Gators in Georgia … who let ’em in?

(Jacksonville.com)

(Jacksonville.com)

When a lot of people think of Florida Gators fans, images of guys sporting mullets and wearing jorts and women with skin like leather come to mind, and I know there are folks who fit that stereotype.

But that’s not how I’d describe the many, many University of Florida grads I’ve had to work with and have come to know over the years.

It certainly doesn’t describe my next door neighbor, whom my family fondly refers to as “Gator.” He’s a really nice guy with a lovely wife and a cute baby boy who I teasingly threaten to teach to say “Go Dogs!” Surprisingly, my neighbor just laughs and says if his son can attend UGA for free on the HOPE scholarship, then a Bulldog he’ll be.

Quite a statement for a guy who flies his orange and blue UF flag all year round.

Actually, many Florida grads I’ve known aren’t that different from UGA grads on the surface. They’re intelligent and hardworking enough to have gotten into a big state university. And they love SEC football.

The main difference between my neighbor and most Florida grads is the casual arrogance with which they view the world, as if matriculation in Gainesville puts them on a level above folks who’ve gone to school in, say, Athens, Tuscaloosa or Knoxville.

The funny thing is, they’ve always had this arrogance, even during the years when they really didn’t really have anything to be arrogant about. Let’s face it, before Steve Spurrier went back home to rescue the program, the most notable thing to come out of Gainesville involving college football was Gatorade. Despite all the talent that a campus in the Sunshine State could draw, they never quite got it done. The ability of great Gator teams to choke became something of an SEC joke.

That didn’t make the Florida grads I had to deal with any less arrogant. It just made them prime suckers for gridiron bets. Most years after I came to work at the AJC in 1974 I’d be approached by various Gators in the office who wanted to show their Gator pride by betting a six-pack of Heineken or something along those lines on the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville. With Vince Dooley as coach at Georgia, it was more often than not a safe bet. The Dogs were 13-3 against the Gators in those years, including winning six straight from 1978 through ’83.

I remember 1980 was the year I really did well. One Gator wanted to double the bet and a couple of others got in on it, too. I wound up with several six-packs (and then won a fifth of Black Jack off an Auburn grad the next week). Since I don’t drink much, the chief beneficiaries were the folks attending the Christmas party my wife and I threw.

And yet, still there was that arrogance, that attitude that somehow Florida was better than the rest of the conference, even if the record book didn’t reflect it.  After all, the Gators didn’t win an SEC championship in football until 1984, and that was almost immediately vacated by the conference because of all the Charley Pell infractions that got the school on probation. That also made them ineligible for the SEC title again in 1985. Ditto 1990, when Spurrier’s first team still faced the Galen Hall probation problem.

Finally, in 1991 came the school’s first real SEC championship.

I thought I knew Gator arrogance before, but in the Spurrier era it grew exponentially. It was as if SEC football had not existed prior to 1990. It reminded me of the nouveau riche putting on airs. As if alligator wasn’t derived from the Spanish word for “lizard.”

And while that attitude tapered off just a tad during the Zook years, when Gator fans were apt to make bitter jokes about their own coach, it shot into the stratosphere with the arrival of Urban Meyer and the two BCS championships Tim Tebow has won him.

I have a confession to make. In a moment of delusion, I actually rooted for Florida in January 2007 when they played Ohio State for the BCS championship. I had grown tired of all the Big 10 hype I was hearing from ESPN and the rest of the national sports media and decided I really wanted an SEC team to show up the Buckeyes, even if it was the Gators.

My son tried to warn me. “You know how arrogant Gator fans are,” he said. “Imagine how they’ll be if they win the BCS. There’ll be no living with them.”

And he was right. They were worse then ever after that, especially when their basketball team also won a national title. Then came a second BCS title last year, and now they act like it’s a birthright or something.

But what it all boils down to is that in the long and illustrious history of SEC football, the Gators are still johnny-come-latelies.

In jorts, no less.

137 comments Add your comment

georgiadawg70

October 30th, 2009
7:32 am

The reason they are arrogant is because they are originally from New York. No Southern manners what so ever. The last Ga./Fl. game that I attented we lost. After leaving the stadium, I stopped at a gas station. When I walked in the door the attendent was a lady with a Brooklyn accent. Peroxided orange hair and leatherly skin. Looked like a WWF wrestler in a sleveless T shirt with a tatoo and an unfiltered camel cigarette hanging out of her month and the first thing she said is,:you guys lost again. Welcome to Florida.

Jon P

October 30th, 2009
7:34 am

I think that this can be said of any group of fans in the SEC. Tennessee fans were like this in the 90’s when they had their run.

Barry

October 30th, 2009
7:36 am

Amen. I couldn’t have said it better. I have said for years that Gators fans are like “new money” without class, and now that they are on top, it is more pronounced.

Reality Check - still waiting

October 30th, 2009
7:58 am

8 – 1 (4 -4), You been talkin since last November and how has that turned out for you?
I’ve been to the Tech – Georgia game and I’d say the best the dogs can hope for is to be drunk and passed out before 3:30 PM. and to wake up somewhere other than in jail. 3 out of 19 really? (6 out of 19 to TN and Kiffin says they’ll never lose again), one of the top programs, HA. Get your excuse ready November is gonna be big.

Rick

October 30th, 2009
7:58 am

Please… If you do not have worthy material just take the day off. We will forgive you; and we won’t tell the AJC: they are so disorganized they will never know if you take the day off; I promise.

Saint Simons

October 30th, 2009
8:05 am

45 – 42 !!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Dawg Days

October 30th, 2009
8:14 am

I went to college in south Florida during the late 80s. If I even so much as wore a Georgia shirt to class, I feared for my life! (I actually had to hang out with the really big fat guy on campus who wore a Georgia shirt during the GA-FL confrontations. NO way I wasn’t wearing my Bulldogwear!) I cannot count the number of times I got nasty looks. It’s just a game, people! That being said, I have some very good friends and people I respect who graduated from FL. And Auburn. And Alabama. And yes, even Tennessee.

I also pulled for FL against Ohio State. They came ready to play. If OSU had shown up, I might have rooted for them. My husband went to OSU and called me a traitor. It’s just a game, people!

DrKnowledge

October 30th, 2009
8:19 am

Arrogance??? Please….give it a rest….arrogance is in the eye of the beholder….funny how the UGA arrogance masks itself as some sort of divine right that permits you guys to look down on anyone who beats your beloved Dawgs as some sort of upstart not “deserving” of what they have earned.

FalconUGAFan

October 30th, 2009
8:31 am

Well Bill gotta hand it you. ..You will get the post count today. The only thing that differentiates SEC and increasingly ACC fans is their location. Arrogant when they win and arrogant and pissed when they lose. Good and bad fans for all teams.

secondguesser

October 30th, 2009
8:35 am

ROFLMBO! What goes around comes around Bill! We had to take a lot of crap during the seventies and eighties! Probably well deserved. Now you don’t think that the dawg fans were arrogant during those years?! You sound like the Dubya supporters! The difference was that the gators actually fielded teams during that time that SHOULD have won some of those games according to fans of both sides. In the last two decades only once has Georgia sprung a legitimate upset. I’m one of those gators who’s always had Georgia roots and my son attends the fine university in Athens, but brother let me tell you that the preppy crowd up there hasn’t lost their feelings of superiority even after two decades of humble pie!
True enough we didn’t win any conference championships until the nineties, but as someone pointed out yesterday, look at the records during your generation and see what the record reflects. To paraphrase Bear Bryant, ” If they ever get their act together down in Gainesville then look out.” Guess what? We got our act together.

“Somebody told me that they had never had fifty points scored on them up here. I guess they won’t be saying that anymore.”

SOS

On the other hand...

October 30th, 2009
8:36 am

“Actually, many Florida grads I’ve known aren’t that different from UGA grads on the surface. They’re intelligent and hardworking”

Sounds like they’re much different from UGA grads to me…

dave rairy

October 30th, 2009
8:38 am

Hey Dawg70,
The leathery-skinned bleached -blonde WAS a WWF contender. She hails from Atlanta. When she came down for the Bulldogs last win in Jax, she got so strung out celebrating, she forgot how to get home. I took pity and hired her as a “welcome to Florida” agent. And, by the way, that was a Pall Mall stuck to her lip. GO GATORS!

loel

October 30th, 2009
8:41 am

The older I get the less any of this crap matters. Other than a few little spots in our brains, it is absolutely meaningless.

matthew Schroeder

October 30th, 2009
8:43 am

The bumper sticker stuck behind the bar at the Salty Dog Saloon in Gainesville sums up your point – “it’s hard to be humble where you’re a Gator.” But seriously, you’re taking pot shots here and preaching to your Bulldog choir. Every fan base has obnoxious fans who are arrogant, INCLUDING UGA. It’s easy to make fun of or spew articles like this towards a fan base that you are bred to hate based on the fact that you have been a Dog for life. I’ve been a Gator for life, and while I’m very PROUD of what we’ve accomplished in the last 20 years, I understand that we haven’t been the best squad in the SEC historically. We’ve gotten a piece of humble pie at least once every year in our 102 years of playing football. Say what you want about jorts, the fact that some of our students and alumni are originally from the North, but remember that, despite the fact that our national titles have all come since 1996, we have 3 and you legitimately have 1. Its articles like yours that make me want to destroy you the last weekend in October every fall. All bark and no bite…

Timely topic...

October 30th, 2009
8:48 am

As I walked into my office this morning I commented to a guy walking in at the same time that he could not wear around here what he was wearing – a Tebow jersey and blue and orange tennis shoes! He laughed and said I would be surprised how many UF fans there are in Atlanta. Not really I said – there are bunches and bunches. In fact, I myself moved here from Gainesville, FL back in 1968, after a previous stop in Tallahassee! But, alas, I am not a UF fan (I lived in Tally longer so I am a closet Seminole) with a kid who graduated from UGA – Go Dawgs!

Brock

October 30th, 2009
8:51 am

Wow! Another article about the past. How many in a row does this make? Bill, every story does not have to include the line..”I remember.when….

Paul H

October 30th, 2009
8:53 am

Northern rednecks relocated –> Florida fans.

Paul H

October 30th, 2009
8:54 am

I just want to know who let the Tech fans into this blog.

cb@cb.com

October 30th, 2009
8:59 am

Are you freaking kidding me? A UGA fan preaching about being classy and not presenting arrogance. I am floored, man. Bill, your fanbase’s attitude and big mouths are the reason I hate the dawgs and I am a proud Georgian who was born and bred here. After all the crap ya’ll spew year in and year out, you have the nerve to call out UF fans for being arrogant? HAHAHAHAH… wow.

Dude. They have dominated the SEC for 19 years and they have 2 NC’s in the last 4. You are unbelievable.

OrlG8r

October 30th, 2009
9:01 am

All of those earlier bets of 6 packs and bottles of Jack were just to set you up for the bets on the last 16 years. Haven’t fared too well recently, huh…?

ratherBgambling

October 30th, 2009
9:05 am

#1 football program in the country right now…….what is their to be arrogant about?

Call it Like It Is

October 30th, 2009
9:08 am

AHHHH whine on as you will lose again in Jax!

Gators win this one easily!

Enough Said!

I hate Tbag

October 30th, 2009
9:14 am

We have always had the upper hand in this rivalry, both in games won and class. We are khakis and collared shirts and they are jean shorts and tank tops. Thats just the way it is. These are two different classes of people. Collectively, we have always had more class, and more teeth, especially our women. It is always the classless ones that sound off the most, and that’s how it’s always been with them. They are in our faces, screaming and carrying on every year. They just don’t know any better. They weren’t raised right. UF has the highest rate of fans that never went to college, much less Florida, in the nation. And remember, these people were raised to be gators mostly by gators. It’s like when cousins marry and breed, somewhere along the line you get retards. And so we see the fruits of many generations of cousins producing the vast array of retarded, toothless, poor dressing, poor decision making, gator scum that collectively make up the so called “gator nation”. It is a nation of backward ass, classless jacklegs who dont deserve our attention let alone our respect. To Hell with them!

GTDave

October 30th, 2009
9:22 am

May both teams play their best and let the best team win.

Pago Flyer

October 30th, 2009
9:24 am

Is this the same Galen Hall who is the offensive coach up at PSU?

robodawg

October 30th, 2009
9:28 am

The SEC has enough arrogance to go around, that’s for sure. From where I sit, UF, Bama and the Vols, in that order, have the most arrogant fans … but I’m sure other fans have good reason to put UGA in that category!

On the other hand, when I come across a Tech or Bama or Gator or Vol or any other devoted fan whose humble enough to be a good sport about how their team does, win or lose, I find it endearing. There’s no reason to make it personal. We still have to live and work and worship with each other.

Gator Bob

October 30th, 2009
9:34 am

Funny……………..KENTUCKY fans will say the same about TENNESSEE.
MISSISSIPPI STATE fans will say the same about OLE MISS.
AUBURN fans will say the same about ALABAMA

GEORGIA FANS WILL SAY THE SAME ABOUT FLORIDA

See the trend here? Winners celebrate – Losers find fault in their opponents.

GO GATORS!!!

guy

October 30th, 2009
9:39 am

arrogance without any results to back it up? sounds pretty much exactly like most georgia fans. remember back when you guys had herschel? those were good times…

Reality Check

October 30th, 2009
9:40 am

Really- an article about how arrogant your rivals’ fan base is?
EVERY school thinks this about their rivals.
Grow up.

BCS

October 30th, 2009
9:46 am

Who cares about a 4-3 team thats about to become 4-4.

secondguesser

October 30th, 2009
9:53 am

So “i hate tbag”, how does it feel for your favorite team to get their azzes kicked by the team whose fans you described? I think I will wear my jorts today in honor of you!

“Somebody told me that they had never had fifty points scored on them up here. I guess they won’t be saying that anymore.”

SOS

Dan

October 30th, 2009
9:56 am

They’re new money and they’re about to be UGA. Again.

Matt

October 30th, 2009
9:58 am

We are not arrogant……….We are just better than you! LOL
Go Gators, 17 of 20 is reason to be arrogant. Just wait until we take the lead in the series in seven years.

Mell

October 30th, 2009
10:03 am

The Gator Nation is everywhere. Usually in the corner office……..so get back to work flippin’ them burgers, uga.

Tuco Pacifico Ramirez to the Gator Nation

October 30th, 2009
10:03 am

We like big fat men like you….they make more noise when they fall!

Your Herschel is about to graduate and you have NO CHOICE but to come back to the pack. Yeah, you have an all american waiting in the wings…so do we. The best your AA can expect to be is Lars Tate. Enjoy this year all you can, because right now you’re like drug addicts, the more success you have the more you need just to be satisfied. Next few years are going to be like going cold turkey, no satisfaction, and even the success you do have will taste bitter in your mouths. By this time next year ya’ll will be arguing among yourselves about what is wrong with the Gators and some of you will be calling for the great Urban to be fired.

So be kind to us DAWGS this year, cause what goes around comes around and just remember…who ever crosses Tuco and lives….he knows nothing about Tuco!

Get off the porch DAWGS and SIC ‘EM….Woof!

Atlanta Gator

October 30th, 2009
10:04 am

georgiadawg70—-Speaking as a Florida native who is now a transplanted Georgian by choice, I can tell you that your snarky comments about are Florida do not represent the full spectrum of Florida natives, residents and transplants. Yes, Florida IS Southern, but it’s also northeastern, and midwestern, and Latin-American, and European and even Native American. It is a melting pot, and you clearly found what you were seeking to justify your opinion. Look a little harder — when you’re not wearing your read and black t-shirt and a chip on your shoulder. You might find something that reminds of you of Georgia, too, and not just New York.

BTW, if you couldn’t find a native in Jacksonville, you didn’t look very hard. Over 50% of Jacksonville residents were born there, and the town has a decidedly Southern flavor, perhaps more so than Atlanta. The poor unfortunate you described at the stadium could just as easily be found working the ticket booth at the Georgia Dome.

Mike

October 30th, 2009
10:09 am

The FL fans don’t know how good they’ve got it w/Tebow. Once he leaves, we’ll see what kind of team they have. I’m not saying Brantley isn’t good or that Meyer isn’t a good caoch, just saying it WILL have an impact.

BIRD DAWG ONE

October 30th, 2009
10:13 am

MELL

We all know that the people in the corner ofices are crooks and that tax payers are bailing them out. Florida be on probation how many times? I bet you eat a lot a hambergers and I bet you have never seen the inside of a corner office, unless you were cleaning it.

Steve

October 30th, 2009
10:13 am

All whimper and no bite…

ATL

October 30th, 2009
10:13 am

The ironic thing is that everyone knows that UGA fans are the worst to live with when they’re winning. Most of the UGA fans I run into think that college football started in 2002. This article cracks me up.

Chad

October 30th, 2009
10:14 am

GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BIRD DAWG ONE

October 30th, 2009
10:20 am

Mell:
We all know that the people in the corner offices are crooks and that the tax payers are the ones bailing them out. This is especially hard on the “hamberger flippers” How many time has Florida been on probation? I bet you eat a lot of hamburgers and I bet you have never seen the inside of a corner office, unless you were cleaning it.

Georgia flat out sucks!

October 30th, 2009
10:22 am

Hey I Hate Tbag you are descrbing yourself? family members and Georgia fans.I bet you are the Georgia fan that will be sitting in front of me, drunk b4 kickoff, loud, wanting to fight everybody and three minutes later wanting everbody sing UGA fight song.But on the bright side, Gators take UGA to the wood shead again. Georgia is GATOR BAIT! GO GATORS!!

Georgia flat out sucks!

October 30th, 2009
10:25 am

What did BIRD DAWG ONE say to the UF Grad? U want want fries with that order?

Let's Count

October 30th, 2009
10:28 am

How many National Championship does UGA?

Oh right, one.

UF has three.

Robert

October 30th, 2009
10:28 am

People hate dominant teams… that’s how it goes. The Gators have been, more or less, making a mockery out of other SEC teams for almost two decades now. I don’t seen any end in sight, but unless you’re of retirement age, Johnny-come-lately, they are not.

Let's Count

October 30th, 2009
10:28 am

How many National Championship does UGA have?

Oh right, one.

UF has three.

BIRD DAWG ONE

October 30th, 2009
10:33 am

Siting over hear in China, laughing at you. such thin skin for a gator. You must eat a lot of hamburgers also. When you look down can you even see it, guess not you a gator!

UGA On My Mind

October 30th, 2009
10:40 am

Bird Dawg One working @ sweat box in China. SWEET! GO DAWGS !

Mark

October 30th, 2009
10:40 am

You guys kill me! I’m so sick of hearing about how Gator fans act! First off, there is not a team in the SEC that doesn’t have arrogant fans. Your actually going to tell me that Alabama fans don’t feel they have some “Divine” right to the SEC Championships.

I’ll tell you I’ve gone to most of the stadiums in the SEC and I find most of the other fans nuch worse that Gator fans. We always here what jerks we supposedly are. Go back and check some headlines. I remember when Jim Donnan was the coach of Geogia. During one of their home games, I believe against LSU, Georgia got behind 28-0 by the second quarter. All the Georgia fans in the upper decks on the Geogia sideline came down en mass and started throwing cups, cans and anything else they could at Donnan. Reports said up to 20,000 fans came down and threw things at the Geogia sideline in disgust.

It’s also hilarious that when we talk probation we always hear about the Pell years at Florida. Mind you every team in the league has been on probation with Auburn on probation 6 or 7 times. The problem is the rest of the SEC resents Florida and always puts us down. I also lauhg at the johnny come lately tag. We have know been a powerhouse for 20 years now, and have the most wins in college football over that period.

Finally, we will always recognize our SEC championships during the 80’s. Kind of hypercritical of other SEC athletic directors voting to take away our championship considering all the probation the other schools have been on. We are still the only school to “lose” an SEC championship because of probation. And get this, the presidents of the schools voted to allow Florida to keep the championships. The AD’s, led by Geogia, voted to strip Florida of the title. Funny thing though, nothing in the bylaws gave the AD’s the right to strip the trophy. Only the presidents has the right under the SEC charter. Nice that a coach who had only 2 black players graduate in 20 years (Dooley) was so concerned about other teams championships and not the welfare of his players. Of course he now a legend in the state.

AND Florida fans are arrogant Huh…take a look in the mirror!!!!