Thank you for your support. Gotta run now!

Chip Towers visits the second stop on this year’s UGA’s Coaches Caravan and wonders where everybody went.

Anyway, it seems that my collection of observances from the Columbus proceedings touched a nerve with some UGA folks, particularly those who plan and organize these undertakings. I noted in my column Monday night that the event at the Convention & Trade Center in Columbus seemed lightly attended and somewhat compressed in overall length and depth of the program.

Less taste and less filling!  Sounds like a plan.  It also sounds like Butts-Mehre wasn’t amused.

That was indeed the case. But, while there were a few more no-shows than expected, I’m told that it was intimate by design. That’s according to Matt Borman, Georgia’s executive associate athletic director for development (aka, chief fundraiser).

Oooh, there’s a plan!  Tell us more, Matt.

Borman and his staff organize these events, which aren’t to be confused with your father’s and grandfather’s Bulldog Club meetings. These functions aren’t advertised or marketed anywhere, Borman told me. They’re free and open to anyone to attend, but they’re essentially invitation-only events. The people who show up are UGA alumni and/or season-ticket holders — and their friends or children — who received an email telling them that the Top Dawgs are going to be in the area and they should come out and hang out for an evening.

This is not to be confused with the “all calls” of the past, where thousands of Georgia fans from all around were summoned to some massive venue to bark and whoop it up for their Bulldogs. This is what you’d call a “targeted audience.”

“We’re not trying to be more exclusive,” Borman told me Tuesday, “But we are trying to create a more intimate atmosphere for a group of alumni and fans to spend with our coaches.”

Case in point: The 10-minute speech that Smart delivered Monday night to about 290 fans in Columbus was just a small part of his evening there. Before that, he and Crean signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans who stood in line for that opportunity. After their speeches, Crean and Smart were jettisoned across town in Columbus to the Chattahoochee River Club, where they attended a dinner with – well, let’s just say – a very, very special group of donors.

I know the haves and the have-nots are an old story when it comes to college football.  I just never expected that to work its way so deeply into how Georgia markets its fan base.  It’s nice to feel so wanted.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

41 responses to “Thank you for your support. Gotta run now!

  1. Beer Money

    This had to be written in Kirby’s original contract. Notice that Richt still did the original format all the way up until the end and then UGA quickly made it a invitation only even promptly upon Smart’s arrival.

    While I think everyone is 100% behind Kirby and the program’s direction, it still just rubs most the wrong way that only those who give enough have the right to see the coaches speak live in person.

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    • I don’t listen to the Monday night coaching show anymore because the questions come from social media and are scrubbed before they get asked. Half the time is The Screamer Scott Howard lobbing softballs. You could sometimes say call-in show people would ask stupid questions, but sometimes they would ask the question that would get a media member 37F’d.

      All of this is not about access or insight. It’s only about we tell you what we want you to know … sounds a lot like everything going on in media right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. DugLite

    I was there. It was a nice event. I went knowing I wasn’t going to gain any insider information so I was just happy to be there. Food was free which surprised me. LOL

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    “We’re not trying to be more exclusive,” Borman told me Tuesday, “But we are trying to create a more intimate atmosphere for a group of alumni and fans to spend with our coaches.”

    Is that talking out of both sides of your mouth or what! The way college administrators think clever rhetoric can hide simple truth, never ceases to surprise me. Hell, if I can figure it out it can’t be that smart.

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  4. Bright Idea

    Kirby doesn’t have time for this shit unless you can afford it. Fine by me as long as you meet those standards you are setting. We won’t pester you til you don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Timphd

    Until they ask for 93K to show up at spring practice, the “little people” are clearly not valued. We are recruiting tools only.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Aladawg

    Reckon the Columbus beer distributing Godfather was at the Chattahoochee club? It’s becoming incredibly similar to political fundraising. ……..,at least I can remember the good ole days; most don’t.

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  7. ASEF

    Apparently the more poorly PJ recruits, the better the coach he becomes.

    Here’s hoping he squeezes out 5 wins without a single NFL draft prospect on his roster. Tech Fan would be so proud.

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  8. PTC DAWG

    Some of y’all can’t be pleased, period.

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    • Is everything either/or with you? Agree with everything that’s happening or you’re not a real Georgia fan.

      The bottom line is that these guys are State of Georgia employees first, employees of a university not-for-profit second, and a coach who doesn’t have time for the masses about 1,000th. While I wouldn’t go fight a crowd to hear the same coach cliches, it does tick me off that the University has decided the great unwashed masses of alumni and fans don’t deserve an audience with Kirby in particular, but we’re sure wanted when he needs 90k recruiting props to show up for a scrimmage.

      I’ll give it to Coach Crean … he’s out and about in Athens meeting people on the street and generating some positive momentum for the hoops program.

      Liked by 1 person

      • HiAltDawg

        Thanks for pointing out Coach Crean(machine in Red&Black)’s efforts. Some of my group were noting that Crean was “buying-in” with the fans in a way we claimed we would do if we were making $3.5mil a year.

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        • If I lived in northeast Gwinnett County and could get to Athens on a Wednesday night, I would be a hoops season ticket holder with everything Crean is doing to create excitement around the basketball program. I’ll definitely find a way to buy some tickets this season to enjoy a winter (or hopefully, early spring) day or 2 in Athens.

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          • 92 grad

            My daughter (10) is a gymnast and we spend some nice evenings in Athens for the gym dawgs meets. I’m 90 miles east of gawd’s country but we really enjoy the off season. I was a redcoat for 4 years but I still am too intimidated to try an take my family to a fall Saturday event. I look forward to b-ball next year, gymnastics, and hopefully I can talk the wifey into baseball.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Get on the Train! You really think everyone whining about it on this blog helps anything? If so, whine away.

        I told y’all Kirby is on it. Let him do it his way..

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        • If you can only whine if it helps anything, why do you whine about what others post here? ‘Cause you damned sure ain’t making a difference.

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        • You do realize Kirby has nothing to do with this? He is doing what he has to do as part of his contract to show up at so many UGA events. If 100 Magill Society members or 1,000 alumni showed up to an event, he gets paid regardless. This is the AD’s doing along with his chief lackey (the chief revenue officer) to restrict access to Kirby.

          Kirby did a Terry Third Thursday a couple of weeks ago in Buckhead … that event was probably more of a “hey, I’m a proud Terry alum” thing (and I want to give back to the business school) than a “I have to do this because Jimmy Sexton said I had to” thing.

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    • David Chadwick

      Can’t be pleased? Man, the common fan is being squeezed out of the sport and the common fan used their wallet to build it. If they want to play hide and seek? Fine, but don’t cry when the worm turns about lack of fan support because you earned it.

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    • Dawgoholic

      I’m a donor. I do not want to interfere with Kirby’s work to win national championships. Kissing the rears of donors are for coaches who want to keep their job without success in the field. I could care less whether Kirby wants to talk to me and would rather stay out of his way – but I do care whether he wins in MBS on the first Saturday of December.

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  9. RLJ

    “They’re free and open to anyone to attend, but they’re essentially invitation-only events.” No, that’s not confusing. SMH

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  10. Neal Moore

    The haves and have not’s exist in all strata of life: football teams and football fans. I don’t mind that the big contributors get access I don’t. That’s a good reason to become a big contributor. I don’ take offense at being encouraged to go to Athens and attend G-day. I actually like going to Athens. But aren’t you guys missing the headline: its free and open! If somebody on here got the invite to one of them, somebody else may get the invite to the next, so……..Let’s go!!!! I like free food, I like free booze more, and I’m not too proud to stand in line and get (another) UGA coach to sign a football for my office.

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    • I personally don’t mind the post event in a smaller setting for big contributors (I’m not one and not going to become one). I don’t like that these “public” events really aren’t public at all.

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  11. The Georgia Way

    Rest assured, our second-tier football fundraising stand-in negotiations with Jim Connor (Larry Culpepper) are nearing completion.

    Remember it is not urgent, but we do want to get this done as quickly as we can.

    #COMMITTOTHEG

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  12. 81Dog

    What Chip didn’t point out was that Kirby signed stuff for everyone in line, and posed for quick pictures, for about 30 minutes prior to speaking. He seemed affable and engaged while he was handling that business. So, that was a nice thing on his part. Tom Crean walked around introducing himself. That dude has a George Hamilton quality tan, and he’s VERY, very enthusiastic. Like a slightly medicated Jim Valvano.

    The speeches were short and low in actual information, if somewhat good on enthusiasm. Kirby got hustled out the back door as soon as he was done, as if he had an emergency surgery to perform. From first work by Dantzler to Kirby out the door (which Included Coach Crean’s speaking) was probably barely 20 minutes.

    the “public” thing was not particularly well promoted, and 430 is still part of the workday for, well, working people. I get that the uber donors are the ones who get the most attention, but is time so scarce that the common folks cant get an entire hour once a year? You never know when one of these folks is going to be raising a 5 star player, or maybe at least have influence with one.

    on the other hand, if he keeps winning, the rest of us will just keep smiling and taking whatever attention we get.

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  13. Uglydawg

    Kind of off the subject..but do the Dawgs stop in Newnan on the way to Auburn anymore? Used to be kind of a big deal, but I’m not sure they collected any donations doing it.

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