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Troupe Talk: Florida-Georgia Leaving Jacksonville?

By Ben Troupe
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This game is the pure essence of why both teams and fan bases hate, love, and need each other.

In the social media stratosphere that we live in today, and this never ending cycle of news and propaganda, it's hard to decipher fact from fiction. When I heard about the Florida-Georgia game potentially leaving Jacksonville, I thought to myself “Ashton Kutcher must be revamping Punk’d.” Then I realized that it wasn't a joke. That it was really being considered bothered me beyond belief.

This game is a part of the fabric of college football. It is one of the biggest games all year and always the biggest game on the slate the last Saturday in October, regardless of each team’s schedule.

This game is the pure essence of why both teams and fan bases hate, love, and need each other. To take this game out of Jacksonville would be a travesty. It would just become another game on the schedule instead of the premier game and matchup of the weekend.

Some things need to be left alone. Some things you just don't tamper with. This is one if those things. This is one of those times.This game isn't broken. This game doesn't need something different. It doesn't need a makeover. It doesn't need an overhaul. If this game was a meal, it would be perfectly seasoned by the two different teams.

The players, coaches, schemes, storylines, drama, build up, and memories are already in place. What else could you want? Why mess with a great thing that doesn't need anything more than it already has? The Florida-Georgia game is prestigious. It's rare. It's an event like no other because it brings together two of the best teams, not just in the SEC, but the country. Two great states. Two great fanbases. It has the exact same blend of orange and blue as it does red and black. It is the biggest cocktail party in the world and will always be nationally televised for the world to see.

Wait a minute, I lied, it does need something else: more fans on the sidelines with ice blowing through the fans, cheaper souvenirs, more parking closer to the stadium, and a get out of jail free card if you happen to get locked up on game day. That's what the game needs.

I was blessed to have some great moments and create some great memories in this rivalry. I went into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame with Verne Lundquist. I still can’t believe that. This game is what college football is all about. It’s one of those unique moments that stands the test of time. It should always be in Jacksonville. It should not and I hope will not be tampered with or altered in any way.

I played in this game from 2000 to 2003. I won every game that I played in. I am a part of this game’s storied history and if it were up to me Florida-Georgia would stay in Jacksonville for life. That's it. That's it. That is all.

Ben Troupe - Troupe played tight end for the Florida Gators from 2000-2003, and earned first-team All-SEC recognition and first-team All-American honors from ESPN, Rivals and Sports Illustrated as a senior. After a standout college career, Troupe was selected 40th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft, the first pick of the Tennessee Titans that spring. Currently, Troupe is a representative for the NFL Ambassadors via the College Outreach Program and the USA Football Youth and High School Program while also serving as an assistant master trainer for Head's Up coaching initiative. Troupe can be heard on ESPN Coastal's "Three & Out" with B.J. Bennett and Kevin Thomas.