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Football showdown is no 'cocktail party'

Oct. 24, 2006 at 5:39 PM

ATLANTA, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Television broadcasters must refrain this year from referring to Saturday's Georgia-Florida football game as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that officials at CBS and ESPN received a request from University of Georgia president Michael Adams and University of Florida president Bernie Machen to stop using the reference during broadcasts. The request comes amid a growing sense of urgency about quelling binge drinking on campus. The issue has reportedly become more pressing after the deaths of two Florida students following the Georgia-Florida showdowns in 2004 and 2005.

One died after being severely beaten when he wandered off from his friends; another died after falling off a garage roof, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Although CBS and ESPN, which will be broadcasting the game, will comply with the request, some are reportedly skeptical about a change in crowd behavior.

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