the UCF Surfer Dudes
Trace Trylko 1/28/2015
over Knights of UCF, the Surfer Dudes have arrived. This might as
well be the school’s new nickname, as tradition has been tossed
aside in favor of faux sand and prop surf boards. Or, as UCF
Athletics is calling it: The East Side Club (ESC) to make it sound
some two years, UCF fans have heard chatter, often accompanied by
laughter, of a so-called “Tiki Bar” coming to Bright House
Networks Stadium. Sure, UCF could use a new premium section for
big-dollar donors as Athletics officials say there’s a waiting list
to eat, drink and be merry on the west side of the Bright House.
should such an exclusive club be located? If you guessed in the end
zone, covering up the wide swaths of aluminum that accompany far too
many UCF home football games, you would be completely WRONG.
see, UCF Athletics Director Todd Stansbury has been jonesing for a
made-for-TV moment on kickoffs and cutaways for those
sparsely-attended noon home games televised on ESPN3. So, the powers
that be at the second-largest university in the nation decided the
perfect spot for shots of sun burnt, and likely drunk, fans is
between the 30s, or carving out the seats on the 50-yard line.
you name a respected University that would remove its prime seats for
a gimmick (Gimmick defined as a trick or device intended to attract
attention, publicity, or business.)? It’s hard to imagine the
University of Florida Gators taking out its 50-yard line seats for a
Gator Land exhibit.
the last time UCF traded credibility for a short-term publicity
burst? We ended up with the “black” top look for basketball games
at the CFE Arena. How’s that working out? The men’s basketball
team is in the bottom half of the American Athletic Conference
(again) and attendance has tumbled to less than 4,000 per game. Who
needs a quality product when you generate headlines?
of which, check out these doozies that have accompanied the news
about UCF’s version of Cabana Bay:
'Goofy' Stadium Beach … and UCF
offers fake beach, no sand, real football
Stansbury doesn’t seem to understand the nearest beach is an hour
away from UCF, and he certainly doesn’t seem to respect UCF
tradition. In Stansbury’s world, black and gold must take a back
seat to spray-on sand and whatever fake palm trees the designer who
brought you Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant can dream up.
right up, friends, shell out $900 for access to “Enhanced WiFi”
and the right to buy beer and fruity drinks with umbrellas. Take a
hike, Knightro. UCF’s brain trust may actually prefer a mascot that
resembles surfer dude Jeff Spicoli from the 1980s hit movie Fast
Times at Ridgemont High. Are Hawaiian-shirt
styled uniforms close behind?
I’ve been a loyal season ticket holder and Golden Knights Club
booster for 15 years and, yes, my seats are smack dab in the middle
of the Surf Club. I’m pretty sure I’d feel the same even if I
wasn’t directly impacted.