I don’t know about you, but this Saturday is opening day of GATOR Football and I’m excited. Yes, we love our GATORS but it’s not only about the game but also about the community and how it comes alive during Football Season.
I have tailgated at Stanford, U of Cincinnati, U of Houston, U of Hawaii, U of Texas and for the past several years the University of Florida. Florida wins hands down!!! The town has an unexplainable way of transforming itself into the impressive Gator Nation. Did you know that the public schools close for the Homecoming Parade on the Friday before the game? Now that is commitment.
I’m particularly looking forward to going to Publix Saturday morning. I love to watch men, while gathering their tailgate grub, bump into EVERYONE with their grocery carts. These men have a glazed look in their eye along with a determination to get through the store at warp speed that is frankly a little scary. We women know they will be there and are prepared for the hand to hand combat. It’s hilarious. I would like to add that nobody has ever been injured or maimed, yet. My morning at Publix has become part of my opening day routine. I love the festive crowd and all the jabber on whether we will have a good team or not. I’m always surprised by some of those who have opinions. You would look at them and think “Do they even know what a football looks like?”
Westgate Publix, the closest to campus, even kicks off the season with a huge tailgate party on Thursday before the first game—complete with tailgate food samples, Gators cheerleaders and mascots Albert and Alberta! Giveaways include recyclable shopping bags in Gator orange and blue.
Let’s talk cars! Yes, we have the flags, the usual orange and blue golf carts, but there is always a new creative vision some GATOR maniac has produced that entertains and delights us all. They aren’t hard to find because they cruise the city streets continuously. Gas prices don’t seem to matter on game day.
Football season is just one reason why it’s great living in Gainesville.
Thank you to all who spend the time putting on body paint and tattoos, collect special GATOR jewelry, find that original outfit or create a new GATOR tailgate dish. You make my day! Go GATORS!!!