logo

ALLIGATOR-HOMECOMING/GATORGROWL

The Gator’s Loudest Growl


buster o’connor

Face In The Crowd

Making good comic use of Rodney Dangerfield’s face on the Alligator’s 1981 Homecoming cover, a group of parade watchers gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Old College Inn on University Avenue across from the Murphree Area tennis courts and Florida Field. I couldn’t find the picture, but the image in my mind is still vivid. As the floats, marching bands, and college clubs approached the Old College Inn, in a planned, choreographed way, all those in the group simultaneously opened their Alligators making it appear to the Homecoming Queen, as if no one other than a crowd of disrespected stand up comedians were watching. 

— University of Florida

On home game Saturdays, the change in Gainesville’s attitude, mood, energy, or whatever you want to call it, is dramatic. It’s a society that revolves around football, and it’s never more intense than on Homecoming Weekend.

The video (above) takes you on a day in the Homecoming life at the University of Florda.

History of the Growl

1979 — Bob Hope (Not A Modern Man)
1980 — George Burns (God As A witness)
1981 — Rodney Dangerfield (Respecting The Gator)
1982 — Robin Williams (“I’d like to fertilize her buds.”)
1983 — Bob Hope (“Eat Lead”)

You too, Not-So-Famous Irene Cara (Fame)

“Genesis Ch.1 V.32”
Alan Parsons Project
I Robot
1977
((( song )))

stan badz

After an always explosive fireworks display, Growls in the early 1980s closed with a mostly green laser light show, accompanied by the Alan Parsons Project’s appropriately moody “Genesis Ch.1 V.32,” an appropriately ambient, moody, and calm musical piece, reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Animals.

1977 Pink Floyd at Tampa Stadium

 


— dave hogerty

Many Homecoming Weekends, before a visitor’s obligatory Sunday morning biscuit and gravy at Skeeters, ended at Lillian’s Music Store. The downtown bar has been a Gainesville icon since the early 1970s when the bar hosted the best local (North Florida) bands, including Mudcrutch, Tom Petty’s band before he brought The Heartbreakers together. Gainesvillian Scott Free, longtime friend of Bo Diddley and George Clinton (Funkadelic, P-Funk), and former musical director for Bernie Worrell’s Woo Warriors, frequently plays Lillian’s.

Tom Petty
Homecoming @ The O’Connell Center

CONTENTS

vol. 1 no. 1
IN THE BEGINNING (Vol.1 No.1)
florida history (1912-1983)
WELCOME TO GAINESVILLE
Much more than just another sleepy, little, North Florida town.
New Student Edition 1981
OPINION (Letters To The Editor)
CONVENIENCE (Is In The Eye of The Beholder)
100 THINGS TO DO (IN GAINESVILLE)
FOOTBALL ALMIGHTY
GATOR GROWL (HOMECOMING)
Gainesville Green (“I’d like to fertilize her buds”)
TOM PETTY (Coming Home)
MUSIC (The Sound of Higher Education)
HALLOWEEN BALL
PREACHERS (On The Green)
In The Beginning/Independence Day (Alt.)
Naked Launch (Pretty As A Florida Picture)
Diamond Teeth Mary (Singing With The Devil’s)
MOVIES (Pop Culture of The Day)
THE MYSTERIOUS MURPHREE STONES
Mucozo and Ortiz

dave hogerty

Comedian Steven Wright headlined the Growl in 1988. Jerry Seinfeld opened, and proved to be much more popular with the 80,000 Gator fans (student and alum) who filled Florida Field. Wright’s slow, deadpan, and thoughtful delivery that plays so well to a camera or in a nightclub, wasn’t as effective as Seinfeld’s more mindless, open-armed, observational style. He had complete command of the stadium.

Gator Growl History