And the Lord spake and said, "Let there be Dawgs." And there were Dawgs. And the Lord saw that the Dawgs were good. Photo credit: - Sam Greenwood
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 fueled 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.
Welcome to the first full day of Hate Week, Dawg Fans. Feel free to join in RedCrake's artistic expression hate thread, and feel free to create your own Fan Posts and Fan Shots about how much you hate Florida and how hate-worthy they are!
As for myself, I can't help but wax nostalgic about how this seething bundle of hate first started. (I'm the guy who started the "History Learnin'" series, after all...) So let's take a trip in the Wayback Machine:
In 1903, the state legislature of Florida decided that the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City, FL, should be the flagship university of the state (at least, in name). As a result, they officially changed the name of the institution to "The University of Florida." This "University of Florida," oddly enough, fielded a football team, and was, in fact, part of the first intercollegiate football game in the state of Florida on November 22, 1901, when the then-"Florida Agricultural College" played Stetson College in Jacksonville.
So, the University of Florida officially got its name in 1903. Then, in 1904, the University of Florida played a 5-game season, in which they went 0-5 and literally didn't score a single point. In their 5 games, they were collectively outscored 225-0. This included a game on October 15, 1904 against the University of Georgia in Macon, GA. In the first official game played between "a" University of Florida and "the" University of Georgia (more on this apostrophe thing in a moment), the Red and Black (or, as they were called in the papers after the game, the "Georgia Warriors") demolished the boys from the Everglades 52-0.
Subsequently, in 1905, the state legislature of Florida passed a comprehensive education reform act,
outlawing all football until the year 1990 reorganizing the institutes of higher education in the state. Among other things, the "University of Florida" was merged with 3 smaller schools: East Florida Seminary, St. Petersburg Normal & Industrial School, and the South Florida Military College, to become a brand new, completely separate entity.
And what was this completely new, separate entity to be named? "The University of the State of Florida," which was shortened within 4 years back to "The University of Florida." And where was this completely new, separate entity housed? Why, on the campus of the "old" University of Florida in Lake City, naturally! And who was the president of the "new" U of the S of F? Why, the president of the "old" U of F (Andrew Sledd)! The university moved to its current digs in Gainesville the next year, in 1906, but the vast majority of the students, faculty, and administration had previously been in Lake City, and simply moved about 50 miles to the south.
And yet, for some reason, today's University of Florida claims that the 1904 game between Georgia and Florida was not a game between Georgia and the "real" Florida, since the "real" Florida didn't even field a team until 1906. Well, ladies and gentlemen, if it looks like a Gator, walks like a Gator, and stinks like a Gator... then what you've got there is a Gator (even if it doesn't exactly have teeth).
Though, of course, it doesn't surprise me at all that Florida would wish to erase that winless 1904 season from the books. That way, they'd only have 3 winless seasons as a program instead of 4. (For the record, Georgia has had exactly zero winless seasons in its history. Florida last went winless in 1979.)
So, what should you take away from today's entry?
The University of Florida does not know how to history. They only know how to wear jorts and revere the name of Tim Tebow
and Urban Meyer.
That's it for today. I'm really just ramping up the hate train, you know... today is the genesis. Tomorrow, I'll cover the exodus of the series as it wandered in the wilderness for its first
40 30 years. (I promise I won't cover the Leviticus or the Deuteronomy of the series. There probably will be some Numbers, though.)
Go Dawgs! Beat Florida!