One of the topics in the Southeastern Conference that seems to pop up annually is spring game attendance numbers. While some fans may obsess over the figures that are released, Dan Mullen takes a very different and more entertaining approach to those numbers.
During his Monday afternoon press conference, Mullen was asked to share his opinion on the importance of spring game attendance.
“The more the better for me — and the only reason I say that is because you create the environment, you create an exciting environment for recruiting, for other recruits we have on campus, but also the pressure for the players, you know? Because there’s a lot of guys that haven’t played in front of the crowd before,” Mullen offered up. “There will be times you are going to roll some guys out on the field that you want to see… It’s one thing when we are out on the practice field. It’s not that big of a deal.
“Scrimmages are a little bit different because you are in the stadium, but now in the spring game, I’m a young player, I get to go in the stadium and there’s a lot of people watching. That can change the psyche of an 18-year, 19-year old kid.”
While Mullen may have some legitimate reasons to want the spring game attendance to be high this weekend in Gainesville, the Gator coach was then asked about the physical number of fans that show up for spring games. How high of a premium does Mullen place on those figures?
“It would be great (for the number to be high),” Mullen answered. “Did we fudge it last year? Ours was legit last year? I do think some… I know this, I have fudged it before. Not like ridiculously but for silly stuff. Maybe the attendance matches the score of a certain game or something like that during the season. It would have been that type of stuff before.”
After being reminded of the Florida vs. Florida State matchup from last season, a matchup the Gators won 41-14 in Tallahassee, Mullen used that as an example of what he is referring to with his comments.
“Yeah, if you go 41,140 or something, I don’t know. You kinda do stuff like that. Have some fun,” Mullen continued. “I don’t want to give away all my tricks, you guys keep asking, I’ve got tricks up my sleeve for the spring game. If I give them all away now, no one is going to be excited to find them out after, you gotta really search for them to see if you see little things.”
Florida fans that are already excited about Saturday’s Orange & Blue Game now have another reason to be excited about the game, Mullen just spilled the beans that Easter eggs may be littered throughout Saturday’s festivities.