Saturday Afternoon Spirit
Some Gators are born with it, others take a little more time.
((( go gators )))

stan badz

By Laura Kelly
Alligator Columnist

Who wants to admit that they would rather not brake for animals? Especially chihuahuas and toy poodles? Or that they may gain some sort of sadistic pleasure from spitting on a Girl Scout? Without even buying any of her over-priced cookies? Or that they laugh at nuns? That they may seriously be considering voting for Reagan? Who would publicly admit that they fall asleep during Star Wars? And it wasn’t because you were on some wonderful drugs? Not many want to bear the ceaseless ridicule, lack of respect and brutal stares some of these confessions would evoke.

During these times of “rally round the flag boys” and the recent resurgence of national pride, nobody wants to be called unpatriotic. Not on any level. And here in Hogtown, patriotism translates into the good old orange and blue.

School spirit isn’t dead — there just hasn’t been a whole hell of a lot to yell about. But I understand, from what Charley says, the Cators are really trying. Shouldn’t we respect that?

Let’s stand behind our team. Let’s hear a rousing rah for the Gators. And Mom – if you should hear any of the sordid stories about me, just remember – I did it all for Charley and The Team.

For me, finding school spirit was like finding God. It gave me a purpose, a meaning to my otherwise empty and lackluster life. It gave me something to bore and alienate my friends with. It gave me something to keep me from thinking independently, something to obnoxiously drone on about when others around me obviously had lost interest. I was thankful to Charley and The Team. Thankful that I too, could redeem myself and become part of the family. The Gator family. Why, I can remember, just a couple of years ago.

A LIVING TESTIMONIAL: I was born without the capacity for being even remotely interesting. 1 had no self respect. I tried drugs, crime, turning tricks — but nothing really mattered to me. I went away to college, hoping it would shut my parents up. I didn’t care about anything. I never bathed, ate pizza, smoked pot, roller skated, or had dates. Life was two-dimensional. Then one day on campus, someone told me about Charley and The Team.

The more my new friend spoke, the more it made sense.

When I asked about eternal salvation, my new friend explained that it was just another term for winning the SEC championship. I felt the holy spirit come over me.

My life has changed. My parents don’t understand why I’ve stretched a four-year college stint into an eight-year extended program. I dyed my hair orange and blue and I only go out with football players. I’ve lost the respect and understanding of my friends, my roommate is trying to have me taken away quietly, and my relatives whisper about me at reunions. No one understands. I’d sell my school spirited soul. I’d do it all again. I’d give my all for Charley and The Team. Rah?



If it weren’t for the fans, the Gators would be playing with themselves.”

buster o’connor (graphic gator)

september 29, 1980
vol 74 no 6

By Jay Gayoso
Alligator Sports Editor

Saturday may or may not have been the start of a UF football dynasty. One thing is certain, though, that 90-row circus, more commonly called the east stands, was at the ritualistic peak. Reactions to the Gators’ perfect record are everything short of realistic.

One presumptious fan began a  “we’re number one” chant shortly after UF scored its first touchdown Saturday. Other people argued about UF’s ranking in the nation’s top 10. Seconds later they decided who the Gators would be playing in the Sugar Bowl.

However, a more realistic fan started chanting “20, 20” but he was referring to the number of drinks he had ingested.

But who cares about realism? As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be disappointed if the Gators aren’t in the Super Bowl. Hell, let’s put them in the World Series or the presidential race.

I guess this is what’s meant by Gator magic. I don’t exactly believe in Gator magic, but I’ll be the first one to admit the Iranian crisis and a recession came mysteriously at the same time the Gators were completing a winless season.

And think of the unity brought forth by victory. Sorority girls, and even girls not accepted bycan sit in the same stadium to enjoy a winning football team. Who ever said that God isn’t merciful?

Homosexuals sit with heterosexuals. Bisexuals sit with celibates. And, God bless them, even husbands sit with wives — even if they’re not their own.

As if this blissful brotherhood isn’t too much to ask, those fightin’ Gators give harmony and balance to life by holding onto a perfect record.

“Perfect” is the key word here. If you had to use a one-word definition for Charley Pell, what other word could you use besides perfect? Oh sure, he says things like “Daggumit” and he constantly refers to himself as “we” or “us,” but I’m telling you it was diving providence that brought him to UF (well, money might have helped a little).

It would be criminal to talk about Gator football without possibly mentioning the most underrated feature of last year’s winless season — the cheerleaders. Although modern football stadium sizes don’t allow everyone to see these pom-pom queeens, we all know they’re down there, “psyching out” the other teams with cheers like, “You’re ugly Bulldogs, you’re ugly.” I can personally attest to having seen three Bulldog players in tears after hearing that cheer.

But the real heart of Gator Football has to be the fans. As one fan put it. “Without the fans, the team would be playing with themselves.” I wouldn’t put it so graphically, but there is some logic here. A Gator game has something for everyone — for those people who are at least 6-feet tall, there is a game past all those standing people.

For everyone else, there is a short visit to Sodom and Gamora, complete with alcohol, pot, drugs, and some old guy who runs around blowing a whistle and carrying a sign that says “two bits” on it.

And, of course, there’s that 1980 Gator football team which probably will make history by becoming the first team to give its fans a mass orgasm after completing a perfect season.

buster o’connor




A Florida Journalist, Photographer, and Art Director with an eclectic client list of individuals and organizations with musical, visual, educational, and editorial interests.

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