“We have the same fear that UGA has.”

For those of you thinking you’re going to take your tailgating act off campus and onto the greater confines of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, not so fast, my friends.  It doesn’t sound like those folks are going to be overly welcoming.

The city of Athens can’t simply ban tailgating like the university did. Commissioner Melissa Link fears that UGA’s decision will just push some tailgaters out into big gatherings outside the campus and in bars.

“My big question is, do (fans) know what they’re getting into?” Link said.

“Obviously, we don’t have the virus handled at this time,” said Denson, who hopes Girtz will convene a special meeting of the commission next week to enact some measures to cope with the expected football crowds.

About five months into the pandemic, Clarke County had a relatively low per-capita COVID-19 rate and one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the state. But that changed when UGA students began coming back to Athens ahead of Aug. 20, the first day of fall semester classes. In September, Clarke’s infection rate became one of the highest in the nation.

Though the local government can’t ban tailgating or football parties, Link thinks it’s possible the commission could tweak some its existing ordinances, such as local laws that regulate loud and unruly gatherings or its noise ordinance.

They’ve got the government’s lawyers studying the question, and some of the commissioners will informally huddle this weekend while Williams and Girtz go on their scouting mission, Link said.

They’ll also be keeping an eye out for what happens in other college towns as the football season gets under way.

So, no, they can’t stop you entirely, but can they make your life somewhat miserable with enforcement of the ticky-tacky?  Let’s just say they’ve got some experience in that regard.  Ask football players about that.

42 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

42 responses to ““We have the same fear that UGA has.”

  1. Bulldawg Bill

    UGA hasn’t outlawed old school tailgating, where you literally eat out of the trunk of your car/truck bed. Anybody here old enough to remember that? OLD SCHOOL TAILGATING??? I’M IN!!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. PTC DAWG

    So deaths are on the rise in Athens since students showed back up on campus?

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    • Derek

      Only if you believe facts. And i know you don’t.

      Like

      • Down Island Way

        That’s what Sgt. Friday said…”Just the fact’s ma’am”….

        Like

      • PTC DAWG

        The article only states it was low…doesn’t state is has gone up or down..

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        • argondawg

          It went up before the students got here. We had a surge in mid June through August then it started to go down and then the students showed back up. It is cycling through that population pretty fast and the local population is staying as far away from the student population as possible. The numbers are coming down pretty rapidly. I am noticing a good many of the students following protocols but the bars are still packed on the weekends. So seems about half are taking this seriously. Luckily the weather is nice for eating outside.

          Like

  3. Illini84

    After a night game in 2005 I was walking across Broad St at the arches when I saw a hub-bub going on in front of the Chinese eatery (now Chik-fil-a) and stopped to look. A ACC officer was ticketing a guy for open container and it seemed like a light hearted situation. As the officer proceeded a couple of the offenders buddies started screwing around behind the cop and it got contentious. The dude got to running his mouth and the cop put him under arrest. He turned the guy to the wall and started to cuff him when one of the buddies shoved the cop. The cop turned and went for his pepper spray and another dude got aggressive. In one of the best moves I’ve ever seen the cop took the guys feet out from under him and the guy cracked his head on the sidewalk. At that point the cop was basically pinned against the wall and the crowd started to turn on him. Somehow some other officers arrived and I got to one and told him there was someone hurt badly on the ground. I don’t know how they got an ambulance through that traffic but it seemed like only minutes before they got there. Meanwhile the crowd continued to surround all the cops screaming and menacing them. When the shit finally calmed I gave one of the cops my business card and told him if there was any question about the police behavior I’d be glad to relate what I saw. I always thought the idea of being able to drink on one side of the street and not the other was a recipe for disaster but i was also stunned by the behavior of the drunk asshole Georgia fans.

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  4. Bulldawg Bill

    A Happy and Healthy New Year, Senator!

    Like

  5. RangerRuss

    Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
    Balance personal rights with social duties.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess Athens-Clarke County wants to put all of downtown out of business. I didn’t get tickets to the Auburn game, so I definitely want to hear about people’s experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    A situation tailor made for this man:

    Liked by 2 people

  8. DC Weez

    Look I get it. Tailgating has to change some from the past. Large groups pose problems. I do not see a problem with four people, who rode up in the same car and who didn’t wear masks on the ride, getting out of their car to eat chicken and drink beer. If there was a risk of COVID infection, that risk was much greater for the trip to and from Athens when everyone was in close quarters. Go Dawgs and tailgate sensibly! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. H. Randolph Holder

    As a resident of ACC I find this utterly ridiculous. The ACC commission and their supporters simply cannot comprehend how cases could spike and come back down in Clarke county as they have done in all other counties in the state with a larger university. Not to mention that they were able to beat their chests and tout a low per 100k case rate knowing full well that the students were being counted in that population all along while most were not living here. It was inevitable that we would have a jump in cases but I, for one, celebrate the fact that new cases declined. I hope they continue on that path and my gut feeling is they will. If they do, I will not be shocked at all to see the commission and their supporters continue to beat the drum that the students just simply aren’t getting tested anymore as I have seen them ponder this week.

    I live a mile and a half from the stadium. I was not planning on having a gathering before a game but I will not allow my local government to tell me who I can invite to my home.

    I am not a “muh freedom” guy. But I can’t stand what I deem as overreach.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. “Control is a weapon for fascists.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • ASEF

      It’s kind of striking to me see the same rhetoric deployed against smoking ordinances and seat belt regulations used in Covid responses.

      Balancing acts are hard and highly contingent to circumstances in constant flux. Knowing people having to make those calls up here in WNC, they’re usually privy to concerns from local entities like first responders and health care providers that don’t make headlines. And then people project motivation onto decisions without being fully informed. Or even bothering to participate in the policy discussion.

      Decisions up here over the last 6 months have been sometimes an overreaction, sometimes an under reaction, and sometimes on the money.

      All of them have tried to balance business and safety. None of them were trying to set police power precedents or get people killed.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Tip:Disguised as a Biden/Harris rally or Save The Earth venue, or better yet a plastic grocery bag collection center, your golden On the other hand should you have any Trump or MAGA paraphernalia you’ll be seal clubbed by tofu zealots.

    Liked by 7 people

  12. Remember the Quincy

    Pardon me for not giving a damn about anything Melissa Link has to say, or most of the overly socialist ACC elected officials.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. H. Randolph Holder

    She said a little more than that

    “Though the local government can’t ban tailgating or football parties, Link thinks it’s possible the commission could tweak some its existing ordinances, such as local laws that regulate loud and unruly gatherings or its noise ordinance.”

    I read that as we don’t want you to get together so if you do, we will have a method by which to trump up a charge on you. Also doubt they will have ACC PD patrolling the east side or winterville for gatherings.

    Commie nor revolutionary we’re my words. So I really don’t care what your thoughts are on that. My point is that melissa link and many of the other commissioners are wrong in this instance. Her family’s service, as thankful as I am for it, does not make her right at all

    Like

  14. 123fakest

    Imagine if the ACC govt put this much effort towards crime in the neighborhoods on the East Side/Airport.

    Like