The fine line between entertainment and obligation

Remember, Georgia fans, it’s not what your football program can do for you, but what you can do for your football program.

Coach Kirby Smart called on Georgia’s fans to help out with an early wake-up call on Saturday.

No. 3-ranked Georgia drew the dreaded noon kickoff for Saturday’s game against South Carolina at Sanford Stadium.

“I want to challenge our fans, who have always responded to challenges, to get in your seats early and get ready for an early kickoff,” Smart said at his weekly news conference on Monday. Our guys will need that support, and we’ll need the crowd noise and the impact that we had in the Notre Dame game.”

I hope we don’t get called out if we’re as insufficiently into the game early as the team looked in Knoxville.

Kirby, if you really want to make sure we’re there, maybe Butts-Mehre should offer a discount to fans who arrive early.

79 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

79 responses to “The fine line between entertainment and obligation

  1. SEC Nation in town combined with a noon kick … Kirby, it’s going to be a late coming crowd.

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  2. jhorne2000

    In an era where schools and networks don’t mind squeezing us for more money – it seems like they’d find a way to monetize our desire to not play noon games.

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  3. Spike

    Or offer Bloody Marys or cold beer.

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  4. JasonC

    Hey, if you can’t make it on time, I’ll take your tickets and I’ll show up. IMO not an unreasonable request from Kirby. He’s not bitching us out like Saban, just asking us to support the team that we supposedly like.

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  5. Bill Glennon

    Fire Kirby. How dare he ask fans to voluntarily support the team.
    First he makes us buy tickets. Then he forces us to show up on time.

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  6. Brandon

    I see nothing wrong with this, whatsoever. I was born and raised in a town with a good high school football tradition and our coaches from the dawn of time have been asking things similar of our fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debby Balcer

    I am always there to watch all the pregame and stay until the end. It is a two hour drive to get there. If I commit to going to a game I want the experience the entire game.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Muttley

    As someone who used to make every road and home game (and bowl and G-Day, for a little over 11 straight seasons) I always felt honored to be a part of whatever the coach or the team needed from us. I liked being asked. I never did it for Damon Evans or Greg McGatory or even the coaches, all of whom are plenty well-compensated, but for a bunch of athletes who are paid partly by whatever noise this old man could make.

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    • I agree with that. It’s why I stay ’til the end.

      I can just do without the tone that it’s an obligation on my part. The contribution is an obligation; my attendance is from willingness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Muttley

        Totally agree on Saban’s schmucky version of it. I think Kirby “challenging” our fans is all right, but then…(insert video of “Money Changes Everything” here)…

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  9. ATL Dawg

    I sold my tickets about a month ago but I wouldn’t go now if someone offered me free tickets and free parking. There’s a decent slate of games on TV, as well as the NLCS and ALCS.

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    • Butler Reynolds

      What if they offered you four hot dogs and four cokes?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Clt_Dawg

      Those the same free tickets you bitched about JasonC wanting if he could get them? That you now wouldn’t take?

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      • ATL Dawg

        I don’t know if they’re the same seats but I do know that I’m not lecturing the people who bought them and pretending that I would be doing some sort of favor by taking them for free.

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    • Otto

      I picked this game in part because of the absence of other great games on a weekend that UGA is facing one of their tougher home games. LSU vs UF is the other big game which hopefully I can be in front of a TV for most of that game. I have a hard time watching the Red River game as they typically don’t have any Defense but Boomer Sooner.

      I just wish baseball was over by Labor Day. Go Cards.

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  10. Bright Idea

    Maybe Kirby should say “I understand just show up when you can.”

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  11. Biggus Rickus

    I’m pretty sure the team was into the game early in Knoxville, but snark away.

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  12. Derek

    Do we want to be number 1 or not?

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  13. John Denver is full of shit...

    I’ll be there ready to make noise, but I better feel the freedom to leave at halftime.

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  14. Go Dawgs!

    You’ve got every right to be offended by Kirby Smart asking fans to show up in large numbers for G-Day to impress recruits and you’ve got every right to be offended by the head coach challenging fans to show up loud and early for an important conference game. I really don’t understand the gripe, though. I can certainly understand the annoyance at more and more of the school’s attention being focused on higher dollar donors and the feeling of being less important to UGA if you aren’t throwing in as much money as the mega-Magill folks. But, this is the head coach telling the average fan that they DO matter and that they can have an impact on how the game is played and how it’s won. What am I missing here? If you’re planning to attend the game on Saturday anyway, is it an imposition to be asked to get there at kickoff and then also to be loud? This isn’t Murray State, it’s South Carolina.

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    • I offer my time and support willingly. I’m leaving at 7:30 in the morning and I’ll be in the stadium before kickoff, because I want to.

      The reason Kirby has to exhort others to do the same is because, let’s face it, noon is an unpopular starting time for fans. And the only reason we have to deal with it is because the SEC has a television contract. So on the one hand the schools create the inconvenience and on the other push and shame fans — paying fans — into accepting it.

      You’ve got every right to accept that deal, but I think it has a whiff of bullshit. Then again, so does so much else of 21st-century college athletics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charles

        Co-signed entirely.

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      • Normaltown Mike

        the problem with noon games is our students haven’t sobered up from Friday night yet. Sure, they COULD stay up all night and into the morning tailgate, but that’s exhausting.

        We’d almost be better off with a 7am kick as they’d still have that giddy Friday night edge and by the 4th quarter, they’re all fast asleep.

        I kid. A little.

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      • tiredofidsearch

        I like the good ol days when it was a 1pm kickoff….. had my routine down.

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      • trbodawg

        I’m leaving here (Northern California) at 6:30pm on Thursday. I’m hoping to be in the stadium by 11am on Saturday
        😎

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    • One more thing, while I’m on my soap box here: I’d be a lot more accepting of the obligation Smart urges if I felt like the school shared anywhere near the same level of commitment to making my game day experience excellent.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 79Dawg

        Someone should ask anyone in the Athletic Department if they’ve ever taken the 316 Motor Speedway/Parking Lot/Motor Speedway/Parking Lot, etc. to make it to a noon SEC game….

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      • California dawg

        This is it right here. This “challenge” from Kirby doesn’t bother me in the slightest. He doesn’t come off hostile or dickish like Saban generally does, especially considering this is for an actual SEC game and not a cupcake (on a side note, I think Kirby has grown as a HC when it comes to general PR duties.) I only wish/hope Kirby is also challenging McGarity and BM behind closed doors to improve the gameday experience for said games.

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        • If improving the game day experience improves the experience for recruits and their families, Kirby will go the mat for it. Otherwise, he doesn’t have time for that ——.

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          • Athens Townie

            You don’t think the fan experience has improved at all since Kirby got to town?

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            • What do you mean by the fan experience? Better product on the field? Absolutely. Better experience in Sanford? Not really … other than the bells and whistles for recruits. The grab/go concessions are a plus. The water coolers are good.

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              • Athens Townie

                Agreed. I think you’re right that the Sanford experience is largely similar — strictly speaking.

                But it’s way more fun to be a fan these days. The better product on the field has a lot of spin-off benefits that make being a fan who attends games a lot more exciting and pleasant (less soul crushing like Bama at UGA in 2015).

                The scheduling is bolder too and we get less noon games when we’re a top team. But I’m not sure in which category to put 4th quarter rituals and other improvements (e.g., the lighting) that have made us more of a leader in the “stadium experience” game.

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  15. chopdawg

    So THAT’S why Kirby goes all vanilla on offense, late in games. He doesn’t want the games to get totally one-sided, so the fans will stay in their seats!

    I myself would be much more likely to stay in my seat if I had an actual seat to sit in, and a cup holder for my liquor drink, like I have whenever I go to the Florida game.

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  16. Castleberry

    I’ll be in there screaming from one hour before kickoff. Too bad I have to wait until after the game to enjoy a beer. Saw folks rolling into the upper deck of Neyland with 32 oz cups of beer late into the the third quarter. Not one problem at all. What a waste.

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  17. John

    I didn’t really read his statement as purporting to impose an obligation on fans. He understands that nooners are not a rowdy and well attended as other games and he probably understands exactly why. Notwithstanding that, he wants the fans to get in the stadium and get loud to support the team. Seems a pretty reasonable ask for a coach to me.

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  18. The Georgia Way

    Rest assured, we’re still going to tow your vehicle if you arrive too early.

    #COMMITTOTHEG

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mr. Tu

    I’ll would be there extra early if they had frisbee dogs or a pee wee football vs mascots full contact game. Give me something for the effort

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mark Gailey

    I’ll be there.
    There’s no place I’d rather be than in Athens on a Saturday afternoon.

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  21. 79Dawg

    Pretty simple fix – start allocating seats to the people who show up the earliest and most often, instead of those who give the most money!

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  22. Biggity ben

    I blame South Carolina for sucking as the reason why this game got nooner’d. I’ll be in Athens for the first time since the Clemson game for my bachelor party. We’ll be there for kickoff, but really upset I don’t get the full tailgate experience and the new lights. Guess I’ll still have little Italy and toppers to look forward to.

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  23. Kirby – “Show up and support your team…we need you there early.”
    Senator- ” GET OFF MY LAWN!!

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  24. FlyingPeakDawg

    Kirby could provide coffee and Krispy Kremes for about half a day’s pay. It then the lines to the restrooms would begin earlier and be longer, so never mind.

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  25. PTC DAWG

    Of all the things to get worked up over.

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  26. Gurkha Dawg

    Do it like a Broadway play. If you show up after kickoff you will not be seated until halftime.
    On second thought, If I buy tickets to anything, I show up when the fuck I want or not at all. Also, I’ll cheer or boo whenever the fuck I want. That’s the privilege you get when you buy a ticket.

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  27. Jared S.

    I don’t even know why I’m replying, other than to say I thought this would be an entertaining comments thread because I saw there were 70+ replies. I was duped. DUPED! lol

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  28. HiAltDawg

    Spoiler Alert: KirbDawg is gonna break out the Black Jerseys for the noon game everybody hates. Word on the street is Cook’s parents want him to transfer unless there’s a blackout this season.

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