Editor's Note: Janie here is a long-time Gator, while Clark is a long-time Tampa guy. They both offer differing viewpoints on this weekend's USF v. UF matchup. While Clark says 'Go Bulls' (read that here), Janie picks the Gators.
Ah, Gentleman Clark. You make quite a compelling argument. But (and isn’t there always a ‘but’ in these sorts of conversations?) I beg to differ. For when it comes down to choosing my side in a contest such as this, there’s no question nor hesitation.
In a nifty twist, I technically have two horses in this race, as I have degrees from both USF and UF. And while my years at South Florida were much more academically impressive (but boy, did I have one hell of a good time in Gainesville), my true loyalties are tinted orange and blue. As my grandmother and mother and father and uncle before me and my brother, sister-in-law, and cousin with me, I have cheered for the Gators as long as I can remember. And that’s not changing. CHOMP!
Being a Gator means cultivating and engaging rivalries. I won’t bore you nor dignify those sporting enemies of my school by naming them all but I’d welcome adding USF to the mix. Bring it on. We like rivalry games. Especially with teams who bring some talent. And while I will never hold the Bulls in vitriolic contempt as I do other teams coughFSUcough – heck, on any other Saturday, I’ll be rooting for them – I’m always going to dance with the one who brung me. CHOMP!
Being a Gator means that in all kinds of weather we’ll all stick together. Even when such horrors as last week’s game play out. I’ll cop to being one of those Tweeters who was bemoaning how awful the team looks. Per my sports girl’s creed, it’s totally fine for me to deal out some constructive, oft profane, loving criticism. We in the Gator Nation carry high expectations for our team and we aren’t shy about voicing them. But hearing such criticism from foes only serves as fuel for our fire. We will rise to the occasion, despite the burgeoning confidence of Bulls fans and those who wish to see the Gators fail. Yes, I know who you are. There’s a list. CHOMP!
As a passionate fan who bleeds Orange and Blue, I’ve been lumped in with those supporters (and I use that term loosely) who are labeled as arrogant and obnoxious and reviled. Every family has some bad seeds – such is the case with a sports family. And while I’d bet most of those clowns giving Gator love a bad name are Johnny-come-latelys to being fans, those of us who have sat through 0-10-1 seasons (that was one long fall in 1979) and sanctions and SEC frustrations have earned the right to be confident in a very proud way about our team. CHOMP!
So bring on the Bulls and their youthful exuberance. We welcome the challenge. But when all is said and done, at the end of the game, it will, as always, be great to be a Florida Gator.
By the way, please note that nowhere in this article is a mention of He-Who-Does-Not-Need-To-Be-Named, now toiling out in Denver. He's moved on. So have we. And we are still the most awesome team in the state of Florida.