Adams Proclaims Alcohol-Free Cocktail Party a Rousing Success!

From wire service reports.

JACKSONVILLE, FL.---University of Georgia president Michael Adams declared victory immediately following this afternoon's football game between the Bulldogs and the rival Gators of the University of Florida.

Adams earlier asked C.B.S., E.S.P.N., and the City of Jacksonville to cease referring to the contest as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," the name by which the game informally has been known since the 1950s.

Adams made the request in an effort to address problems of alcohol abuse that have become associated with the weekend of the game. Critics claimed that Adams was offering only cosmetic solutions that would have no impact on actual problems.

"It looks like I had the last laugh," observed a smiling Adams smugly.

Police reports and discussions with tailgaters confirmed that Adams is correct.

"It's the darnedest thing I've ever seen," said Sgt. Ray Pollotti, a 16-year veteran of the Jacksonville Police Department. "Ordinarily, we have tons of problems on Florida-Georgia weekend. D.U.I.s, public intoxication, public indecency, fights breaking out all over the place, you name it. This weekend . . . nothing. I mean, nothing."

A Jacksonville Police Department spokesperson informed reporters that no incidents were reported to or observed by law enforcement officers on Saturday or during the three days prior to the football game.

"Not one person was seen slurring his speech, acting the fool, urinating in public, or otherwise behaving in a drunken or inappropriate manner," said Jacksonville P.D. public information officer Jane Trzyzkowski in a prepared statement. "No arrests were made. No citations were issued. No warnings were given."

Joked Trzyzkowski, "Some of the patrol officers were joshing with the Municipal Court magistrate on duty that everybody in Jacksonville was 'sober as a judge.'"

Extra officers called in for duty were furloughed, sent home, or told to take extended breaks, as their presence proved utterly unnecessary.

Gator fan Gomer Treadway, who makes the trip from Inverness each October, was surprised at the success of Adams's initiative.

"I brought a trunkful of P.B.R. [Pabst Blue Ribbon beer] and Zima with me," said Treadway, attired in a blue muscle shirt and orange camouflage-pattern pants, with his greying mullet peeking out from beneath his weathered Florida visor. "But nobody wanted any. Every Gator fan I saw said, 'Thanks, but no thanks. Ain't ya heard? It ain't an outdoor cocktail party no more.'"

"I just said, 'Well, [shoot],'" Treadway observed, shaking his head. "After a while, I started offering it to Georgia fans, too . . . but they wouldn't take any, neither."

Julie O'Malley, a sophomore pre-journalism major at the University of Georgia, was likewise surprised.

"I won't lie to you," said O'Malley, who rode to the game with several of her sorority sisters, "I came down here to party. I don't even really care that much about football."

"When we got here, though," O'Malley continued, "I don't know . . . it was just like something came over us and we didn't even want a drink. It was weird."

Instead, O'Malley and her sorority sisters spent the two days leading up to the game picking up homeless people and driving them to the local soup kitchen.

"Well," added O'Malley, "three of us went out and took homeless guys to the shelter. One of my sorority sisters stayed back at the hotel and designed a T-shirt. It says 'World's Largest Outdoor Service Project.' It was way cool!"

Where once there were long lines at portable restrooms, now there were long lines at trash cans and along the riverfront, where fans of both teams poured out the beer and the bourbon the boosters had brought but declined to drink.

Dennis Stephenson, a 1967 University of Georgia graduate, likened the experience to a religious epiphany.

"I've never seen anything like it," said an awestruck Stephenson. "Heck, none of us even like Michael Adams, but, when we got here and nobody was calling it the 'Cocktail Party' anymore, it just hit us that maybe acting this way was just stupid."

Adams wasn't the only one to be pleased by the complete absence of alcoholic beverages from the festivities.

Timmy Simmons, an enterprising nine-year-old Jacksonville native, set up a lemonade stand outside Alltel Stadium with his younger brother, Stewie.

"Last year, we made, I don't know, maybe six dollars," said Simmons. "This year, all the fans needed something else to drink, so we were turning business away."

Asked to estimate his profits for the weekend, the grinning Simmons replied, "I'm only nine. I can't count that high yet."

Adams shouldn't be too certain that he has taught the next generation a valuable lesson, however. Simmons said he had intended to go to college to get an education, but the weekend's events may have changed his mind.

"If I can make this kind of money selling lemonade to dried-out football fans who can't drink any more," Simmons remarked, "I may just decide to heck with going to college; if Michael Adams keeps up the good work, I'm going to drop out of school and run a lemonade stand for a living!"


The Associated Press made no contribution to this report.

Go 'Dawgs!

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