Advice for a Bulldog dad trying to overcome marriage to a Gator

Time to answer some Junkyard Mail …

Get there early for a good view at the Dawg Walk (AJC file)

Get there early for a good view at the Dawg Walk (AJC file)

Heath Schoenfeld of Vero Beach, Fla., writes: Hey Bill, I’ve gone and done it. I have season tickets for the first time! I live in South Florida and I’ve been to a couple of games here and there since 1997, but now I’ve got 4 seats for each home game and I can’t wait. What would be the best game day routine for my family? Where should we be for the Dawg Walk, when should we get into the stadium, etc.? I am doing my best to make sure my 4-year-old twin sons are Dawgs. You see, my wife and her family are Gators. She went to UF, her sisters when to UF, her parents have season tickets, etc. But at least she’s pretty! Thanks for the great work.

Congratulations, Heath! And kudos for your determination not to let their mother’s blue-and-orange past scar your boys for life.

I’ve written before about my game day routine and favorite game day traditions in Athens, but basically how you approach it depends on whether you’re planning on tailgating.

I don’t know whether you plan on staying in one of the hotels in downtown Athens, but if you do you can simply walk to the game. If not, parking is your first challenge. Most of the free public parking is available on East Campus around the Ramsey Center, off College Station Road. Shuttle bus service is provided from the Ramsey Center. UGA also offers paid parking at various decks and you can even buy a season pass for that. (They’ll go on sale “sometime in July” and while the price hasn’t been set yet, in the past it’s been $20 per game. You can contact Brenda Burke at 706-542-7305 or bcburke@uga.edu for more information.)

There are several paid lots downtown and even a couple that offer tailgating options, and there are quite a few churches and schools along Lumpkin Street and Milledge Avenue that also sell parking by the season or by the game, with the rates ranging generally from $15 to $25 per game. Don’t plan on parking for free in the residential neighborhoods nearest to campus; you’ll get towed. And parking on campus sidewalks and grassy areas also will get you towed.

If you want to tailgate, the restrictions are pretty tight on the old North Campus quads (though they’ve been loosened a bit from last year), but you’re free to go whole-hog anywhere else. But you can’t set up until five hours before kickoff. Most of the younger tailgaters seem to be congregating in the Myers Hall quadrangle these days.

You can find out more about game day rules here and parking options here.

If you don’t want to tailgate, you can eat downtown or grab a burger or hot dog from the tent outside the UGA Bookstore if you don’t want to stand in long lines in the Tate Center cafe. Or you can wait to eat inside the stadium, which usually opens two hours before game time. The new Reed Plaza area offers lots of fast-food options, though the quality is pretty variable.

The Dawg Walk, which I think your kids will really enjoy (probably more so in a couple of years) also is usually around two hours before kickoff (though sometimes the team buses run a bit late). It gets kind of crowded down in the Tate Center parking lot off Lumpkin where the team enters, so if you want a really close-up view you better get there early. There are good vantage points from the Sanford Drive bridge, but again you have to get there early to get a spot where your boys will be able to see. You can also watch from up above on the outdoor plaza area of the new Tate II addition or the parking deck.

If you don’t want to enter the stadium immediately after the Dawg Walk, you can kill some time (and enjoy the air conditioning) watching football on the big screen in the Tate Center movie theater. It’s likely to really be hot as you await that 4:30 kickoff against the Gamecocks, so you might want to get the kids out of the sun until it’s time to go into the stadium.

I like to be at my seat in Sanford by about an hour before kickoff to watch the warm-ups and cheer the players as they walk toward the end zone while the Redcoats play the “Krypton Fanfare.” It’s a goosebump moment for many fans. You definitely want to be seated by at least 15 minutes before kickoff so you don’t miss the Larry Munson video on the scoreboard screen.

As for after the game, don’t be in a hurry to go anywhere (especially if it was a close one and everyone stayed until the end). When my son was young and we parked downtown, I always made a point of taking him by the Chapel to ring the bell. I think your boys would really get a kick out of that.

Game Saturdays in Athens are a lot of fun. Glad to know you’ll be among the 92,746 luckiest folks around come fall!

Anyone have any other game day tips for Heath?

Raildawg  writes: Were you surprised Mark Richt didn’t sign on to Steve Spurrier’s proposal for the head coaches to share some of their wealth with their players? Considering how charitable he is, I thought he’d have been first in line to back a plan to provide money for his players.

No, I wasn’t really. I don’t know what Steve Spurrier’s true motivation was in launching that trial balloon. Maybe he really thinks the coaches paying the players $300 a game out of their own pockets is a good idea. Or perhaps he just wanted a bit of media spotlight or was looking to divert attention away from his giving Stephen Garcia his umpteenth second chance.

But the fact is it wasn’t a realistic proposal and I’m glad Mark Richt didn’t allow himself to be coerced by Spurrier into putting his name on a flashy idea that might have some appeal to the kids but was seriously flawed.

Georgia’s head coach did a pretty good job of explaining in a press release yesterday. “I am all for providing more financial help for our players,” he said. “I’d even go so far as to say I’d be willing to help fund it if there is a way that’s possible. I just don’t believe Coach Spurrier’s idea is feasible. If we’re going to do something like this, we have to do it for all 125 guys, not just 70. That would create all sorts of morale and chemistry problems. Doesn’t everyone practice? Can you imagine trying to decide a dress list knowing that you’d be cutting out 55 guys who are working just as hard every day? Also, if we do this for football, I believe you have to do it for every sport across the board at every level of the NCAA. This is much bigger than SEC football. I’d prefer spending time talking about ideas that have a legitimate chance of becoming reality.”

Well said, coach.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

71 comments Add your comment

No Way

June 3rd, 2011
10:44 am

I can’t be first. CMR is right. We would have to pay all players across the board. Stupid idea by Steve!

No Way

June 3rd, 2011
10:46 am

Also, my brother in law is a gator fan. It sucks. Every time he comes around he is wearing some type of orange or blue. We think he does it for attention and he lives in Athens. He wants to go as far as to tail gate with a gator chair. I threw that crap in the trash can and we had some words that day. He has yet to bring that crap back out!

DawgLink

June 3rd, 2011
10:55 am

I agree whole heartedly about the umpteenth “last chances” for Garcia. Spurrier is full of it. He needs to retire.

Dawgs97

June 3rd, 2011
10:57 am

Every time I hear stories about Gators living among Bulldogs, I am reminded of the 1987 John Carpenter classic (starring Rowdy Roddy Piper!), “They Live”.

For those unfamiliar with this campy horror classic, Piper and his friend (played by actor Keith David) put on special sunglasses and then are able to spot the alien invaders amongst the ordinary human citizens of Los Angeles.

I won’t say how the movie ends but I am fairly certain the tactics Piper deploys can be used against the Gators. Just sayin.

JaxDawg05

June 3rd, 2011
11:00 am

My sister paid for her books at the University of Florida with Georgia Bulldog checks. How did it all go so horrible wrong?

AltamahaDawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:01 am

Not feasable, not well thought out, not helpful, and distracting from a real conversation about something that is actually realistic. It’s like Spurrier lifted that idea from a blog comment section.

mgdawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:04 am

Those people that got caught up in the spurrier saga really showed their intelligence, or lack thereof. Richt knows that the proposal spurrier made wasn’t feasible and that it was just a publicity tool, personally I thought muschamp made himself look bad putting his name on it because he showed he could be swayed by spurrier. I personally don’t want to see richt’s name on anything that spurrier tries to sell.

1eyedJack

June 3rd, 2011
11:05 am

Nothing more obnoxious than Gator in-laws.

Athens= God's Country

June 3rd, 2011
11:11 am

The last thing Spurrier needs to give Garcia is another “shot.”

Gators definitely eat boogers.

Observer

June 3rd, 2011
11:15 am

The NCAA would have a hard time allowing this seeing as how they are not only over Div. I sports but also smaller schools atheletics as well. A lot of Div. II schools would have a hard time affording doing this for their atheletes.

Walter Sobchak

June 3rd, 2011
11:15 am

Why are there any college football fans left?

Don’t you all realize that you are just suckers being scammed by folks who use your alma mater against you to steal your money?

You do realize that 90% of the players representing your school have absolutely, positively nothing in common with you, would never have gotten into school could they not run a fast 40m and don’t give two poops about what happens to the school after they leave.

Quit being conned and don’t be such a fool as to donate $10,000+ for something that is a total scam.

Martin the Calvinist

June 3rd, 2011
11:16 am

The only advice to the Bulldog marrying a gator is hope the Bulldogs start winning more games against them. My dream girl is a Tennessee Vol, but since we’ve been Married almost 10 years and one year of dating, UGA is 6-4 against that team up north. It’s never bad to have the upper hand in that series since marriage. 6-4 isn’t too bad considering what the record was before UGA broke that 9 game losing streak to the vols in 2000.

Athens= God's Country

June 3rd, 2011
11:18 am

After this past season, I totally agree with Walter. Too many scandals and not enough being done about it.

Athens= God's Country

June 3rd, 2011
11:20 am

I’m marrying a UGA peach. Ain’t nothing finer than Georgia girls on a fall Saturday in Athens- Nothing.

1eyedJack

June 3rd, 2011
11:21 am

A colleague was a big Gator fan and loved displaying his National Championship hat on his desk. One morning the hat was missing. It turned up later in the men’s bathroom with a deuce floating in it. He refused the return of said article and as yet no group has accepted responsiblity.

Sam

June 3rd, 2011
11:22 am

Athens/Walter: then please stop watching and stop reading blogs about football. Is there someone forcing you to do so?

In case you missed it, the person donating money is doing so of his/her own free will. It is not your business to tell someone else how to spend their money.

schmeckdawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:23 am

Another thing the genius Spurrier didn’t think out, is a little thing known as Title IX. If his players are getting paid, then everybody is getting paid. Oh yeah, but then again, Spurrier is not a real stickler on rules i.e Stephen Garcia.

Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

258DAWG

June 3rd, 2011
11:28 am

I did it Jack! and I’d do it again. :)

1eyedJack

June 3rd, 2011
11:37 am

Amen to that schmeck.

just a fan

June 3rd, 2011
11:37 am

I don’t think the players need to be paid. People seem to forget that a lot of these players get a free education which can be worth a lot if you take advantage of it. How many people in this country would turn down a free education at a University for their children?

Athens= God's Country

June 3rd, 2011
11:38 am

Sam

I’m just saying College Football ain’t what it used to be. Neither are Universities for that matter. It all comes down to $$$. I love football and UGA, just not happy with Adams and the NCAA.

I agree you can do with your money whatever you want. I feel a little dirtier each year this BCS nonsense goes on, meanwhile NCAA Golf and Baseball are in the latter stages of their respective PLAYOFFS.

LarryDawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:44 am

Mixed marriages don’t last! What were you thinking?

schmeckdawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:48 am

I just hope that after a few months of marriage, you don’t become a REAL gator hater!!!!!

Good luck and GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

KeepDreaming

June 3rd, 2011
11:48 am

About an hour our so before the Dawg Walk, you can usually go under the bridge outside of Sanford, and see/pet UGA. Kids usually get a kick out of that one as well!

ARdawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:51 am

Athens=

I’m with you there guy. We already cannot wash off the stench the BCS has brought and it is only going to get worse. This idea of a Justice Dept lawyer meeting with them, nothing will come of it and the anti-trust laws. More smokescreen to save the golden calf. The NCAA and the presidents have sold the soul of every college football fan out there

ARdawg

June 3rd, 2011
11:52 am

Initially I thought the BCS was a good idea, at least it was better than nothing for a “truer championship”. I was wrong. It has turned into the anti-christ of college football and we are now slaves to it. Unfortunately, I do not see anything changing it

Walter Sobchak

June 3rd, 2011
12:01 pm

Obviously people can spend their money any way that they like. I have been an avid college football fan for most of my life, but have a hard time not feeling like a sucker anymore, and have quit donating money and going to games entirely.

I am done with it and I just wish that more people out there would take a step back and look at what their blind loyalty has created. If the madness is to stop, it has to begin with the people writing checks to the programs.

I was probably just a naive twit for most of my life, and NCAA football and basketball have always been this disgusting, but to have seen it brought out in such animated and detailed ways over the last couple of years has really turned my stomach.

I really used to feel that the gameday experience, the passion and the excitement, that those were legitimate, pure things, but now I have come to the cynical realization that it is all an artificial world being created to line the pockets of regents, AD’s coaches, Presidents, TV execs, beverage distributors, etc, etc.

AntlerMan

June 3rd, 2011
12:02 pm

Richt’s not qualified to give SPurrier advice on how “feasible” plans are, until Richt beats Spurrier again.

These days, Spurrier, and really any other ranked team, is better than Mark Richt at creating ‘feasible” plans.

6 & 7 record, 0-6 against winning teams? 2-9 vs. ranked teams last 2 seasons?

Dawglasville

June 3rd, 2011
12:04 pm

Spurrier was grand standing. Nothing more. “Hey, come play for USC. We want to pay you guys. It’s that mean Coach Richt who wants to keep you guys down.” He knew that wouldn’t pass. Now he is a politician.

AntlerMan

June 3rd, 2011
12:07 pm

what’s the harm in richt voting for it? it it doesn’t pass, he backs players, if it does, richt wins by only giving 10% of gross income.

Dawglasville

June 3rd, 2011
12:09 pm

Heath – There is a silver lining. Your boys may one day inherit your in-laws salt water taffy fortune or inherit the roadside orange hut.

solja

June 3rd, 2011
12:12 pm

That so-called “dawg walk” is a direct rip off of Auburn’s Tiger Walk, is a pathetic imitation no matter which weekend it is, and is case-closed point on that THuga doesn’t have an original tradition of its own. Even their helments are stolen from Green Bay!!! What a bunch of un-origina losers!

Dawglasville

June 3rd, 2011
12:17 pm

solja – The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. You sure spend a lot of time on here. Deep down, do you really like us a lot?

AltamahaDawg

June 3rd, 2011
12:26 pm

Is it just me, or do people who pass around thier letter, or petition trying to get folks to sign it, make you want to throw up?

Reminds me of a couple of neighbors at our homeowners meeting.

gt4ever

June 3rd, 2011
12:29 pm

The money idea is ABSURD! Let the NFL start their OWN minor league for football players…. Paying football players, or any athlete is a CRAZY idea… Period!

south carolina dog

June 3rd, 2011
12:36 pm

SOLJA – YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where to begin with the AUBURN COPYCATS – Since UGA is the oldest land grant university, I would say our fight song – which you copy belongs to UGA!! The tiger paw that you copy is 100% CLEMSON! Also, your fans use to wear blue until they caught some kind of Gator fever and now copy the Gators!! GET REAL – Every other SEC fan that I know in South Carolina questions why nothing about Auburn is original – except your tree and that Grand Tradition of Toilet Papering it. AWESOME!!

Parkland Dawg

June 3rd, 2011
12:43 pm

I am a Georgia Grad (1984), and I am married to a Gator. I have sucessfully converted her to Red and Black. My three sons all where the Red and Black too, and we live amongst many Gators here in South Florida. My eldest is getting ready to apply to college, and of course, UGA is his top choice. He does not even consider Gainsville (thank god). The years of brain washing has paid off, and after 21 years, my wife knows to ask me what time are the Georgia games on, so that it does not interfer with our social life. Last year she wore the colors proud when we sat on the UGA side of the field at the Cocktail Party. It can be done, and there can be bliss too.

Michael

June 3rd, 2011
12:52 pm

For the Dawg Walk, our experience as late as the last home game last year (and we’ve been going to the Dawg Walk every game since Coach Richt started it) is that the best way to get close is to come in on the Clark Howell Hall side of the entrance to Tate. We typically can get right up front by the parking entrance as late as 20 minutes before the Dawg Walk starts.

Dawg in Malta

June 3rd, 2011
12:52 pm

@keepdreaming

For the 1st part of the season this year they’ll be petting Russ not Uga!!

Athens= God's Country

June 3rd, 2011
12:53 pm

Going to college is nothing more than a business. Presidents, Professors, and Advisers don’t care about your academic success.
They love it when a student repeats a class. More tuition= job security.

Since it is all about money, can you imagine the ratings when the 8 team playoff starts. It would be crazy.

I compare the NCAA and the BCS to Auto Makers and the Oil Companies. The better alternative is there waiting to be used, but has no power or voice.

UGA sux

June 3rd, 2011
12:54 pm

Advice for a Bulldog dad trying to overcome marriage to a Gator?

What’s to overcome when you’re just improving the bloodline? Look what all that Uga inbreeding has done for the Sellers.

Athens= God's Country

June 3rd, 2011
12:55 pm

Dawg walk sucks now since there ISN’T A TATE CENTER PARKING LOT ANYMORE!!!!!!

hal combo

June 3rd, 2011
1:02 pm

Enter your comments here

schmeckdawg

June 3rd, 2011
1:03 pm

UGA Dad just promise the Bulldawg Nation that there will be NO mullets, cut off jean shorts or orange tank tops for your boys! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

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bjohndawg

June 3rd, 2011
1:30 pm

Spurries idea has merit( cannot believe I just said that)…here is why. If you cap the payment to $3600 per student athletes( football player 12 games x $300….forget how many games are played that is the cap). There are 49,000 Division I student athletes covering all sports. You are looking at $326 million .

A NATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF MORE THAN COVERS IT.

bjohndawg

June 3rd, 2011
1:37 pm

correction $176.4 million- even better.

ca dawg

June 3rd, 2011
1:52 pm

spurrier’s idea is dumb and he knows it; just an attempt to change the conversation.

soulja: give me a break. AU needs to 1) pick a mascot, and 2) stop playing our fight song all the time. do that and then complain about UGA copying you.

AU has a lot great tradition and so do we. go start an argument you can actually win.

UGA sux

June 3rd, 2011
1:52 pm

do that and then complain about UGA copying you.

Sort of copying the Packers’ logo? Great tradition?

CountryBlumpkin

June 3rd, 2011
2:09 pm

I know this is late, but going back to 1eyedjack’s 11:21 comment: That is a terrible way to treat a turd!