Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's Up Gator Fans?

Now that I am no longer officially connected with the University Athletic Association, I can say some things that I never could or chose not to before out of loyalty to the athletes and coaches that I worked with. And out of a general sense of loyalty to the Gators. Not that I am going to reveal any deep dark secrets. If I did know something, I would never tell, and I don't so you don't have to worry!

No, this is a general response to Saturday's game in the Swamp. Gator fans are supposed to be some of the best in the country. We make the swamp one of the toughest places to play in America with the noise and the heat and the...... Wait, did I say heat? There have been hotter games than this past Saturday, so if heat is what kept fans away, then something must have been wrong with the thermometer. Maybe if you fraternity guys and gals would stop trying to be Auburn or Alabama and give up the wearing of long sleeved button downed shirts and ties and semi-formal dresses then you wouldn't be so hot or have to take off your shirt completely before halftime! I promise that I heard a young lady sitting next to me for about five minutes before it was just too hot to stay say more about the colors the players were wearing than the game itself. What was worse was that the guy she was with was into that conversation more than the game. If you care more about a color scheme than a defensive scheme, please give the ticket to someone else and stay home and watch style shows on TV!

Now it was hot and I know that the students have to stand in the hot sun the entire game, but I did it this week as well. The point to the UAA is that if you want to keep the swamp as one of the most intimidating places to play, then you might want to take a look at improving the student side of the stadium as well. Maybe you should make sure the concessions don't run out of stuff before the end of the game and maybe create some easier access for entry and exit of the stadium. Some cold water fountains might help if they actually had enough water pressure to work to keep fans from over heating and leaving. And while you are improving stuff, why not start with the product on the field. This team better get better in a hurry or last year will mark the high water mark for Coach Boom! I don't think he can go 7-6 again and get a third year here. Hey the old Zooker did better than this and he got canned after three seasons! I am not ready to jump off the cliff yet, but I sure don't have any plans to be in Atlanta on the first weekend of December. Can you remember what it was like to pencil that trip in every year? Maybe we did get spoiled as Gator fans, but if you are going to sweat buckets every Saturday in September in the Swamp, it is a lot nicer to do so solely because of the Sun and not because you aren't sure you are going to beat Bowling Green.

If I get a ticket for the next game, you can bet I will be there again. And you can bet I will be there at the end of the game win or lose. Because deep down inside, I still believe the words that we sing at the end of the third quarter in the swamp. I just don't know if this generation of students and many of the alumni feel the same way! Prove me wrong against Kentucky and I will gladly say so. That goes for the team too!

1 comment:

  1. Eddie,

    Couldn't agree more. I had a year where I didn't win the student ticket lottery and was shut out from getting to go to games. Now I see that there were not enough students to even enter the lottery, essentially meaning that all interested people could get season tickets. Yet the student section wasn't nearly full. Additionally, I was randomly offered free tickets 2 different times outside the stadium! What lethargy, I mean really... us not being ranked preseason top 10 and guaranteed a trip to Atlanta means that we need not bother to show up and support our team? In ALL kinds of weather we'll all stick together...? The product on the field is disappointing when our expectations are still circa 2009. However, being a fan is coming and adding something, and we know the crowd inside the Swamp has that potential to be a turning point in a crucial game. With crowds like we've had the last season and a half though, we have definitely lost our competitive home field advantage. I could literally hear conversations happening 3 sections over from me on Saturday. Come on Gators, get up and go!