Thank You, Mr. Two Bits! Legendary Gator Supporter Steps Down

Joe MorganSenior Analyst INovember 24, 2008

Two bits! Four bits! Six bits! A dollar! All for the Gators stand up and holler!

I will never forget the first time I heard those words.

I had just turned 12 years old, and my cousin Daniel was taking me to “the Swamp” for my first Florida football game.

The Gators were kicking off their second season under Ron Zook against heavy underdog San Jose State, and it looked to be just another everyday blowout.

However, the excitement of a new season easily made up for the lack of suspense on the field.

While I don’t remember much from Florida’s 65-3 victory over the hapless Spartans, I remember the game day atmosphere as if it had happened only yesterday.

That glorious day in Gainesville was the day that I officially became a Gator, learning about the traditions and legends that Florida fans like me revere.

While I witnessed many things happen that day, one particular pregame ritual sticks in my head quite vividly, reasserting itself each Saturday when I see it on TV or hear it on the radio.

Before each Gator home game, George Edmondson runs out to midfield in slacks, a yellow dress shirt, and his customary orange-and-blue Gator tie.

You may know him better as Mr. Two Bits.

When witnessing this for the first time, it baffled me.

A two-bits cheer? That’s so old school!

And that is the exact beauty of it.

Edmondson, a longtime Gator fan, attended his first Florida game in 1949, a matchup against the Citadel.

Discouraged by the crowd booing the Gators, Edmondson wanted to find a way to rally the home fans for Florida.

"It was sad, and I thought it was terrible," Edmondson said. "They were just a bunch of kids out there."

In an attempt to encourage the Florida players, Edmondson began his well-known two-bits cheer, encouraging surrounding fans to join in.

The rest is history.

Every time I go to Gainesville to watch Florida football, I enthusiastically take part in the two-bits cheer, enjoying my camaraderie with fellow Gator fans.

Unfortunately, all good things eventually come to an end, and this tradition is no exception.

Last Saturday, Mr. Two Bits fulfilled his final cheerleading duties, bringing the same passion and fervor that Gator fans of many generations have come to love.

As for me, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad.

Although he will still come to the games to cheer on the Gators, Mr. Two Bits will no longer lead the fans with his famous battle cry.

A longstanding tradition that is such an integral part of Saturdays in “the Swamp” was regrettably coming to an end.

Yet, despite my sadness about his retirement, I was thankful that I had witnessed the excitement of Mr. Two Bits firing up the Florida faithful as many times as I did.

Thankful that Mr. Two Bits had incited my Gator pride week after week, leading the Gator Nation in rousing support of the boys wearing orange and blue.

Thankful that I am a Florida Gators fan.

It is only fitting for me to pay my tribute to Mr. Two Bits with the cheer he made famous.

Two bits! Four bits! Six bits! A dollar! All for the Gators stand up and holler!

Thank you, Mr. Two Bits.

You truly are a Gator legend.