UGA tailgating: Isn’t four hours long enough to party?

If a picture says a thousand words, the first one that comes to mind from this shot is "pigs."

If a picture says a thousand words, the first one that comes to mind from this shot is "pigs." Photo courtesy of Tom Ritch

I’m not sure why the University of Georgia Student Government Association wants tailgating beyond four hours, which seems like a reasonable period time for any pre-game party to me.

Nor am I sure if the SGA is in the best position to ask for a relaxing of the restrictions put on tailgating by the UGA administration to cut down on the trash and mayhem. The administration says someone dragged a couch out of a dorm and set it on fire in Myers Quad during the Nov. 27 game against Georgia Tech. And the college had to deal with jagged glass from beer bottles on the ground as well.

Take a look at this AJC story, which states that UGA student leaders want three North Campus tailgating restrictions imposed last year relaxed; the prohibitions against tents, tables longer than four feet and tailgating more than four hours before kickoff. Lest anyone forget why these restrictions were imposed, please look at the photo accompanying this blog of North Campus after one of the tailgating afternoons that led to the clamp-down by UGA.

I have read the news stories in the Athens paper and the Red & Black and am still unclear about the impetus for the SGA request. Can someone enlighten me? Is it just to revive tailgating at the North Campus, where the restrictions have dampened both spirits and crowds?

Is there a long line of students looking for a place to set up tents? Here’s an idea from a parent of a two college students. They could always try the library.

–From Maureen Downey, AJC Get School blog

47 comments Add your comment

atlmom

January 28th, 2011
4:17 pm

I’m not sure I agree with some of the restrictions being lifted, but honestly, the ‘four hours’ before game time is a little silly when there is an evening game. Having only attended games as a friend of an alumni, I will say that having a full day to spend with friends and eat is fun. That means the traffic from Atlanta isn’t as bad, and, well, what’s the problem really? I think it should be more game specific, really – like, um, there’s no need to start at 8 for a noon game, but starting at noon for an 8PM game makes sense.

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HStchr

January 28th, 2011
5:08 pm

If the partying hadn’t gotten so raucous and the mess left behind so taxing on university staff to clean up, then maybe they wouldn’t have such tight restrictions. I think the majority of tail gaters were good enough, but as you know it only takes a few to spoil the whole thing. Perhaps they should consider cording off an area for alumni and university connected folks like boosters that could by monitored and allowed to start earlier. Seems fair to those donating money or those whose involvement as alumni serves the school.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2011
5:12 pm

ah, kids fighting for their rights to be young, drunk, and stupid.

I say let them party as long as they want. then bring down the wrath of God legally for being drunk in public, public urination, exposure, distruction of property, everything possible.

and fine them hard, fast, and often ’til the economy recovers.

automatic permanent expulsion if caught driving drunk or engaging in violence up to 24 hours after a game.

if they want to party like adults, let them.
then make them face the consequences like adults.

bootney farnsworth

January 28th, 2011
5:15 pm

but remember, its football.
the real reason colleges exist in the south.

God forbid these kids put this kind of effort into
their studies…

Gail

January 28th, 2011
5:32 pm

Here’s a possible reason: Most of the students live off campus. The Athens transit buses don’t run their regular routes on game Saturdays so the students generally have to drive on campus for games. In order to get parking spaces they have to arrive very early in the day. I think that the past two years many of the home games were night games. So with the 4 hour tailgate rule, they were on campus but could not set up a tailgate, or go to a friend or family member’s tail gate until maybe 4 pm. So I agree with atlmom regarding game specific rules.

catlady

January 28th, 2011
6:26 pm

If you have ever been in the alumni section, you will notice it is the same thing there. Very drunk people sitting around getting drunker and drunker.

Lee

January 28th, 2011
6:42 pm

It’s a business. UGA football is the most profitable among SEC teams netting a whopping $52 million.

http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2011/01/26/whos-making-money-in-sec-football/

Maybe they should hire a more security and put out some more trash cans.

Gameday in Athens, seating for 92,000 – parking for 5,000

What could possibly go wrong?

Ted Striker

January 28th, 2011
7:47 pm

It’s not just the students who want the restrictions on time lifted. It’s many alumni as well. Four hours may seem like a gracious plenty if someone hasn’t gone through the process of tailgating recently.

The halcyon days of pulling up to the curb, unloading your stuff and being ready in minutes are now gone.

Nowadays it’s a matter of parking a mile or more away, lugging your stuff in, setting up, then tailgating for a little bit and hoping that the time you’re there coincides with when your friends will come by.

Then you hustle and bustle to arrive in time for the Dawg Walk — which the University encourages you to do. Then you rush back, break everything down, get it back to the car and hurry to get to the game early — which the University encourages you to do.

Four hours would be great if it was really four hours of tailgating. However those who tailgate know that it really only equates to an hour or an hour and a half.

Too Easy

January 28th, 2011
7:58 pm

Most games last year were noonish. Wasn’t as much an issue. If we improve this year, maybe we’ll get back to later games. And, Gail, no – 4 hours isn’t necessarily enough. There’s lots to enjoy besides food and drink. Satellite dishes mean football all day long. And it may be the only time of the year when you get to see certain folks.

Too Easy

January 28th, 2011
8:00 pm

Sorry, Gail. I meant Maureen, who really needs to get out and enjoy it.

Ole Guy

January 28th, 2011
8:14 pm

Nothing leaves a lasting impression better than waking up in the drunk tank…Panama City Spring Break, 1965.

Athena

January 28th, 2011
8:35 pm

Alas, the library is no longer an option for students to do *anything* on game day. It had to be closed down because of fans who felt free to use the stairwells as their own personal Port-o-Let, as well as harassing the library staff and anyone who was foolhardy enough to try and study when there was football going on. Most campus buildings that don’t actually either serve food or have people living in them are closed on game days for the same reason.

I was raised on football and love it. We go to all UGA home games and tailgate at every one of them, but I have never understood the urge that compels some people to act the fool and shed every vestige of civilization in the name of fandom–and then to whine because someone tries to get them to dial it down.

ugaaccountant

January 28th, 2011
8:37 pm

Wow, imagine that, someone who’s clearly never been involved in tailgating writing about it. Tailgating ends for most of us about 2 hours before the game so you are now talking about a 2 hour window to enjoy a tradition as old as the game itself.

Uncle Curly

January 28th, 2011
8:38 pm

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

BehindEnemyLines

January 28th, 2011
8:53 pm

You seem to be presuming that the “students” involved in this request have any interest that outweighs achieving a drunken stupor. That would be a mistake. Happy to provide the enlightenment you requested ;)

Go Dawgs

January 28th, 2011
8:54 pm

Tailgaters need to respect the campus, pick up their trash and take care of the campus that we have always loved. That being said, 4 hours isn’t long enough to tailgate. I spent about 8 hours tailgating at the UGA/Tech game and it felt like maybe 2 hours. It’s one of the highlights of my family’s year. Maureen is obviously someone who doesn’t get it…

raliv

January 28th, 2011
8:57 pm

you have no idea what tailgating is.

I wont even respect you with a dignified response. Just stop writing.

UGA Student

January 28th, 2011
9:05 pm

To begin, if you are a student, the seats in Sanford are first come first serve. That means that you have to get to the game at least an hour before kick off in order to get a seat in the lower section. Add in the fact that it takes about an hour to set up and tear down and you are looking at two hours tops.

Also, the couch on Myers quad is a complete fabrication. I was on the quad tailgating for the GT game and saw no couch being burned. I have numerous friends (including multiple Resident Assistants) who live in the quad dorms and none of them have heard of said couch being burned. If it was, its too bad, and one bad example, but should not be taken as a reference to the entire student body.

Also, the one thing the picture above clearly lacks is a dumpster of any sort. While unsightly, every other SEC venue I have ever been to, including Jacksonville, has a tailgating area surrounded by both portapotties and dumpsters. If there are places easily available to throw away trash, people generally do it. Unfortunately Mike Adams has one of his crony friends in charge of waste disposal, a situation like the above means extra money for his friend, go figure.

Finally, six Saturdays a year for the best four years of your life should be taken off from the library. Everyone needs a time to have fun and build life long friendships over your favorite beverage. Its college. Enjoy it. (And at the risk of sounding like a braggart, while I am a current student at UGA, I have been accepted to multiple top thirty law schools with Scholarships, so I’m not the pig or slouch or drunk that you try to imply that most UGA students are.)

bb

January 28th, 2011
9:19 pm

The scene in that picture (from the S. Carolina game 2 years ago I think) is definitely sad and sickening.

BUT . . .

I’ve tailgated at North Campus for years, and I’ve NEVER seen anything like that. It’s a definite fact that there aren’t adequate trash cans. We don’t go overboard and try to be minimal about it, and if the trash cans are overflowing, it’s no big deal for me to just carry our one bag of trash back to the car with our other stuff and dispose of it at home. But as a previous poster pointed out . . . 92,000 people plus no telling how many hanging around that don’t actually go to the game . . . it’s not going to be like a Tuesday morning in the summer. Maybe the University ought to plan just a tad for that. Plus, I wasn’t in that particular area that day, but who’s to say that tailgaters necessarily did all that damage? It might’ve been ransacked by vagrants. I know we’ve had stuff gone through and stolen on North Campus and know others who have as well. Anything you can’t chain to a tree is as good as gone. Just saying . . . it’s quite plausible.

Fire Bad Teachers

January 28th, 2011
9:42 pm

UGA should sell tailgating permits or add a charge to each ticket to cover the cost of cleaning up after the game. Tailgaters should pay to play.
Personally, I find the mess a disgrace to the university.

Skram30082

January 28th, 2011
9:55 pm

Of course UGA fans don’t know how to tailgate properly. Visit Auburn on a game day, or better yet, visit on the day AFTER game day. Visit all of the RV lots, and visit Toomers Corner, and then ask yourself why UGA and UGA fans can’t handle tailgating.

Jon

January 28th, 2011
10:27 pm

Nice, you admit to knowing nothing about it then offering your opinion.
Try tailgating with kids in Sept and October (yes, us older alums who give $$ like to bring our kids) with no place for shade. Or shelter if it rains. Or having to pay $40 to park blocks away, haul everything to N Campus, for just a few hours.

Adams wanted to kill tailgating, he did it.

Comment Insert

January 28th, 2011
10:29 pm

I don’t want to visit Auburn. That place is for dumb people.

Vinney Dooley

January 28th, 2011
10:55 pm

Four Hours is N-O-T-H-I-N-G. It may be reasonable to not let tailgating start on Thursday, but anything else is just stipid. Nobody goes to class on Friday anyway, and the big dollar alums roll in mid-week — what the heck are they going to do with all this time if they can’t be drinking and raising he!!. A better policy would be to cancel classes that meet after noon on Thursday and turn the big dog loose!!

UGA is party central. You can always retake a class, but you can’t relive a party after it’s over!

still@the bar

January 29th, 2011
12:06 am

UGA student 6 home games a year for the 4 years you are in Athens to make friends over drinks? Students are not 21 until like their Jr or Sr years. Be Real Strudents just want to be drunk and football game or not UGA students excel and being DRUNKS. Underage doesn’t even slow UGA students down either.

Burroughston Broch

January 29th, 2011
12:53 am

Enter your comments here

UGA Student

January 29th, 2011
12:56 am

still@the bar: No where does the dictionary say a beverage must contain alcohol. Personally I’m a fan of coca cola and it is no good hot. And guess what? We are not allowed to have coolers. I guess that just leaves me with a nice hot coke.

UGA Sophomore

January 29th, 2011
3:28 am

Still@thebar and behindenemylines: making broad inaccurate generalizations about a university with a student exceeding thirty thousand is ignorant and unfair. UGA is not the school it was in the ’80s and ’90s. It is now a prestigious public university and has been accurately called one of three southern public ivies. I was accepted to every school I applied, including Emory and Georgia Tech but chose UGA for all that it brings to the table. There are no more “DRUNKS” at this fine university than at any other school in the nation. Nineteen and twenty year olds living on their own for the first time in their lives are going to experiment, they’re going to drink, and they’re are going to have a good time. It’s only natural. I’ve visited friends at tech, at Emory, and at UVA. Guess what? Underage drinking, even on a larger scale occurs there too. Alcohol is a vital part of today’s society. What do politicians in Washington do many nights? They go out for drinks. Most of the bargaining and deal making is done over a few drinks. This is even more true in the business world. Success in America today is all about meeting people and making connections. The way this is done is going out for dinner and drinks.

I believe UGA students have a bad rep because of the fan base of the school. More than 50% of UGA fans are not alumni. They are retarded rednecks who tarnish our image. So please, don’t blame the problems of our fans on our hard working students.

And Maureen, that picture of yours is misleading. That picture was taken at 6 am. I was up at 7 that morning and there was a legion of workers picking up trash. North campus was trash free by 8 am. So let us have our reward for being the best students in the history of this university. Leg us have our six days a year. The athletic department makes around 100 million dollars a year. They can spend a couple thousand dollars cleaning up.

Oh and it’s 3 am and I’m hammered right now, I just got back from down town.

70 tons of trash

January 29th, 2011
6:46 am

You dawgs sure are impressive!

Vinny D

January 29th, 2011
7:27 am

I have been in the midst of the chaos and the problem always comes back to the younger population. When I say that, I mean that the under 21 crowd that is hammered by 11 am. They show complete disrespect to the campus and the surrounding people. I still think the best idea is to have extra cops on Sat going around and checking IDs. If any cop sees trash, he needs to line everyone up in the area and see how many are under 21. Arrest them all. I don’t hate underage drinking one bit but I do have a problem with underage drinkers who can’t respect campus or other people. Not only that, many of the underage drinkers are often not even UGA students. Last year, there was an estimated 40,000 students in the law library quad for the SC game. Guess how many students go to UGA?

William Casey

January 29th, 2011
7:41 am

I would be willing to bet that a high % of the trashing is done by Dawg fans who have no connection to UGA other than football. On Sunday they are back in Podunk Ga., far away from the mess.

recentgrad

January 29th, 2011
7:50 am

Having recently graduated from UGA, I can tell you all the comments regarding “maybe they should hit the library” make no sense. The scores a kid needs to get into UGA these days should show that they know how to handle their studies. Isn’t college about being out on your own and being able to find the appropriate work/life/fun balance that will serve well in the years after school? If the kids can’t they will suffer, but no need to punish the ones that make the grades Monday through Friday and want to have fun on Saturdays in the Fall.

Skram30082

January 29th, 2011
8:05 am

@Common Insert:

Uh, the evidence on tailgating indicates that UGA is a place for dumb people…

UGASlobberknocker

January 29th, 2011
8:20 am

Maureen, stay out of what you dont know. 4 hrs is not enough . Typical liberal bullspit..a few people screw up so lets use that as an excuse try to control everybody.And whp is the person who gets to designate the magic time window allowed? you? please.

Plus if you compress the tailgating window , it compresses inbound traffic. The forced 4 hr windows this season (due to early kickoffs) proved that this year. You are truly an idiot who does not beling on the sports page. pls go crawl back under your rock.

UGASlobberknocker

January 29th, 2011
8:22 am

There should be a rule at ajc that people who have no clue about the subject they are writing should not be allowed to write on that subject.. Obviously this poor woman has never attended a football game..or if she did it must have been at Tech where 4 minutes is enough time to tailgate.The most worthless column of the month so far.

bootney farnsworth

January 29th, 2011
9:19 am

repost for effect.

let them party as long as they want.
they are adults.

have extra security in place, including as many off duty cops
as can be found. and bring the wrath of God down on folks who
step out of line via fines or arrest.

for the majority who just want to spend a day with their friends
in a festive atmosphere, not an issue in their lives.

for the minority who wish to use this as and excuse for getting
blotto and trashing the school they claim to love…

you wanted to be treated like adults – UGA and Athens should
oblige you.

bootney farnsworth

January 29th, 2011
9:22 am

I like the idea of assigning spaces and charging fees.

it’ll make it easier for UGA to send the cleanup bills and
Athens PD to fine anyone who gets out of hand.

bootney farnsworth

January 29th, 2011
9:33 am

one thing to be clear on…

UGA football is not for the students. its a money making PR machine for the athletic department and a rallying point for the most obnixous kind of alumni.

Sanford sets nearly 100,000 – damn few of the students.

seems to me if UGA truly the most profitable of the big time programs, the athletic dept should pick up all the expenses of keeping order on
gameday.

What

January 29th, 2011
10:22 am

Go to ther library during an SEC football game in Athens, Ga.

Has this writer gone mad ?

Ole Guy

January 29th, 2011
10:22 am

The real issue shouldn’t be one of time but one of behavior. “Tailgating” at the Daytona Five could last for days on end. If you’re cool about it, well and good. If you want to get stupid, then YOU, not the rest of us, have a problem.

Part hardy…remember, if you’re not wasted, the night is. More times than not, if someone starts going stupid, than his/her buds had best have the presence of mind to somehow shove things back in line…sometimes easier said than done. IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING MANING UP AND BEING AN ADULT.

What

January 29th, 2011
10:25 am

She speaks like a woman who hates football and parties but likes control.

Uhhhhhh, not my type.

dawgfan

January 29th, 2011
11:26 am

Everyone who tailgates doesn’t get blasted out of their minds. Just like everything in our society, a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. The vast majority of us who can behave ourselves have to pay the price for those that can’t. We also have to endure pot stirring AJC columns that portray this as a widespread problem when it is anything but. There’s nothing like a good juicy UGA scandal to get those mouses clicking. AJC=National Enquirer.

Thanks.

Batgirl

January 29th, 2011
12:23 pm

It’s been nearly thirty years since I graduated from UGA. I don’t enjoy or understand football, but I loved football Saturdays, waking up to somebody blasting “Hunker Down Hairy Dawg” or Boz Skagg’s “Georgia”. I loved the atmosphere, and I loved, loved, loved the partying after the games. I don’t remember the kind of filth displayed in the picture in the article, but then maybe that’s because I loved to party. However, I find that kind of filth disgraceful, especially on the beautiful North Campus. I agree with others that the athletic department should pay for dumpsters and cleanup.

Scott

January 29th, 2011
1:07 pm

Why would the AJC allow this uninformed person to write this article? Tailgating is an all-day event. UGA administrators need to take a trip to Oxford, MS to figure out how it can be properly managed. North Campus was an awesome display of southern football atmosphere before 2010. Figure out how to handle the trash.

Cissy

January 31st, 2011
10:39 am

I see I’m late to the, um, party. As a 1979 UGA grad, I can testify that game-day drunkenness and public ugly behavior have been a problem for decades. BUT… In my day tailgaters were a lot more respectful of the university’s property. Maybe more of them were Georgia alumni?

My preferred solutions for the tailgating/ trash problem: (1) No dumpsters on North Campus; it’s not a parking lot and even if it were, dumpsters are ugly. North Campus is not ugly; (2) Defined tailgating areas for which fees are charged, just like we do for seats at the game. Hold a tailgating space auction! Think of the money it would raise–maybe enough to hire those (3) Extra police for game weekends whose sole duty would be to patrol and ticket underage drinking, any-age drunks, litterbugs, and public potty-users.

Beastie Boys

January 31st, 2011
9:53 pm

You’ve got to fight…
…for your right…
…to PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!