Welcome to this week’s installment of the Game of the Week GameDay Guide which features an SEC matchup between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Florida Gators. This is the eighth edition of the Game of the Week GameDay Guide and will continue each week of the 2010 football season. In this week’s edition we visit Gainesville, Fla., and spend a GameDay in The Swamp.
While most of the Southeastern Conference schools are transitioning to cooler weather, Gainesville, Fla., home of the Gators, is preparing for a warm, sunny, football-filled Saturday with highs nearing 80 degrees. With an SEC East championship and trip to Atlanta on the line, Gator fans will be out in full force Saturday in Gainesville, ready to root their team on to victory against their beloved former coach, Steve Spurrier. South Carolina Gamecocks Head Coach Steve Spurrier ironically gave The Swamp its name when he was head coach there in 1990. The Swamp is known for being one of the toughest stadiums for opponents to play and has a capacity of 88,548 with game attendance last season averaging 90,653.
The University of Florida knows how to rally the fan base prior to kickoff and throughout their football games. Head Coach Urban Meyer began the Gator Walk at the University of Florida which begins two hours before each home game and gives Gator fans the opportunity to show support for the team as the players arrive at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, exiting the team buses at the north end, closest to University Ave. This is a popular tradition throughout college football that originated at Auburn University and was implemented at Florida home football games with the arrival of Coach Meyer and has since become a fan favorite.
The trademark of Florida football is the infamous Gator Chomp. The Pride of the Sunshine Band begins playing music eerily reminiscent of “Jaws” and the Gator faithful respond with the Gator Chomp, the motion imitating a large alligator mouth. This motion is instantly recognized among college football fans and brings a since of pride and superiority to Gator fans, as well as the student-athletes and staff. Student-athletes will often show the Gator Chomp following a Gator victory or after a big play.
Throughout the game, Gator fans constantly yell cheers of “Go Gators” or compete in the crowd favorite, “Orange and Blue” cheer, which involves the different sides of the stadium repeating shouts of orange and blue back and forth. Following the third quarter, during the break before the fourth quarter begins, fans show their comradery as they wrap arm in arm with their neighbors and sway to, “We are the Boys.” Strangers become instant friends through their shared passion and pride for the Gators.
Floridahas been a perennial SEC power over the last twenty years in football and is one of the most exciting places to experience a football game. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 athletic venues in the country by ESPN as well as SI.com. Football fans cannot help but get excited when surrounded by 90,000 screaming fans under the lights of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Opponents: be ready because, “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE COME THE GATORS!!!!!!!!”