Tuesday, October 23

UGA vs. UF: Pop culture showdown

As previously noted, this weekend is the big ol' Georgia-Florida football game. Now, I don't have much interest in college sports. I haven't lived in Athens long enough to be too interested in the Dawgs, and the primary impact of gamedays on me is a lack of downtown parking. Since I know absolutely nothing about either football team, how to pick a favorite? Going to ESPN.com would be too easy, so I'm going to rely on what I do know something about -- pop culture. So, Athens or Gainesville?

My first instinct is to compare music scenes, but... come on. While Gainesville has its leading lights (Tom Petty, Sister Hazel, Less Than Jake), Athens is Athens. Let's turn instead to the neutral ground of TV and film. Completely arbitrary, but whatever. Which city has served as the backdrop for better productions? IMDB knows all....

Motion picture comedy
Athens: Road Trip (2000)
Gainesville: Parenthood (1989)

Solid entries here from each contender. UGA hosted filming for parts of the Stifler/Tom Green college romp, most memorable for Green's "Unleash the fury!" cry. While Road Trip might win if Gainesville lacked a strong counterpart, it was one filming location of the Steve Martin classic Parenthood. Despite the fact that Road Trip included both Andy Dick and Tom Green, I'll have to go with Parenthood. Sorry kids.

Winner: Gainesville

Unleash the fury:

Best cast
Athens: Cobb (1994)
Gainesville: Just Cause (1995)

Two forgettable films, but some star power. Cobb was a Tommy Lee Jones vehicle that also included Robert Wuhl. Not so bad. Just Cause, however, was loaded -- Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Ed Harris, Ned Beatty, and a very young Scarlett Johansson. No contest.

Oh, and Gainesville also had the Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and Charlize Theron film The Devil's Advocate. While I didn't select it as the city's candidate, that's a winner too.

Winner: Gainesville

From Cobb:

Music documentary
Athens: Athens, Ga.: Inside/Out (1987)
Gainesville: The Allman Brothers Band: Brothers of the Road (1985)

Quality entrants here, but gonna have to go with Athens. I haven't seen the ABB doc, but it's a band I'm bored with performing a decade past their prime. Inside/Out, on the other hand, was an important and seemingly prescient project capturing a blossoming music scene.

Winner: Athens

From Athens, Ga.: Inside/Out:

Comedy performance film
Athens: An Evening with P. Oswalt (2007)
Gainesville: The Tom Green Cancer Special (2001)

Tom Green making an hour's worth of jokes about testicles, or Patton Oswalt being Patton Oswalt? Patton it is.

Winner: Athens

Patton likes Athens too:

Television program
Athens: "Trading Spaces"
Gainesville: "Rescue 911"

This one's harder than it seems. "Trading Spaces" can be addictive even if you can barely pick up a hammer, and features some serious eye candy. "Rescue 911," however, has William Fucking Shatner. A tough contest, but this one goes to Athens. Put Shatner in a Starfleet uniform and I'll reconsider.

Winner: Athens.

Let's add up those final tallies, shall we?

Athens 3, Gainesville 2. Classic City by a nose.

I doubt they'll let me pick the Southeastern Conference champ with such criteria, but I'd be willing to give it a shot.


Blogger Billy Merck said...

Should it really be this close? Think you're giving Gainesville a little too much credit in the first two categories; those are ties at best.

Also, what about tv/film people that are from or lived in the towns? Kim Basinger went to high school in Athens; Newman from Seinfeld went to UGA. Someone more familiar with Gainesville will have to point out its counterparts to these.

I would also mention that Blue Collar crap that was filmed at the Classic Center, but I think that actually hurts us, so forget I said anything.

Anyway, your end result is clearly correct; Athens is the winner hands down.

12:42 AM

Blogger Rich said...

Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Wuhl tie those superstar ensemble casts? I mean Wuhl was the doofus reporter in Batman '89, but...

Uh, and believe me when I say these categories were completely arbitrary. Pretty much just what I could compare looking at the filming locations list while watching Heroes and Journeyman. ;-)

12:52 AM

Blogger Juliar said...

sigh. william fucking shatner.

10:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Florida alumni, I must help Gainesville's cause. It has ties to: Issac Brock, Bo Diddley, Against Me, Stephen Stills, a few members of the Eagles, Bob Vila, Darrell Hammond, and River and Joaquin Phoenix. That Sister Hazel connection really hurts, though.

1:46 AM


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