Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019
WLOCP are not the call letters of a new radio station. It’s also a word that I cannot pronounce. Actually it’s an acronym, an abbreviation formed from the first letters of actual words. In this case, it’s not necessary to explain WLOCP to a Georgia or Florida football fan. Or to the city of Jacksonville, Florida.
It stands for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and explains the shenanigans that go on in that coastal city when the Dawgs and Gators play their annual college football game. It’s almost like they threw a party and a football game broke out!
I was invited to go with Walter Goodman, of Dixie Dandy fame. He is a Georgia graduate and has season tickets. Walter is our pianist at Sutton Chapel and he was kind enough to invite me to sit with him this year. Since we have our church “duties,” we would enjoy the game and come back afterwards.
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Those plans have changed and I want to let everyone who might not know that Walter has undergone some surgery in Tallahassee and is alright, but not quite up to getting out and among 100,000 revelers at the WLOCP.
Thanks to all of you who have lifted up Walter and his family during his surgery. As I said, he’s doing fine and hopes to come home at the end of this week.
At the same time, the tickets for the game have taken another direction, but not me. I’m still heading for Jacksonville Friday because there is more than one way to skin a cat. You see, my family always gathers at my nephew’s home in Jacksonville for the WLOCP. I’ve been invited for years, but this year decided to take them up and I don’t really know what to expect. Except a crazy time, according to them.
I’ve been a huge football fan for all my life it seems. Before Coach Dooley arrived in 1964, I had already been following the Dawgs for a while. His arrival, though, made my love for all things Georgia Bulldogs even more special.
Another ingredient to loving Georgia football came a few years after Dooley. That would be the gravelly voice of the Larry Munson. Both Dooley and Munson were at their best for the Georgia-Florida game.
Someone I actually met played a part in the 1967 game. I had met Cairo High School star Bill Stanfill at an FFA Forestry Field Day event when he was a senior. He was huge! Stanfill was almost 6½ feet tall and must have weighed 230 pounds, all country boy muscle. That was big for 1965 and he was a presence as he sat on a tailgate and held court while telling recruitment stories.
Thankfully, he went to Georgia and his play in the 1967 game was tremendous. He hassled and “rassled” Heisman trophy winner Steve Spurrier all the game long. When asked about it, he said that it reminded him of when he held hogs for his daddy on the farm.
My brother and sister will be in Jacksonville and they say we are going to tailgate. Believe it or not, I have eaten outside, and even off a real tailgate, many times, but have never “officially” tailgated at a football game. They say the food and drink will be something to behold.
I promise all of you that I will be moderate in all that eating and drinking. The main reason is that I’ve got to drive back for those Sunday duties I mentioned. Thankfully, this weekend is “set your clock back” weekend and it won’t be too late for me when I get back.
I just hope I’m happy with the game! Shall I say, “Go Dawgs?” There, I said it.