPepper

      I agree. The University has made it clear with the tailgating rules they passed a few years ago that they really don’t like fans being able to tailgate all day long. I believe that is another reason why the early starts are more prevalent. Early starts discourages/limits tailgating.

      Like

      • down island way

        Gregypoo didn’t dodge the question, that was answered when the tail gate policy’s changed. Numbers/data were placed on a rubiks cube in a dark closet one semester, this info we’re seeing now was the result. I’m not saying that ad’s don’t talk, gregypoo tells some ad’s he’ll take ex number of nooners in exchange for more advantageous time slots for intramural rowing team. Really starting to believe he is not user friendly with ticket holders/general population needs, no matter the sport.

        Like

  4. The data in this case doesn’t lie. We’ve done something to indicate to the SEC and its TV partners that we prefer the early start time for whatever reason.

    One question – how do your categories take into account the difference in time zones? I assume you’ve applied that into the analysis (a 2:30 central start time is mid-afternoon).

    Like

  5. Greg McGarity, YOUR athletic director

    Nothing to see here. Get your Hartman Fund donations in.

    Thanks,
    Greg

    Like

    • paul

      The truth is, the folks making the major contributions, in other words older people, went to school in Athens when every game was a noon kickoff and we were lucky if two games a year were televised. So chances are there aren’t many folks complaining that McGarity feels like he actually has to pay attention to.

      Like

      • Larry

        Us older people were used to 2pm games, we never had noon ones and rules were you could on be on TV 3 times a year.

        Like

      • JCDAWG83

        Uh, no, that’s not correct. Start time was always 1:30 when I was a student and the game was almost always over by 4:00, still plenty of time for celebrating by the alumni and still get home at a decent hour. We generally had 3 games a year televised like most major programs of the time.

        Noon is too early and, because of the travel times to the far reaches of the state, 7:00 is really too late. 1:30 was a great time but the lord and master, television, isn’t going to let that time happen. Being in the East and not being a relevant program for a few years has put us in the position of playing a lot of noon games. If we can get back to winning and competing for the East and the SEC we will get better time slots.

        Like

        • paul

          See what happens when you get old? You can’t remember stuff. Plus, I guess I was rather inebriated at the time. Could have sworn those were noon kickoffs. I do remember getting home home in time to sleep off the morning drunk so we could go out at night and get our drink on a second time.

          Like

          • JTPruett

            When I was a student from 1988 – 1992, all home games that were not on TV started at 1 PM per Vince Dooley (he was also the AD at the time). He always stated that the 1 PM time was the preference due to the South GA alumni and their long travel times. I also remember him mentioning that he preferred to not have night games at all. This has been going on for a long time.

            P.S., We never had games start at 12 or 12:30 during my years in Athens. Of course, there weren’t so many games on TV either.

            Like

            • paul

              Well, I attended 78-80. We were on the tracks. We arrived Friday night and generally did not leave until the game was over Saturday afternoon, so time was a pretty general concept.

              Like

            • JCDAWG83

              I was ’79-’83 and games were 1:30 then, I think Dooley moved them to 1:00 shortly after that. We had the Monday night games against Clemson and UCLA when I was a student and a late afternoon game that ended in the dark against Auburn my last season as a student. I think those were the only three games in Sanford that were not at the regular time.

              Like

              • paul

                Well, I guess the point I was trying to make was that a whole lot of us who are in a position to make larger, regular contributions grew up with most of our games being played early in the day. I wonder if the Pee Wees still get to play in Sanford on Saturday morning? That was always very entertaining for us during our days on the tracks.

                Like

      • Aladawg

        Not true for me. I’m 60 have 8 tix and donate accordingly. I’ve sent letters to McGoofy and Morehead. It’s about the expense to clean up y’all. He doesn’t give a spit how loud or “home” friendly and loud our crowd is. I HATE NOONERS! He isn’t helping Kirby here.

        Like

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Like most aspects of his job, truth is McGarity was blissfully ignorant of the start time discrepancy until the question came up. Then fell back on the ol south GA excuse.

    Like

    • Will (The Other One)

      Sadly, this seems even more likely than “he’s lobbied for earlier start times but doesn’t want to come out and say it.”

      Like

  7. Red Cup

    How do you know when ADGM is lying? His lips are moving.

    Like

  8. Bill

    If you’re getting an equal amount of complaints from both sides then try and make the night/noon split as equal as possible? he obviously hasn’t done that.

    Like

  9. Bulldog Joe

    “There is no lobbying amongst A.D.’s.”

    He is telling the truth on this. The other A.D.’s know Greg will always surrender competitive advantage for a few pennies, so why lobby?

    It’s like dispensing with the coin toss, because people know Greg will always choose to kick off.

    Like

  10. I don’t think this decision has anything to do with money. I think it has to be a couple of things: 1) Higher-ups in Athens desire it and the AD is taking the arrows for his bosses (the athletic board) and 2) Big donors want it this way for their own reasons (travel, etc.).

    The only way this changes is if Kirby takes on the Georgia Way on this issue. If Kirby says he needs a better home field environment for recruiting, magically, we’ll start getting more later starts even for non-premium match-ups.

    Like

  11. John

    Something also to keep in mind is that since conference expansion there is a larger slice of the conference pie in the central timezone. It certainly seems like the SEC east has a higher percentage of the nooners than the west generally speaking. with Georgia getting being at the high end of that spectrum. Which is probably a combination of some reluctance to have a central time “noon” start and the fact that the east is way down.

    It almost seems like South Carolina traditionally plays a game or two per seasons on Thursday PM which might otherwise have ended up as a nooner.

    Like

  12. scrambledawg

    McGarity lied. Again. No shocker there. And again, fan experience is the casualty. Meanwhile, the kids manning the phone bank in Athens call me 5-7x week to shake me down for a bigger donation to UGA. I went from going to 2-3 games/yr (and traveling 3000 miles each time) to not having gone to a game in 2 years.

    Like

  13. Macallanlover

    Nailed it Senator. Just a level playing field, that’s all we ask. Oh, except for a decent AD that has some guts and doesn’t lie at every conceivable opportunity. He should do well in politics when he gets fired….Lord knows we have had a history of that on full display.

    Like

  14. So basically, we have yet another example of our AD being incompetent and doing a shit job.

    When can we run this bum out of town?

    Like

  15. dawgfan

    CKS needs to go over ADGMs head with the issue. I’m sure he would love for as many home games as possible start at 330 or later.

    Like

    • ChicagoDawg

      Bingo! I’d love to see CKS call more of the shots around his program.

      Like

      • Chi-town Dawg

        The worst part is that Kirby doesn’t even technically “report” to McNumbnuts. I think there’s an assistant AD that meets with Kirby for their regular meetings who acts as a go between. If Kirby has a significant issue, then he elevates it to the AD. The situation was the same for CMR. If I’m running a large company, I sure as hell would want the person running the largest division reporting to me and vice versa. McGoofy is so in over his head, it’s not even funny anymore.

        Like

  16. 92 grad

    Hmm, one would think the solution is to split the home games across the divide. What really happens? Just wait, only 2 home games starting in 2020.

    Nah. I agree, he’s chicken shit. I agree, he’s being controlled like a string puppet by the olde guard.

    Like

  17. I was in Alaska for some of those noon EDT games. Sorry, but that is just too damn early to get up. So I recorded them, checked the score and watched accordingly. At least there is a lot of the day left after a super early start. Not much of a consolation.

    Like

  18. Aladawg

    I live in far south Alabama. I make provisions no matter the time, but no way the BS by McGoofy holds any water. Noon games result in empty seats, noiseless crowds and a sucky game day experience. McGoofy know it costs less to operate a boomer than any other times. That’s his reason. He doesn’t consider the 4,5,6 game times. Just another example that he doesn’t give. _ _ _! The heck with our supporters, I want my reserve fund full.

    Like

  19. rchris

    Your graph basically charts McGarrity’s failure as an AD. Of course we need more mid-afternoon and evening starts. Not only does it increase our home field advantage, but it undoubtedly leads to higher TV ratings for our school as well, leading to more exposure for our program. He can achieve that goal by A) Lobbying (what are they going to do if he talks to the SEC office and/or TV, lock him up?) and B) Scheduling more compelling matchups. I’m not one of those who favors scheduling 8 straight years of home and homes with Ohio State, Oklahoma, Clemson, and FSU. That just puts you in jeopardy of having some truly awful seasons when you’re weak or needlessly throwing away a chance at the playoffs when you’re strong. For the one competitive game of the 3 he has to schedule I’m quite content with the level of risk Boise State, North Carolina, UCLA and Notre Dame offers. It’s the other 2 games that are tricky. Nichols State and ULL bring nothing to the table in terms of generating interest, making noon starts quite likely. But for a level of risk commensurate with the ULL game, he could bring in Army, Rutgers, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, UNLV, or Massachusetts, all of whom would generate either national interest (Army) or a lot of interest in a highly populated area (New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston). That at least gives you a shot at a more favorable time slot, as well as building national interest in your program.

    Like

  20. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    The 3:30 start is desirable these days because it’s the prime TV game. But one truth that hasn’t been brought up much here is that we play a lot of cupcakes and tend to get crumbs all over us when we do. So if the choice we get is between noon and, say, 7:00PM both on the SEC Network, noon makes more sense for everyone but die hard tailgaters. The 3:30 (or 8:00PM) prime games are for when we play UF or AU some similar opponent. Another follow the $$$ point of pride.

    Outside of us, who’s going to care about the Tech game? There aren’t that many Tech fans that care. We need to play a better schedule – and play better in some of those games – to get too pissy about when we play.

    Like

  21. South FL Dawg

    McGarity is the guy that’s always a day late and a dollar short. Expect better at your own risk.

    Like

  22. 69Dawg

    LSU has historically owned Saturday night in Death Valley. I think they just always have and always will get the first shot at Saturday night.

    Like

  23. TomReagan

    I reckon it’s because we’re a bit removed from the September heat and are dealing with daylight running out earlier and earlier this time of year but it was only just now that I’ve realized that daylight itself is an argument for late games in September.

    Like

  24. doofusdawg

    Wasn’t there a movie and a song by Kenny Loggins made about this in the eighties…

    Like

  25. Helmand Dawg

    I’m good with noon kickoffs. Here in Europe, I can eat buttered pretzels and sip lattes all day on the sidewalk and still catch the Dawgs at 6pm. It’s the night games that ruin my Sundays.

    Like

  26. Pingback: There’s lobbying and then there’s lobbying. | Get The Picture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s