Georgia football takes on the Florida Gators this Saturday. The game naturally has both fan bases excited and hopefully to beat the other. Yesterday and today, many will take the pilgrimage to the City of Jacksonville. RV parking lots and Hooters in the Jacksonville area will be slammed with those wearing red, black, orange, and blue.
The city of Jacksonville has been the host of this rivalry since 1933. The game has not been played twice in Jacksonville because of stadium renovations. So, as thousands of people make their way to Jacksonville, many have wondered how many more times they will make this journey.
Even a few of the boys in the coffee shop are worried that the game might move away from the city of Jacksonville. The main selling point is that if this game were to be moved to the campuses of both universities, it would lose something. But the boys disagreed with the group. He said that whenever he has gone down to the great city of Jacksonville, it seems they do not care if the game is there!
I have been to this game, and I agree with most boys. However, the dissenting voice is correct. There was nothing to do before the game when I was down there. You have plenty to do down there if you have an RV or a tailgate near the stadium. But the last year when I went down there, I did not have any plans; “The plan was there was no plan, Chip!”
So I was left only to go to the stadium early, take in the Dawgwalk, and then enter the stadium and sit at a bar for an hour inside the stadium. After the game, the group I was with wanted to celebrate, so we walked to downtown Jacksonville and saw that every restaurant was closed and many storefronts were boarded up. Finally, it was up to my dad and I to return to our hotel and devise a plan. The only place open was Dave & Busters, which was across the street from our hotel. If you thought we stayed in a Red Roof Inn, you would be wrong; we stayed at the Georgia Football Team Hotel. Dave & Busters was the only place to eat because, well, it’s Florida.
It was only 8 o’clock, and I was eating inside an Arcade after a win over Florida. It was one of the lowest points in my life, and I have had some low points. The point of this shared story is that Jacksonville needs to do a better job of playing host! I think that the game should stay down there. Nothing is better than the split down the middle, the St. Johns River, and the sunset in the 4th quarter. They are all selling points to keep the game there. Furthermore, with traditions being thrown away for money, I think traditions matter in college football. That is the sport we all love and cherish special.
So, if you want to move the game, OK, but if you want to keep the game down in Jacksonville, something has to be done about the atmosphere before and after the game. If you are as passionate as me, make your voice heard before another college football tradition is stripped away.
But enough of the preaching. For this year, Georgia is playing Flordia down in Jacksonville, and the Dawgs need to win this one, like every year. “Screw Florida and the mule they came here on”- Erk Russell.