The hate Georgia has for Florida usually never leaves the boundaries of sports. But now, thousands of families in North Florida are squarely in the cross hairs of a state obsessed with trying to out-do their more popular neighbor. All because they want the Florida-Georgia game moved out of Jacksonville. (HT: Miss Genevieve)
The State of Georgia has been in a water crisis for about two years. To deal with this crisis (caused by Georgia not practicing conservation as Florida does), Georgia is draining Lake Lanier, which drains into the Apalachicola River and benefits the multi-million dollar fishing industry in North Florida. If there is less water coming down down the river, that means less fish are spawned, and the fishing grounds die, killing an industry and families that have existed in Florida for decades.
Georgia has already been told they cannot drain more water than previous agreements allow. Yet they seem to think, despite being shot down under President Bush, they have a right to the water. The proposal floated by a lowly State Senator in Georgia is to move the Florida-Georgia game to Georgia every other year, in exchange for North Florida having access to water they have had since the beginning of time. Think of how absurd that is; Georgia is telling Florida you cannot have what you've always had. That it is more important to have people to be able to water their lawns in Atlanta, than it is for families to make a living in Apalachicola and Port St. Joe. Not only that, how can Georgia even claim a chance to make a deal? They were already told they have no case. But when you think your state is more important than it really is, I guess you can make whatever claims you like. (The last time Georgia was important was 1996.)
The clock is ticking for Georgia to come up with a deal with Florida, as President Obama has already decided, "To Hell With Georgia," and sided with Florida during the campaign. (Which makes sense; Florida had 12 more electoral votes in 2008 than Georgia and possibly 13 more in 2012.) If Obama has to jump in, it's more than likely he'd stick with Florida on the issue.
Of course, this is another chapter in the latest complaining by Georgia fans about the game being in Jacksonville. A complaint they never had when they dominated the series in nearly every decade. As I have said, I'd like to see the series made into a home-and-home, playing the game in the South's premier college towns. But moving it because your program cannot keep up with the Gators or because you've blackmailed North Florida's families, is ridiculous. I guess that is expected when you're desperate and 3-16 in the last two decades against your biggest rival.