Let's get one thing straight: I hate Florida. It's not just a simple dislike, a harmonious discord, or even a deep, latent enmity. I hate Florida with the fire of a thousand suns being stoked by the fire of an additional thousand suns. In a world where my choices were to cheer for Florida or go blind, I'd start learning Braille. Most of the time, however, I am (relatively) civil while expressing this intense Gator hatred.
For one week a year, though, I allow my hate to come out of the closet and be displayed in its raw, naked form. This is that week.
Dang, y'all... it's already Florida week. I totally let it sneak up on me this year, due to lots of personal life situations that are boring and sound a lot like bad excuses. That's ok, though. My reservoir of hate is always overflowing when it comes to the Gators. Today, I'd like to tell you why.
Last year, I spent the entire week telling you why I hate Florida. This year, however, I'm going to try to branch out a little bit, focusing on more than just the "why." But that's a subject I'll get into over the next few days. Today, we explore why Florida deserves our unreserved, unabashed hatred.
Other than the obvious, of course. (This picture has been lawya'd)
The first and most important point to understand vis a vis our rivalry is this: Everything that is associated with the Florida Gators is completely incompatible in every way with anything associated with the Georgia Bulldogs. There is no similarity in any way in the athletic program, the fan base
, or the administrations (dangit). Furthermore:
1) Florida fans tend to think that either a) their program started in 1990, or b) they "got really good" starting in 1990, but were still pretty good before that. The truth, however, is that prior to 1990, the Florida Gators had the most winless seasons (5) of any member in the SEC, with their most recent winless season coming in 1979. In fact, the first season of football at UF tracked by the college football ratings index was the 1904 team, which went an auspicious 0-5 against teams that would become its future SEC brethren.
The fact that Florida fans are either ignorant or ashamed of their history doesn't change the fact that it exists, and the fact that they mock us for celebrating our history just gives us more fodder for the hate cannon.
2) Florida fans have taken something good and honest:
(This hot picture of Daisy Duke has been lawya'd.)
and turned it into an object of ridicule and shame:
(This picture has been lawya'd.)
For this, alone, we should hate the Gators with an infinite amount of enmity for all eternity.
3) Florida cheats. Now, one might point out that Florida has not been on probation during either of the two most recent head coaching administrations, but I submit to you that cheating does not require one to get caught breaking one of the 10,000,000 rules in the NCAA rulebook.
I submit for your consideration the following statements given by Chris Collinsworth, Florida alumnus, in an interview with the Florida Times-Union in 2009, discussing Florida's winless 1979 season:
I'm not sure that Charley Pell gets enough credit, to this day, for what he started. Coach Pell worked on raising the money to give future teams what we didn't have. Now, he also broke some rules along the way. That always has to be part of the story.
So, he broke the rules, but what he started laid the foundation for the Gator greatness that started in 1990. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an "ends justify the means" argument. "He cheated his butt off, but he's still a great man because he laid the foundation."
Of course, it's worth noting that this is the same man who said in an interview given during his playing days on Monday Night Football:
I'm not gonna deny it, I walk around with hundred dollar bills hanging out of my pocket...I like girls that aren't too bright because you can trick 'em a little bit...high school girls love me. Fourteen to eighteen, I'm a big star with them. As soon as they mature, after they turn 18 years old, they start to figure it out.
So, we know it's obviously not the brightest bulb in the lamp. But we already knew that. He decided to play football at Florida.
There are many other examples of Florida's cheating and dirty play. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, however, I'll give you these thousand words:
Finally, my reason for hating Florida is a very personal one. I grew up mostly in central and south Georgia, and though most of the people we knew and friends we had were Georgia fans, the very small number of Florida fans in our circle were immediately obvious. There were just different from us, even though our families came from the same general area and did much of the same general things. And on the rare occasion that the Gators beat the Dawgs while I was growing up (this was the '80's), they were insufferable. Absolutely strutting around, stick-your-nose-in-it insufferable.
So even when Georgia was expected to beat the Gators year after year, I learned to develop a strong hatred for the Gators. Now that we've lost 19,998 out of the last 20,000*, it's much easier to hate them, and the hate builds every more strongly each year. My roots go back far, though, and go back deep, and my hatred for everything that is the Florida Gators will never abate as long as I'm shuffling along this mortal coil.
* - Or maybe it only seems like that, I don't know.
So, those are a few of my reasons for hating the Gators. Why do you hate Florida? I know you have hatred for them. I can feel it... can't you? Share your reasons below! Release your hate! And gain strength from the sharing! (Does weird passionate-Vulcan brainwashing embrace/bro-hug)