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.
Well, after two long weeks of waiting, it's almost time. 24 hours from now, I will be standing in a parking lot close to
the Gator Bowl Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Alltel Stadium Everbank Field, proclaiming, "It's 5:00 somewhere!" as I crack open a(nother) refreshing libation for consumption.
As for Hate Week 2011... Bravo, Dawg fans! Pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. The Bulldog Nation has come through this week, filling the cyber airwaves with vitriol both poetic and prosaic, and Dawg Sports' 2011 Poet Laureate has made her usual exceptional contributions, as well. My only hope is that tomorrow our team brings it on the field as much as the fans have done this week in the blogosphere!
As for myself, I've already crossed into enemy territory, and will be feasting on the flesh of the enemy for dinner this evening at Park's Seafood Restaurant in Daytona Beach. Stop on by and say hello if you're in the neighborhood! I'll be the big guy in the red Georgia polo shirt and khaki shorts.
To conclude my contribution to this year's edition of Hate Week, I give you the following images of the Florida Gator faithful, designed to incite both laughter and enmity as we lead up to 3:30 BDTZITW* on Saturday afternoon.
(This picture has been lawya'd.)
The Gators were going to use this as a live mascot, but he's really the anti-Coach-Boom, so the idea was nixed.
On the other hand, this was actually the Florida mascot in 1977. Dang, I probably would have pretended my program didn't start until 1990, too. (You can stop watching at about 0:30.)
The best kind of gator. (And, of course, a nod to my favorite Georgian stationed in Nevada, Inteljumper.) (This picture has been lawya'd)
OMG! Did somebody say Tebow was here?!? (This picture has been lawya'd)
And, of course, this is what we hope the stadium will look like around 7:00 BDTZITW* tomorrow night. (This picture has been lawya'd.)
Finally, let me conclude by saying this... If the Dawgs somehow manage to right the ship of history and emerge victorious Saturday evening... you'd better stand back, bro. It's going to get real crazy on the website.
Go Dawgs! Beat Florida!
* - "Best Damn Time Zone In The World." (This is an inside joke with tankertoad, who constantly gripes that we ignore those who are "differently abled" as far as the time zone in which they live. We all know that Eastern time zone is best time zone, anyway.)