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HATE WEEK 2014: Back to the Business At Hand

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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, unfiltered form. This is that week.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, Dawg fans. We spent all day yesterday venting our collective spleens towards our tyrannical overlords in the north.  Starting this morning, however, it's time to refocus.  Yes, Todd Gurley is still scheduled for a parole rejection party this week... probably on Friday. But we can hate the NCAA all year.  There's only one HATE WEEK for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, and we've still got a lot of hatin' to get done before our Georgia Bulldogs arrive in Jacksonville this Saturday.

We need to get our heads back in the right place. So, if you all would please stand and join me in a rousing chorus of a little song I like to call, "Gators!  Gators!  How'd ya like to bite my..."  well, you get the idea.

(group sings loudly in not-quite-unison... GATORS!  GATORS!  HOW'D YA LIKE TO BITE MY (expletive)!)

Redcoats, can you help us out here, too?  (The 0:48 mark is what you're looking for here.)

Thanks!  Ain't nothin' finer in the land, folks.

Alright.... good! We're getting the haterade flowing again now.  But, you know, with all the bile and venom that we collectively expended yesterday, I'm thinking some of you might need a little extra juice to get you going again.  I mean, we still hate the Gators, but since they suck so badly this year, are you finding it hard to hate them quite as much as you might have in years past?  Well, then... fear not, my fellow citizens of Bulldog nation!  I have done an extensive amount of research to bring the following bits of trivia about the Gator nation. If this doesn't inspire you to heap mountains of scorn upon the Sunshine State Saurians, then nothing will.

(Also, please note:  since I was forced to fire my fact-checker after several egregious errors in the past few weeks, I have been unable to completely verify all of the claims below.  I'm sure they're all absolutely true, though... no need to worry about that.)

DID YOU KNOW:

  • The landmark "Century Tower" on the University of Florida's campus was actually named in recognition of the amount of time it was estimated it would take to completely rid the original Lake City UF campus of the smell of opium. (This is the actual reason why Florida's campus was moved from Lake City to Gainesville in 1906.  The media has pulled the wool over our eyes about this fact for nearly a full century.)
  • Florida's initial football season in 1904 was such a disaster (0-5 record, outscored 225-0) that the school didn't even field a team in 1905.
  • When UF did restart its football program in 1906, they played 8 games, but only 3 of them were against actual colleges, and only 1 game was against a college that currently has a Division I team. (That college was Mercer, and they lost 27-3.  Go Bears.)
  • The original draft of the book "Farenheit 451" was actually a nonfiction documentary-style book discussing the average daily high temperature in July in Gainesville, Florida.
  • After restarting their football program in 1906, Florida played 5 full seasons of football before they scheduled any games against a team that currently competes in Division I-A. (They played South Carolina and Clemson in 1911.)
  • A University of Florida alumnus was directly responsible for the creation of the Star Wars Holiday Special.
  • From 1909-1913, Florida's head coach was the noted United States Marine G.E. "Gomer" Pyle.
  • In a brazen display of selfish, unpatriotic fervor after being humiliated 75-0 by UGA in 1942, the University of Florida declared war on the United States of America in 1944, during the middle of World War II.  They conquered the Mayport Naval Air Station, the Jacksonville NAS, and Camp Blanding in the state of Florida before turning their attention to the north. Finally, thank God, they were repelled and dealt a humiliating (12-0) defeat by US amphibious troops in Norfolk, VA on November 24, 1945.
  • The Gators have an all-time losing record versus the Indiana Hoosiers.  In football.
  • The Gators also have an all-time losing record versus Ole Miss, North Carolina, Rice, Temple, and Villanova. They have played all of these teams at least 3 times. (And they've played Rice 8 times.)
  • During the early years of his career, Walt Disney's primary competitor was a (now) little-known cartoonist from the University of Florida, whose primary character was Sherwood the Syphilitic Snuffleupagus. After Disney became famous, he crushed the career of this now-forgotten Florida Gator, and the only surviving remnant of his work is a minor character on a children's show on public television.
  • The term "lawyer up" was originally coined at the University of Florida in 1927, though it did not mean then what it means today. In 1927, a student at UF named Lawton Fundilliquous Blunderpump (nicknamed "Law") became the first undergraduate ever to graduate with a 4.0 in Gainesville.  In fact, he was the first student at the flagship institution of higher learning in the Sunshine State that actually was able to read and write. As a result, whenever the professors asked a question in class, all of his fellow students would turn to Lawton for the answer and would say in unison, "Law, yer up."  As no one was able to write this phrase down for posterity, however the oral storytelling tradition in Alachua County rather quickly morphed this phrase into the now-ubiquitous "Lawyer up."
  • Before 1952, Florida had exactly 2 players that had been named to the All-America team. (Georgia had 17 All-Americans in that time.)
  • Florida's original mascot was not the gator. When UF first adopted their official colors in 1910, they chose green and blue, to reflect the predominant colors in the swampland around which they were located. A poll was taken of the student body, and the mascot that won the vote was the Swampass, a now-extinct species of donkey that roamed the swamps of prehistoric Florida. Unfortunately, the "Florida Swampasses" name was not received positively by the wider fan base at the time, so the university administration officially changed the mascot to the alligator in 1911, and the official colors were changed to the orange and blue that we know today.
  • Florida didn't score back-to-back wins in Jacksonville vs. the University of Georgia until 1952 and 1953, which were the 31st and 32nd games played in the rivalry, respectively.
  • When the Gators pulled off a huge recruiting coup to bring a highly-touted young Tennessean named Steve Spurrier to Gainesville in 1963, it was actually just a huge misunderstanding.  You see, as a senior in high school Steve decided to take a spring break trip to Panama City, and while he was there, he was approached by what he thought was a time share salesman. The salesman was very slick, and offered Steve a contract that only limited his commitment to 4 years, after which he'd get off scot-free. Spurrier thought this was a great deal, and he was planning to party in PC all the time anyway, so he signed up. As it turns out, that time-share salesman was actually a recruiter for the University of Florida, and he had swindled the impressionable kid from the mountains of eastern Tennessee into signing a national letter of intent to play for the Gators. Unfortunately, by that time, the binding contract had been signed, so Spurrier had no choice but to matriculate at UF.
  • Prior to the 1977 Sun Bowl, Florida had only played in 2 bowl games outside the state of Florida. (Both were the Sugar Bowl, and both were losses.)
  • After resigning as the University of Florida's athletic director in 1980, former head coach Ray Graves became vice president of Steinbrenner Enterprises. As in George Steinbrenner.  As in the New York Yankees. Damn Yankees.
  • Long before the University of Florida joined the Association of American Universities (AAU) in 1985, they had established a reputation for excellence. Going back to the 1950's and '60's, Florida had been long renowned as one of the top cosmetology schools in the country. Their extension programs were legendary.
  • There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the Big Ten courted the University of Florida before deciding to add Penn State as their eleventh member in 1990. There were some informal discussions about the possibility of reaching into the major metropolitan markets in the state of Florida, but ultimately the Big Ten commissioner decided that his conference already had enough football programs that couldn't beat Georgia.
  • Since Steve Spurrier left Gainesville, Florida has only had its head coach named SEC Coach of the Year one time. It was Will Muschamp.
  • Not many people know this, but the "Gator Chomp" actually originated as an old folk remedy to ward off malaria.  So many people were doing it during Florida games, though, that it just seemed to catch on.
  • Tim Tebow.  No, that's it.  Tim Tebow.
  • A lot of people seem to think that Florida's marching band is named "The Pride of the Sunshine" after the Florida state motto.  That is not correct, however.  When the band was originally formed, the members just wanted everyone to think they were really bright.
  • The current head coach of the Gators has secretly given special rings to all of his teams over the last 3 years.  Those rings say, "It doesn't matter what your record was. You're all MusChampions in my book."

Well, Dawg fans, I hope that this trivia lesson has been sufficient to help reawaken your hate and scorn for all things Gator.  I'll conclude this series tomorrow, though it might be later than normal, as I'll be driving down to enemy territory to prepare for the big event. Until then...

Go Dawgs!  Beat Florida!