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Sports Talk

Multiple Choice Question: Why will Georgia Bulldog football fans not flock to the Oklahoma State game in Stillwater, Okla., on Sept. 5 like they did to the Arizona State game last season?

A. Oklahoma State is gouging, $100 a ticket for Georgia fans.

B. Georgia is not ranked No. 1.

C. Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno left early for the NFL.

D. Stillwater, Okla., ain't near Phoenix, Ariz.

E. All of the above.

After 20,000 plus Georgia fans made the trek to the desert to play Arizona State, I have been wondering how many would make the trip to Oklahoma State this year. I received my answer last week when the ticket office released the point totals required to receive tickets to away games. A season ticket holder needs only 4,000 cumulative points to qualify for Oklahoma State tickets.

By comparison, last year the cutoff to receive tickets to the Arizona State game was 27,007. This indicates a fan base not nearly as interested in making the Oklahoma State trip as the Arizona State trip. I expected the interest to be less, but not by as much as a 23,000 point differential. Plus, Oklahoma State allotted Georgia only 5,000 tickets.

As for the reasons, I am sure that you could safely pick answer E to the above question. When I opened my ticket order in March, I was shocked to see that Oklahoma State would be charging $100 per ticket.

Upon further research, I learned that the Georgia game would not be sold as single tickets unless you were a regular contributor buying season tickets. In other words, they had no intention of letting the red and black overrun Boone Pickens Stadium like we did Tempe, Ariz., last year. For Georgia fans to be there, they had to be willing to accept a gouge job. I was willing, by the way.

Last year, Georgia held a preseason No. 1 ranking and expectations were high. Although they had dropped from No. 1, they still went to Arizona with an undefeated record. They also had the star power of quarterback Matt Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno, both first-round NFL draft picks in waiting. The Bulldogs defeated the Sun Devils 27-10.

Although the burg of Stillwater, Okla., is not the "exotic" location that Arizona is, I assumed that since this was the season opener folks would still want to be there. Georgia seldom opens the season on the road, only six times previously since 1970.

Georgia fans are a loyal bunch and travel well, but apparently not this time. It could be the economy, skepticism about the team (especially playing a tough opponent) or the lure of enjoying watching on TV at home rather than trying to find Stillwater.

Finding Stillwater ; sounds like the title to a book. Maybe I'll write one after the trip.

Web posted on Thursday, August 06, 2009

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