Daily Archives: November 8, 2018

A whole new meaning to GATA

So, a Milledgeville woman shoots at her parents after her father objected to her changing the television channel from the Georgia-Kentucky game and is arrested after chasing father, mother and child around while completely emptying the chamber, which led to this understated observation from Baldwin County sheriff’s Capt. Brad King:

“My understanding is they had been having some issues…”

‘Ya think?

I hope dad taped the game.



Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in asses in the seats

You may have heard that the attendance at Florida’s Homecoming Game against Missouri was its smallest home total since 1990. (Wouldn’t that make it ever, according to most Gator fans?  But I digress.)  Crowd size was announced as 80,017, well under capacity, but judging from this picture, that seems somewhat generous.

Again, that’s for a conference game against a divisional opponent.

Anyway, what’s interesting is how that’s a starting point for this article (h/t Kyle) about why attendance is down at so many schools.  And not by a little bit, either.

Average attendance at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has dropped each of the last four seasons, from 90,065 in 2015 to 82,427 this year. And with less-than-stellar matchups with South Carolina and Idaho left, don’t be surprised if that number falls more…

… At FSU, attendance has tumbled since Willie Taggart’s debut (75,237). If the current average (69,757) holds, it’ll be the first time since 1992 that the average crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium was less than 70,000. And back then, Doak’s capacity was only 70,123.

Why?  The Tampa Bay Times asked some fans for their explanations and got feedback.  Sure, winning is an obvious reason, although Florida’s decline ran through two seasons of the Gators winning the SEC East and attendance figures at Alabama (!) and Kentucky are down this season.

The rest of the list?  See if you can find the common theme.

The most common reason we heard? It’s too expensive.

“What I have seen appears to be a big money machine that is slowly choosing to price people out,” said Paul Zuccarini, a UF alumnus who travels to a game or two each year from Key Biscayne.

David Gracy agrees.

When the 57-year-old FSU alumnus first bought Seminoles season tickets twenty-plus years ago, they cost about $150 each, including a booster donation. Now they’re more than $700.

“Probably what broke the camel’s back was the increasingly high amounts of money the boosters required in order to maintain our seats,” Gracy said.

Gracy stopped going to games two years ago for other reasons, too, which were among the common complaints we heard.

Because TV partners determine schedules, fans won’t learn the kickoff times for some Nov. 17 games (Boston College at FSU, USF at Temple) until Sunday. Six days isn’t much time for a North Carolina resident like Gracy to figure out his travel plans to Tallahassee. It’s probably not a coincidence that visiting SEC schools are giving back more unsold tickets, as The Gainesville Sun reported over the summer.

Staying at home has become a more attractive option to some. You don’t have to worry about sweating out noon kickoffs, driving home after a prime-time game or sitting for four hours in uncomfortable stands.

“Metal bleachers with very limited space,” said Darrell Card, a Gainesville resident who has cut his UF games down from four or five a year to one or two.

It’s television, of course.  It fuels the big schools’ money chase, it affects scheduling and it provides folks fed up with the in-game experience with a viable alternative.  I don’t see that changing any time soon, either, at least not as long as eyeballs are more efficient at generating revenue than asses are.

Which is all the more reason why I think this is a significant hint at where things are headed.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

This ain’t Mike Slive’s SEC anymore.

The conference announces it’s retained the services of Evolution Media and Creative Artists Agency as its media advisors, in part to “assist the conference in its future broadcast rights negotiations.”

I presume that means Sankey will take a savvier approach to the SEC’s next round of television contract bargaining (next stop, CBS in 2024, I believe) than did his predecessor, whose after the fact realization that he’d cut a below-market deal led to the last round of conference expansion in order to undo his mistake… which, of course, has had a disastrous impact on scheduling.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

The opposite of consistency is consistent, too.

During the Richt era, a common rebuttal to Georgia never having a truly awful season  (2010 was the only year Richt’s Dawgs finished under .500) was hey, look at Auburn.  Sure, everyone acknowledged the occasional season of crap on the Plains, but Marshall!  Cam!  2004!  Yeah, plenty of Georgia fans pronounced themselves happy to trade places and swap results.

Here’s what reality looks like.

The last time the Tigers had consecutive 10-win seasons was under Dye in 1988 and ’89. The last time they finished in the AP top 10 two years running was under Bowden in 1993 and ’94. And the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry has pivoted to Georgia. Since the fourth-and-10 Devon Aromashodu catch/run/fumble of 2005, the Tigers are 3-10 against their neighbor.

Sure, we seem to have the best of both worlds now, but I’m curious.  Those of you out there who felt like that — c’mon, don’t be ashamed to admit it — did you really understand what you were asking for?  Do you still stand by it?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Moving the chains

Pete Fiutak raises a statistical point about Saturday’s game that may be worth keeping an eye on:

As great as the Auburn defense has been at times, it hasn’t been great at stopping teams on third downs. It’s 6-0 when keeping teams from converting 40% of their third down tries, and 0-3 when allowing more.

Georgia has connected on its third down tries at a 54+% clip in four of the last five games, and the only time it didn’t was in the loss to LSU.

Along those lines, third down conversion percentage is an area where the Dawgs have a significant advantage over Auburn.  That’s got to be something of an anchor dragging Malzahn’s offense as it faces a defense that’s played solid bend but don’t break football all season long.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“And you don’t get a dime from that. Is that fair?”

Hey, amateurism romantics — you know, those of you who deny exploitation exists in college sports.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Your brand is so important, but the way the NCAA deals with it—and doesn’t allow you to use it—it takes a lot of potential earning away from players. There are so many great things student-athletes could do, but the process limits us. I’m not just talking money. It’s learning how to market yourself, your brand. Learning life skills.


Filed under The NCAA

The best of times

In some ways, we’ve never had it so good.

13 Consecutive victories over its SEC East rivals have been scored by Georgia after the Bulldogs beat Kentucky 34-17 on Saturday to secure a spot in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1. Georgia had never swept its SEC East opponents in any of the first 25 seasons after the conference divided into divisions in 1992, but now has done so for two years in a row.

Sure, you can say the East is down, but at least Georgia is taking full advantage of that these days.


Filed under Georgia Football

Closing the barn door

As the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ newly elected chair conceded the obvious — that the group was wrong in making its initial actions and recommendations — the school confirmed the outright dismissal of the two athletic trainers accused of poor treatment of Jordan McNair at the May 29 team workout that resulted in his death.

Too bad the horses are already running free in the next county.  At least they’ve quit digging, though.


Filed under Big Ten Football

Mark Richt has lost control of Montana.

Man, Stewart Mandel ($$) brings the shade.

Also, Kirby Smart seems unlikely to let the Dawgs take their foot off the gas for even a minute despite them having already clinched the East. You’re not in the Mark Richt era anymore.



Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

En fuego

I ask you, who among us has not at some point yearned to burn a Gator flag because we don’t “give a d*** about the Gators”?



Filed under Gators, Gators...