“Nobody wanted to come and play in The Swamp.”

I give Dan Mullen credit for realizing part of the formula for resurrecting the Florida program…

“You will not win an SEC or national championship if you lose home games. Not in this league. Not in this league. You’ve got to win your home games. And I expect us to win all of our home games, every single one,” Mullen said Wednesday night.

“But we cannot do it if you all aren’t there. … If you all show up and there’s not an empty seat in the stadium and the place is rocking, we’re going to win.”

Mullen has indicated he plans to take an active role in boosting the game-day experience. He’s said the Gators will honor the program’s long-standing traditions, but they also will create some new ones, which he has yet to specify.

He’s said the team will have a grand entrance, because he likes the pageantry of college football. But as much as anything he wants The Swamp to be intimidating again.

… and more credit for being willing to work hard to make it happen.

That’s why Mullen says he plans to talk to student groups on campus about boosting their commitment on Saturdays.

“Once spring practice starts, I’m going to try to go around to different student groups and organizations, go have lunch, go over to the fraternity houses and, more importantly, go to the sorority houses. Listen, if I want all the guys to show up, if I get the girls to show up — ‘Hey, all the sororities are going to the spring game.’ Well, then that answers the fraternity question,” Mullen joked Wednesday night.

“… Every one of the fans in our stadium are going to take the students’ lead. If the students are jumping up and down, having fun, going crazy, so is everybody else. If the students don’t, they’re not. So we’ve got to do a great job of cultivating and teaching the students how, one, we need them there and, two, how we need them to act during the course of the game.”

Mullen said he wants Saturdays in Gainesville to be some combination of a state fair, a Broadway show, a rock concert and a football game where there is something going on for everybody, and there is a buzz throughout the town for the Gators.

Honestly, I’d rather hear about this than some AD’s mindless vision for bringing better WiFi to the masses as a game day solution.  Although, this might be fun, too.

He joked that he once tried to research the most intimidating stadiums in the world and ended up reading about a soccer stadium in Turkey.

“They have like flares and they shoot flares at the other team on the field. There’s fire all around the stadium. The AD was like, ‘Nah, can’t do that. There’s no way the commissioner is going to sign off on our student body shooting fireworks at the other team.’

I’d love to hear a Sankey presser where he had to explain why he wouldn’t let the Gators do that.

31 Comments

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31 responses to ““Nobody wanted to come and play in The Swamp.”

  1. Sanford222view

    I know it isn’t popular here on this blog but, soccer crowds do set a good example, in many cases, for great interactive fan bases. Look at what Atlanta United has done. Those crowds are electric and into the whole game. I know a huge part of that is lead by the support groups but that is the role the student bodies need to take on for college football. The chants, the tifo, the songs, etc. really create an electric fun atmosphere.

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    • Derek

      It’s soccer. Something better be electric. Otherwise, everyone takes a nap.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Comin' Down The Track

        Oh, soccer is boring. Hilarious take, D. 🙄
        S222v is mostly right though. The difference being soccer is non-stop without TV timeouts. That helps a lot.

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        • You run on this blog don’t be surprised to get variations of Grizzard’s take on Soccer:
          “I can give you the soccer scores for an entire season right here. They will be 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1 most of the time, and occasionally there will be a real slugfest that ends 2-1.”

          That said, I think soccer in Atlanta is great and the crowds are fun 😉

          Liked by 1 person

      • Sanford222view

        What is that Twitter handle again? Oh yeah, @FreezingColdTakes

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  2. Derek

    The good news for Mullen is that the fan base obviously doesn’t require very much in the way of effort:

    WTF? The only sadder thing I’ve seen is auburn students enthusiastically singing along to a 30 year old, 1980’s hair band song.

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    • TomReagan

      I don’t know, I hate Florida even more than the next guy, but I think that is (or I believe was) a great tradition. Same for We Are the Boys.

      Just because you hate them doesn’t mean everything they do sucks. I’m sure ringing the chapel bell isn’t getting a rise out of anyone outside of Athens.

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  3. 3rdandGrantham

    “I’m going to…go over to the fraternity houses and, more importantly, go to the sorority houses.” Well, at least he has his priorities straight.

    Here’s the thing, however, your home stadium can only intimidating when you actually put a really good product on the field. You can have the loudest stadium on earth, but if your OL/DL is getting shoved around while the other team quickly goes up 21-3, suddenly the decibels drop like a rock while everyone starts staring at their smartphones.

    Udub was supposed to have the most intimidating environment in the early 90’s, then UF and UT in the mid/late 90’s, followed in more recent years by places like Oregon, Clemson, LSU, Bama, etc. Places like LSU, UT and UF are nowhere near as intimidating as they used to be because their teams aren’t as good. Conversely, Clemson had a 20-25 year stretch where Death Valley was more like happy valley for their opponents, but suddenly that place has become a tough place to play again.

    Sure, there are little things you can do to help to get the crowd into the game, but IMO they are just that…little things. If you want a rocking environment, put a solid team on the field who wins most of their games home/away regardless.

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  4. Bright Idea

    Well that settles the Jax question. Why would UGA want to play in the middle of Mullen’s Animal House frat party that’s going to be super intimidating?

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  5. Uglydawg

    So he wants a pre-game circus and team grand entrance on the scope of Clemson? That’s contrived “tradition” and is goofy. I guess Clemson doesn’t have an Admiral.
    Real tradition (like the eagle at Auburn) has a good narrative behind it and isn’t just implemented.
    As 3rd said above; if the product isn’t good, enthusiasm won’t be either.

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    • Macallanlover

      Maybe old Dan got inspired by that atmosphere he witnessed in Sanford last year. Winning will result in enthusiasm, especially against an opponent who is getting positive press. You won’t get so much against Austin Peay, or if you’re TN and just playing the schedule out. When The Swamp was intimidating was when Spurrier roamed the sidelines and was kicking butt. You will have to earn it, coach.

      And why does Dan get a pass on his gender stereotype? Not against it, it is logical and on-target. But to the Politically Correct crowd of dummies here, you should be admonishing him for profiling such predictable behavior. You can’t have people using “common” sense, can you?

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      • Mike Cooley

        Lol. That crossed my mind too, Mac. Cracked up when I saw Derek’s soccer post up there. That was awesome.

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    • AthensRules

      Admiral….does anybody remember that goofy as hell sideline reporter ESPN put out there last year. He had a weird segment for the UGA/USC game where I thought he was going molest Uga. At the UGA/Vandy he had a segment where he said one of the great traditions at Vandy is “Blowing the Admiral”….I thought…did he really say that? I bet those UF sorority are good at blowing Admirals.

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  6. ATL Dawg

    This is off the subject of Florida but related to athletic departments being lazy…

    So I’ve heard from multiple people that the UGA ticket office screwed up yet again. They were provided their SECC and Nat’l Champ game ticket allotments (actual physical tickets) by the SEC in early December and the College Football Playoff in early January. They were instructed to provide these to their ticket holders after the events as “commemorative tickets”. UGA finally mailed the tickets to both games out this week. But guess what? They didn’t send people the tickets they actually had. Instead, they just sent tickets for random seats. Evidently, they couldn’t be bothered to match them up properly.

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    • lakedawg

      Wondered what these were, did not match my actual seat numbers at games?

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      • ATL Dawg

        I called the UGA ticket office to get an explanation as to why they don’t match and was told “we didn’t have time to do it that way”.

        Absolutely incredible. I guess 2-3 months wasn’t enough time. Of all the bullshit that I’ve heard from that operation over the years, this may take the cake. They act like they’re some tiny college or high school just trying to scrape by.

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  7. W Cobb Dawg

    Some of those MSU cowbells may still be clanging around in Mullen’s head.

    Why not bring back tebow? Timmy could whip em into a frenzy by just waving his arms up and down. And when they lose he could demonstrate the proper way to sob like a little girl.

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  8. Bulldog Joe

    I recall Coach Ron Zook paying a visit to the Gainesville fraternities, too.

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/news/story?id=1901034

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  9. Don in Mar-a-Lago

    “There’s no way the commissioner is going to sign off on our student body shooting fireworks at the other team.”

    Instead of incoming M-80s, there’s an album cover tribute group that can rock the casbah.

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  10. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    And we’re back to the old correlation/causation question. The Swamp was pretty loud back when Spurrier was coaching. Did he win because it was loud? Probably had more to do with his offense than the snotty attitude of their fans and the way they treated the visitors.

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  11. Spike

    Plus the Jort wearers have that “Work em Silly Gators” sign hung up in their stadium every game. WTF is that about? And that doesn’t get them fired up?

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  12. Stoopnagle

    “Leave No Doubt -14.5”

    “I get it. Anyone can throw a slant.”

    “They might be the number 3 team, but they can’t beat Florida.”

    2017 is a gift to Bulldog Nation that just keeps on giving.

    Like