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Looking Forward

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by DRU2012, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I understand both the lack of general interest AND its affect on the specific sparseness of participation here at GE for these early season games, ESPECIALLY against these 1-aa/FCS teams:
    HELL--The Swamp was at its lowest attendance since a 1990 home game (!) for the first one against Tenn (Martin).
    We've been down a relatively large portion of our top playmakers (and
    "stars-to-be"), which hasn't enhanced either the interest level OR the a tual quality/excitement of actual play, fortuitous though it may have been from a winnability standpoint.
    As long as Mullens is able to keep his young charges focused and attentive, we SHOULD go into the NEXT home game against AUBURN 5-and-0 and getting back more and more of our hopefully healthy and contributing first-stringers--and having proven, experienced depth now beginning to develop as well...
    In other words, we should at least have a shot in that one (especially with our defense rounding into form, playing a freshman QB etc). But not a time to go against my own cliched warning NOT to "look past" THIS week's adversary--FCS, yes, but used to being a well-coached, regularly Championship-challenging program at their OWN level.
    So we gotta take care of business, obviously... However, if I am less and less compelled to "fill the air" gameday with my comments and reactions, well, forgive me--I'll try to hang in there, but beyond that I am only following Y'ALL'S lead.
    Go GATORS!!!
     
  2. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    It's a problem for Bama as well and I'm sure it's a problem in other places as well with the attendance. Maybe I should look into tickets at the Swamp one of these days.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    The Gators are trying to address attendance by adding better games to the schedule.
    • 2022-23: Utah
    • 2024-25: Miami
    • 2026-27: B1G or Notre Dame (TBD)
    • 2028-29: Colorado
    • 2030-31: Texas
    There will still be an FCS game in there, but no longer will we have two in a season. The SEC just recently lightened up on alcohol sales, so that should help. Scott Stricklin has allowed the fans to bring back old, non-PC game chants such as “Move back you suck”. There is not much else Florida can do without rebuilding the stands with air conditioning.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    If I were close, I surely would.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Now THERE'S an idea...I suppose the day may come when the top programs (and NOT just the ones in proximity to a facility like "Jerry's World", maybe setting up a game there now and then) spring for that kind of comfort extended beyond just the "Luxury Suites" somehow...The combination of big money, advancing technology and cheaper, greener power, plus the pressures of competition among the very top tier of college programs could make that more likely--if not quite "inevitable"... On the other hand, there's the thought that that same "hot down here in the South" idea is a kind of advantage, practical AND emotional, especially early in the season, that we are loathe to give up: might be as good a reason as any NOT to spend all that money after all!
    I know Mullens is all for "more big games" against better outside-the-SEC competition though--IF it can be managed WITH more interdivisional play WITHIN the SEC first, which he is REALLY for...He makes the point that THAT would accomplish essentially the very same thing: Up our strength-of-schedule rankings AND excite the fans. I don't mind a "breather"- game now and then, btw--but the point is ALSO often made of the IMPORTANCE of such games against FCS competition for its "financial trickle down effect": These games help to redistribute the wealth down among smaller programs and conferences... They are huge for teams like Towson, and Tenn (Martin) earlier... Exciting for their players and fans, and more important still, the big payday ($500,000 for each on these) completely necessary for their programs. They compose a BIG chunk of their annual operating revenues, it turns out...
     
  6. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    I like what they're doing. It's a problem in a few other sports pro and college as well not just Florida. Most of us, either stay home or go to a bar to watch the game and both are a cheaper option than going to the actual game.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Some things are out of Stricklin’s control (not Mullen’s). If Florida wanted to add rare SEC opponents, they would actually have to schedule them as out of conference opponents! This would actually be a great way to get more games against Auburn.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Exactly. Texas and Texas A&M do a great job of bringing an almost county fair atmosphere to the games, which is something that is harder to do in Gainesville. Texas is in the city of Austin, so it feels like an NFL stadium. They also did not have alcohol restrictions that SEC teams had until this year. It helps that the night life, beer gardens, bars, restaurants and mass transit are all right there in Austin. College Station has all of that minus the mass transit, but the entire town is built around aTm and Blinn College—there is actually nothing else there! Gainesville has only recently experienced the urbanization and gentrification around the campus that could grow into a better game day atmosphere on campus and in the immediate area. Gainesville is also different from College Station in that Gainesville has historically been a quiet, inexpensive town to retire in, but not a profitable town to live in or invest in. It is harder to build a game day atmosphere that will draw fans away from their comfy couches and local bars, but I think in a few years UF will able to make it a fun game day experience by shrinking capacity from 88,548 to maybe 87,500 (slightly larger than Auburn Jordan-Hare) and widening the cheap seats, expanding the Champions section or creating another tier below that, and offering re-entry for the student section. From there, they have to bring the beer gardens into the stadium, add restaurants inside the stadium, and continue upscaling the restaurants across the street.
     
  9. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Of course, the unfortunate truth implicit above is the idea that many of the best aspects of a college town's "liveability" is inevitably sacrificed in it's urban growth towards "civility"!
    Not that I see any way around it, let alone a way to keep everyone happy, OR stand in the barreling way of growth, "progress" or the natural force of folks wanting to make a buck...I guess I just wish there really WERE some practical thought truly given to this idea of "intelligent growth".
    Too big a problem and subject overall to go into here, but Austin, whose explosive growth came relatively late in the game--in the 90s, AFTER most "large towns" experienced sudden largescale, unforeseen and uncontrolled growth--had a real chance to "do it RIGHT", LEARN from the mistakes of others.
    I was here for it--moved here just before it happened and witnessed its explosive growth, and watched as it sort of "made all the same old mistakes in slow motion". Yes, it still has neighborhoods and remnants of its old charm--but nowhere NEAR what it could have had had folks, political, financial and civil used their heads and gotten personally involved in MAKING the city-to-be into something special...So NOW it is crowded, expensive and full of the worsening problems it could have, SHOULD have been able to largely avoid. It's a damn shame, and at this point any "fix" can't HELP but be AFTER-the-fact, a day late and a dollar short...
    I would hate to see the same happen to Gainesville...but then again, I am probably envisioning all that happening NOT to Gainesville as it truly IS now but rather a "vision" of G-ville in my memory. The truth is that it has been so long since I have even spent time there (let alone actually LIVE there) that I have little right to even comment on, let alone pontificate about their future and whatever accommodations are made with the University--whose future, from what I understand, is even more entangled with the University of Florida than Austin's was and is with UT.
    Still, I do say this:
    "Beware! Plan carefully, and try to be clear-eyed in the inevitable feedback relationship between the institution itself, the Campus AND the neighborhoods surrounding it: Either you control it, or it will control YOU--with unintended effects and consequences for you, your children and the overall aspects of environment and costs far into the future. Above all, bear in mind that YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE, in the neighborhoods, public facilities, and in fact your OWN access to Gator games, and what kind of experience THAT will be (just like here in Austin, the Gators belong as much to that town as the Longhorns do here, beyond AND WITH the student and alumni's loyalty and attachment)."
    I suppose that, in the end, having seen what I've seen in both specific cases and general effects of "human nature", I am somewhat cynical and pessimistic regarding the forces at work behind the scenes, AND the likely ways those will tend to manifest themselves. Expediency and "path of least resistance" (not to mention small-town back-room dealings while "the rich get richer") will most likely (and naturally) produce "the same old less-than-ideal compromised states".
    I wish I were wrong, HOPE that cooler heads and better hearts prevail here--but empirically speaking, I'd have to concede that isn't the likeliest result.
     
  10. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    If Gainesville grows, it will not look anything like Austin. Gainesville's growth around the University of Florida campus needs to look like College Station's growth with its beer gardens, upscale restaurants, etc within easy walking distance to the stadium. Gainesville will never have an urban atmosphere like Austin. The *immediate area* around the University of Florida needs some gentrification and some marketing pizzazz to make it something in between Austin's Sixth Street and College Station's immediate area around campus.

    Gainesville has a population of 133k compared to College Station (114k) + Bryan (84k). Austin itself has a population of just under a million, not counting the surrounding cities where people commute from for work (Round Rock 123k, Cedar Park 75k, Georgetown 70k, San Marcos 63k, Pflugerville 60k). Gainesville and College Station are the right size for some upscaling, but are not big enough to become like Austin. Like College Station, Gainesville is in a position where it can just shape the area around the campus to make it a better college atmosphere that will in turn draw more people to the stadium (assuming the stadium gets some additions such as restaurants and bars).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    It is in fact a huge relief reading your analysis, E-!
    I read you loud and clear: In point of fact, it sounds as if you are somewhat describing aspects of Denton, Texas, home to University of North Texas--a semi-rural-with-urban-aspects scene of which in many ways I heartily approve.
    No matter what, it sure DOESN'T sound as if Gainesville's "ruination" is likely in the offing, at any rate.
    Remember, I went to UF at a time when the town's core population was around 30,000, less even than that of the University itself at that time (estimated to be around 35,000, as I recall)... The town literally EMPTIED OUT in summer, and then "we" essentially REtook CONTROL of the place each Fall. All in all, this made it "best of all possible American Worlds" at the time.
    It sounds as if, though things have inevitably changed with the influx of people and money, in relation to the world-at-large surrounding it things are still manageably scaled for young mostly-city folk to come and revel in a calmer, lower key NEAR-rural setting, where they and their friends still mostly hold sway.
    Sort of "adult life with training wheels", to some degree--which is one way one could describe "the ideal University experience" in the FIRST place.
     
  12. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    I went to school here in the mid-2000s, during the Leak and Tebow years. It appears that Hogtown has increased its population by 50% since 2006.
     
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  13. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    I guess the population was about 110,000 in 2006. They are projecting 150,000 by 2020.
     
  14. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    What a great time to GO there!--AND the last time I was there at the right time of year to see a game, btw. I went there pre-Spurrier (15 years AFTER he played, but still a few years before he came riding back to rescue us, as Coach); Bear Bryant protege Charlie Pell came in to replace Doug Dickey my sophmore year, with the hope and expectation that (after his success at Clemson) he would be the one to properly revive our by then once-again moribund program...(am NOT gonna retrace THAT particular history lesson/minor nightmare that ensued BEFORE the great "RETURN OF THE LEGEND" Tale that Spurrier's coming home "just in TIME" amounted to in the early/mid 80s).
    But after SS's unexpectedly sudden stepping down, we had seemed to be entering another tailspin by the time Zook was given the gate in the early 2000s--Only to be resurrected once AGAIN, all the MORE surprisingly, with Urban Meyer & Co.'s (as we now are well aware, it just won't DO to overlook how much his "supporting cast" made the huge difference in his success) amazing run. Yes, it was also the time of TT--but there was an amazing parade of EXTREME talent coming through G-ville then as well. Blows your mind just reading a LIST of the players recruited and immediately seeing the field...
     
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