Florida Gators Football: 10 Ways You Know You're a Gators Fan
The University of Florida has been playing football for over 100 years. The team was brought into the national stage in the nineties when Steve Spurrier returned to his alma mater and made winning SEC championships an expectation rather than a far off unattainable dream.
The Gators fan base has grown used to winning and to a point has become spoiled. The "crowd," if you can even call it that, for Vanderbilt this past season shows just that. Florida has a proud fan base but needs to learn that you stick with your team through thick and thin, not just when they're hoisting a crystal ball.
For those who consider themselves a real part of GatorNation, here are 10 tell tale signs you are a Gator fan.
You Know There Is a Difference Between Orange and Blue and Blue and Orange
If ever asked what the colors of the university of Florida football team are do yourself a favor and make sure you get the order right.
I don't know what the origin is, but the Gators colors are orange and blue. Answer blue and orange and you will certainly get a cross look from a true Florida Gator fan.
You Spent Last Season Rooting for the Denver Broncos
No player in the NFL is as tightly scrutinized as Tim Tebow. For a player who says and does all of the right things on and off the field, he is the most criticized player in the league.
Tebow faced much of the same in college, even as he won a Heisman and led the Gators to a National championship.
No matter who you normally root for, you found yourself drawn to Broncos games last year as Tebow brought his team back with game winning drive after game winning drive.
The Broncos brass might not have any faith in the young signal caller, but GatorNation does, and they will follow his career as he challenges Mark Sanchez for the starting job in New York.
You Know " We Are the Boys " by Heart
After the third quarter, Gator fans in the swamp stand up, lock arms and sway as they recite " We Are the Boys."
The origins of the song are a little fuzzy, but it has been sung at Florida field since the 1930's.
Any Gator fan worth their salt can recite the song, or remember singing it with 90,000 people in the swamp.
Mr. Two Bits Holds a Special Place in Your Heart
George Edmondson Jr. was invited to a football game with his friends in September of 1949. The Gators were the bottom dwellers of the SEC at that time and Edmondson was shocked to see how the students in the stands would boo their team.
Edmondson decided to do something about this. With a simple cheer, a legend was born.
All for the Gators stand up and holler!
Edmondson continued to show up to Gator games and lead that same cheer until 2008. Edmundson is the most recognizable Gator fan of all time, and his retirement in 2008 was an emotional day for all Gator fans.
Although Edmondson does not appear at the games himself anymore the "Two Bits" cheer has not died. Albert now dresses in Edmondson's traditional yellow oxford-cloth shirt and orange and blue striped tie, leading the same cheer before every home game.
You Love to Hate Florida State
Growing up a Florida Gator fan, there was only one team that under no circumstances was I ever to be caught dead cheering for, Florida State. There is certainly no love lost between the two universities and just acting civil with on another can sometimes be a stretch. FSU has earned nicknames such as the girl school (FSU was formerly the "Florida State College for Women"), the school out west and Free Shoes University. (along with some other names that can't be mentioned in this blog.)
The rivalry between the two schools started out lopsided and the Gators hold a 33-21-2 advantage in the series. The game has also held National Championship implications, especially in 1996, where the Gators defeated the Seminoles for their first ever National Championship in school history.
With conference expansion adding games to the schedule, the game could be in jeopardy in the future, but for now the Gators and Seminoles will play in the last week of every season with the winner earning state wide bragging rights for another year.
You Still Call It the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"
The Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs first officially met in Jacksonville in 1915, and have met every year since then (except 1943 when Florida did not field a team due to WWII). The rivalry is steeped in tradition and was coined "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" by Bill Kastelz.
The name became popular was used widely before the city of Jacksonville abandoned the name in 1988. The name was still used on television until 2006 when the SEC, along with both schools, asked CBS to stop using the name.
There are not very many things that Bulldogs and Gators see eye to eye on, but the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" is one of them.
You Still Watch " the Promise" to This Day
Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators came into the Ole Miss game 3-0 and had outscored opponents 112-19 before losing 31-30 in the Swamp.
After the game, Tebow gave an emotional speech where he promised that the team would work harder and play harder than any other team in the nation and that the loss would motivate them the rest of the season.
Well, it did.
The Gators went on to win 10 straight games, including the BCS National Championship, only adding to the allure that has become Tim Tebow.
You Know, Love and Use the Chomp Frequently
The "chomp" was originated in 1981 and has become a staple at Gator games ever since. The "chomp" has become a symbol of the university and a nuisance to opposing schools and fans.
You Can't Get Enough of Mick Hubert's Catchphrase
Mick Hubert has been the voice of the Gators since 1989 and is a voice all Gator fans know well. The Illinois born Hubert has a southern draw that many Gainesville natives can relate to and as much passion for the university as anybody.
Whether intentional or unintentional Hubert has developed a catchphrase that can be heard after big plays in the games he is covering.
Hubert is the voice of the Gators and hearing that "oh my!" signifies the Gators are doing well.
2006 Through 2008 Were the Best Sports Years of Your Life
2006 began with the Gators basketball team winning a national championship against UCLA. Later that same year, the football team won the BCS National Championship beating Ohio State University 41-14. It was the first time that a school had won both titles in the same year.
The basketball team would go on to win back-to-back National championships while the football team would win two championships in three seasons.
Being a Gator fan in this time period was the ultimate in bragging rites. The Gators were on top of the collegiate sports world and GatorNation made sure everyone knew about it.