Support GEORGIA without requiring the conditional ‘FOOTBALL’ next to it. Why Not Have a Year Round Party?
Putting Georgia Football on an unquestionable pedestal as far as the culture and the value Bulldog Nation puts on this one sport is becoming more of a backward stance than ever.
The Zero Sum Myth of Georgia Athletics
Merely talking about the Basketball program or any other sport won’t sell things and it certainly won’t make people consider what the culture is. It is not about supporting a winner, it is about the deliberate effort on the part of many to support Football at the cost of others. To humiliate, decimate and profit from the pain of other athletic teams that represent the same institution all to prop up one particular team is counterproductive. If you were sick to your stomach seeing Kentucky fans occupying Sections E and F at the season finale at Stegeman Coliseum in March, you should be because your fellow Georgia fans sold them those tickets with that intent in mind.
Only two sports actually drive in a positive return on investment for UGA: Football and Basketball. With greater support, this number could certainly increase and the perception of the other teams being perceived as welfare recipients worthy of attention out of pity can finally be put to a halt to some degree.
Supporting non-Football sports will not hurt the Georgia Football program. The money all gets pooled in the same place and supporting non-Football sports only helps the overall UGA brand, which gives the UGA Athletic Association the ability to raise licensing fees, expand promotional capabilities and drive in more revenue as a whole. It can only help with recruiting the best student-athletes to come to Athens.
If you do not want to watch or attend an equestrian meet or attend a Swimming and Diving event, it is okay. Not everyone can enjoy every sport, but to dismiss their importance is harmful. If you enjoy Baseball and support Georgia Football only, why not go to a Georgia Baseball game when the Braves are out of town? It is your time and how you choose to use it is up to you, but are you really harming the Georgia Football team doing this? Your personal support through time, blogging, watching, attendance and purchase of licensed apparel and paraphernalia will not harm the Football team.
Dismissing Georgia sports teams that are not Football is irrational. After all, the Georgia Football team frequently supports the other student-athletes that represent UGA, shouldn’t you?
The Party Shouldn’t End in November
The case made is actually a matter of expanding everyone’s sports portfolio and raising our level of understanding. UGA’s Football First culture is to be unquestioned by those that have either attended or support UGA. The refusal to embrace other sports on the part of the fanbase and even alumni puts us further behind, quite frankly we’re better than this. It’s not about bringing down Georgia Football, it is about bringing the other sports up to its level as far as support.
Getting a conversation going as to why a large majority of a fanbase put all of its eggs into one basket is important. Auburn sells out every Men’s Basketball game, they pack their baseball and softball stadiums. Falling behind them would be awful, especially when UGA has been the Deep South institution over the past two decades that has made the strides to lead.
Tickets, both for road and home games are far more inexpensive when it comes to other sports, but the games certainly matter. Tickets can be 10-20 times less for a Men’s Basketball game than for a Football game. Hotels are also far less expensive and far more available. Pack Stegeman Coliseum, Foley Field and road venues, why not? The logistics involved with attending a South Carolina Basketball game at Colonial Life Arena are far easier than going to a South Carolina Football game down in the Fairgrounds.
If fans can tailgate for a Bowl Game in Charlotte, Shreveport or Memphis, then they can certainly tailgate for a Basketball game in Athens on a somewhat chilly Saturday in January for a game against [insert SEC foe here].
Supporting more than one sport intensifies rivalries and provides more opportunities for social events with friends and family. It means more fun times, road trips and traditions. The SEC should be promoting this as it not only improves ratings for the SEC Network, but it drives in further revenues.
Don’t Place Limits or Conditions on Your Support
Yes, this Blog covers Men’s Basketball, but certainly it is encouraged to support all sports UGA that competes. We should want to win at everything and support our institution. The party does not just start in Late August and end in November, it can last all the way through June. We want to win another College World Series, after all.
Every win matters, if you represent the “G” show your passion for all sports. Remember… “Ain’t nothin’ finer in the land, than a drunk, obnoxious GEORGIA fan” and nowhere does that limit you to just Football. Please drink responsibly.