My husband's 5 month org_sm.
For those of you who follow US college football, you are already quite familiar with the SEC. With a majority of strong football programs, the schools in the South Eastern Conference are powerhouses on the field, and have historically great legacies in the world of college sports. In addition, University of Florida (Gators) have won several National Championships in the past decade.
Therefore, SEC fans consider themselves true fanatics of the game. What some might call "spirited" others might call rabid. In addition, these fans (and teams) live for rivalry games.
The SEC has some of the biggest rivalries in college game day history and one of the biggest is the annual Georgia v. Florida game. Also known simply as "Georgia Florida" or to hundreds of thousands of people: The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Held every year in Jacksonville the last weekend of October, this is a football game unlike most college football games.
Two years ago, the University of Florida leadership under President J. Bernard Machen lobbied to eliminate people from referring to the game as The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. He thinks it undermines the overall goals of the school and reflects poorly on the institution as a whole.
Hmmmm. Let's review: He is the top administrator for the University of 50,000 students. He is advocating change in a positive direction. He is saying that a cocktail party and a football aren't necessarily soul mates. He would like to erase the correlation between alcohol and good times. Alright. I appreciate your earnest interest in drying up Jacksonville, if only for one day.
I don't need to be the one who discloses the fact that just because you call a stripper an "exotic entertainer" doesn't actually change anyone's real perception. But if you think you are going to change what hundreds of thousands of people have been referring to the Georgia Florida game weekend as for decade after decade, bravo for you. You must be a powerful man.
Now, President Machan has bigger plans. He wrote a letter to the Mayor of Jacksonville with the following
1. Reduce the number of locations selling alcohol by 50 percent.
2. More investment of the city's time and wealth into curbing binge drinking at the game.
3. Completely prohibiting the sale of shots at the waterfront shopping area, Jacksonville Landing — a popular location for game revelers.
Well, let's pull out our clipboards and analyze.
First, go ahead and reduce the number of locations. I am sure that will stop everyone. By the way, I have been to this game. It IS the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The average age is more like 30 and not 20 like you might assume. People fly from across the county for this event.
Our tents at our tailgate had air conditioning and mounted flat screen tvs. Why? Because these are not college kids throwing these tailgates. They are CEOs and CFOs of companies all over the South. These are grown people with access to many grown up acoutrements. They plot and plan for this weekend for months. Do you know what else they do? Bring alcohol with them. You know the hundreds of grocery stores in Jacksonville? Yes, well, they all sell alcohol and unless you are going to search trunks pulling in the parking lot, mere reduction of locations will stop a very small percentage of people.
Secondly, I appreciate you want to curb binge drinking at the game. In fact, I encourage it. Nothing is more unpleasant than seeing grown men being firemen-carried out of the stadium before the second half. Binge drinking also leads grown men to remove their shirts whether or not their abs think it is a good idea. Binge drinking also leads to groping, farting, and various other levels of raucous behavior. You want to curb that? Well, curb on President Machan.
But finally, the shot ban? I am not degreed in Modern Behavior and Psychology but for fun, let's do some Social Algebra shall we? If you remove X (Shots) from Y (the Game and the Landing) in order to obtain Z (moderate and classy behavior) I assure you, this does not compute.
While I may only be the boss of one little student right now, even I know this approach has epic flaws. The primary reason these requests concern me is do we all not know by now what happens when you tell fanatics; spirited, rabid, or otherwise, that they can not do something? They do it in spades.
Do you know what flasks are? Tiny devices for storing alcohol in hidden places on one's person. Do you know that in the absence of flasks, grown people will fill sandwich bags with alcohol and place them in their underwear? Do you know that if you deny people shots they will plot like Army Rangers to not only bring alcohol in but bring it in like the proverbial locusts? Are you going to do body cavity searches at the gates? Please, think this through.
What you don't want is rioting on your hands and don't think grown people will not rebel and resist your suggestions. It will only backfire. Have fun the next day during clean up. I will watch the game safely from home.