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I can't believe it. I actually agree with Dooley. It's unprecedented.
Dooley on the growing disconnect between Gator fans and the Gator football program...
The Back Nine comes at you and this will be the last column I write with this arthritic hip that is killing me. Surgery on Thursday. Maybe I should keep the bad hip and put it in a shadow box like Will Muschamp did with the steel rod they put in his leg. Naw.
I don't know about you but the first thing I usually do after finding myself agreeing with Dooley is take a shower.
I read the article too and thought he was spot on.
The official program may be more distant with the fans, but with Twitter, I feel the players do a good job of responding to fans and interacting.
"You're not a good guy, you go somewhere else. We'll play you. We'll beat you."
that's how i feel after agreeing with that piece...
Goons belong in hockey.
This, gators weren't sure we'd be good this year, but with whats we have coming in more will show next year. We're the 3rd most valuable program in College Football so something is working, but we were a little spoiled. I think the fans will come next year, and we will continue to go up with Coach Boom. I also believe Driskel will make the big jump this offseason.
Winningest Program in College Football since 1990!
I believe coach needs to open practices more. Also this offense has been less appealing. When Fla starts scoring more points the fans will come out.
He has some good points, but I don't think that opening up practices or having more media availability with the FR will boost the attendance or push more people attending a bowl game in Nola. Decreasing attendances seems to be a trend throughout all CFB. At a program like UF the only recipe is winning! Look at Bama, I think they have even less Media availability and their practices are also closed.
This post was edited by Jaymz15Gators 15 months ago
I agree in theory, but I don't think his reasons had anything to do with the turnout. I do agree that the school seems to be going out of its way to alienate fans. Thousands of empty seats at home games this year (hell, tens of thousands) and they STILL move forward with the donation increase? That's just plain arrogant and stupid.
Reasons with respect to turnout at this particular game:
1. Apathy - our traveling fan base has always been overrated, but it has dwindled even more after the last title in 08. Fans don't get fired up about the Sugar Bowl like they used to. It's part of being there so often.
2. Louisville - The excitement that existed died when NIU pushed Louisville to the Sugar.
3. Bowl ticket prices - These bowls are raping the schools. They don't care if people actually show up b/c they already get the schools to pay for half the tickets in the stadium. It's criminal. More than $100 for this game? Get serious. And that's for awful seats.
4. Wednesday night - I know they don't care if people showed up b/c they scheduled the game for Wednesday night January 2. That killed any chance that I would be going. Asinine, unless they don't care. And they don't.
5. HD TV and every game on television - we were somewhat immune to this when we were winning NCs, but it has caught up to us big time. It's really, really, really easy (and inexpensive) to get a great viewing experience at home. Your game is also less unique and significant when it is but 1 of 14,376 college football games on TV (4,367 of which are bowl games).
6. The Economy - I think this gets a little blown out of proportion, but it is a factor. People are being wiser/stingier/more selective with their money. That's true even if they don't need to be anymore.
I totally agree with the no freshman media policy... these kids just got done playing games with the media for 12 months, time for them to take a break and learn how to deal with the press in a better way.
You nailed it. #2, #3, #4, and #6 were the major factors IMO.
Also, we had the most popular player in the history of CFB for 4 years, and then we didn't. That plays a role as well, but I have no idea how much.
i agree with almost all of this. i would also add that Nawlins just isn't that attractive of a destination for Gator fans because we play LSU and have the chance to travel there every other year. Part of the charm of these bowl games is to play an uncommond opponent in an uncommon venue.
I agree with this. Offense puts butts in the seats. Yeah yeah, winning does too, and defense wins championships. But a high powered offense is to football what the home run is to baseball.
HUGE fan disconnect ....
I've been thinking this for awhile.
I also question where UF is headed with the fan experience.
I actually think there is less joy in going to games for people these days. When they sucked, the UF fans still got there early, still did We are the Boys. Still tailgated all day. You had Mr. Two Bits. A mechanical Alligator. A victory bell that fans would ring.
Yes, people are spoiled now, but ....
When you look back to going to games as a kid, what is one thing you won't forget? Seeing Mr. Two-bits run around the stadium every Saturday.
So what does UF do? He retires and they DON'T replace him? Are you kidding?
Mr. Two-bits was a generational thing. Something you, your dad, your grad dad all knew about.
Does it matter? It does, because it's kind of systematic thing over at UF.
As great as J.F. is with money -- and he is FANTASTIC-- he's not a big tradition guy. And at the end of the day, traditions enhance the game day experience.
Not having a NEW Mr. Two-bits is a joke, and UF should be ashamed. But UF would rather play "Call Me Maybe" over the loudspeaker and consider that fan experience enhancing. Trust me, Jeremy, it's not. I went to the Mizzou game and wanted to kill myself when I heard it for the 10th time. I was so bored during breaks in that game, I didn't know what to do with myself.
No Two bits. The band plays "Jaws" about one-tenth the amount it used to. Why? FSU plays the war chant non stop -- and the people there LOVE it. Don't UF fans like chomping?
UF lacks great traditions. We are the Boys is excellent. But beyond that? Not much. The Gators Walk is OK, but it certainly is NOT original.
I never thought Mr. Two Bits and things like that mattered but as I get older, I finally get it.
Years from now, what do people really recall about the meaningless games, of which there are many? Nothing. They remember the fan experience.
A New concourse is great. But that's not something people will tell their grand kids about.
You know what I remember about UF hoop games in the 1970s and 80s??? Not the players. I recall the janitor that swept the floor and danced to "On Broadway."
I remember the UF students all reading the Alligator when the other team was announced. Then throwing all the paper to the floor.
UF has lost sight of these things, IMO. I've been following the program for years.
As Dooley said, a kid can't even take anything to fan day. Wow. Sad.
What a joke.
I grew up in Gville. The best part of living there as a kid was the interaction with the athletes. That too, pretty much is gone.
UF athletics grew up. And in the process, it left the average Joe behind.
This post was edited by Keith Niebuhr 15 months ago
On Twitter: @Niebuhr247
the Gator home game fan experience is definitely lacking, but that is another topic all together. i don't think that has as much impact on the bowl attendance as is being made out in this thread.
Agree. It just gave me an avenue to point some things out.
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