ATLANTA, Ga. - See you later, naughty Gators.
That is the message from a former official bar of the Florida Gators on University of Florida game days, after the owner tells FOX 5 he's sick of fanatical fans' bad behavior.
"It's over," said D.B.A. Barbecue owner Matt Coggin, as he posted a letter on Facebook explaining his restaurant's decision to end its title as an official Gators bar through the Atlanta Gator Club alumni association. His letter described varieties of unsportsmanlike conduct.
"Some people would actually cuss me out," he said, when we would turn one of his many televisions onto a different channel for other customers to watch during Saturday college games.
"I broke up a fight during the UGA and Florida game," he said.
Coggins said neighbors in Virginia Highland would avoid his restaurant on game days, and finally decided to stop driving away local customers.
"When we became exclusive, it started drawing fanaticals. And the fanaticals ruined it for all of us," he said.
Responses on social media ranged from supportive to disappointed, to angry. One Gator called the decision "character defamation."
"Never once seen fans behaving badly," one Florida fan said, disappointed in the decision.
"Property values have risen in the past few days with the fact it's no longer a Gator bar," said one Florida State fan jokingly. Many fans of Southern rival teams revel in the decision.
Plenty of television screens will still show Florida games on game days, but Coggin promises other fans can enjoy watching their team as well.
The Atlanta Gator Club issued the following statement:
"We appreciate Matt Coggin, and the DBA Restaurant organization for their support of the Atlanta Gator Club and the University of Florida for the past three years. The decision for DBA to no longer serve as an "Official Viewing Location" is in the best interest of both organizations."
The link to Coggins' letter: https://www.facebook.com/DBAbarbecue/?fref=ts