It’s that time once again for the ultimate rivalry football facedown in Florida. That’s right, the University of Florida and Florida State will be battling on November 30th. The game will be hosted by the University of Florida, so we questioned UF students on what makes this game so special. According to them, this is one game you definitely don’t want to miss. Come support your team in the vast crowds of orange and blue or gold and garnet. Get ready to chomp like a gator or throw your tomahawk. Things are about to get competitive.
Here are the top 10 things that make rivalry game day UF vs. FSU the best game of the year.
1. The History
Did you know that the first rival game between the two teams happened in 1958? This took place after WWII when a mass influxion of education seeking veterans returned home. Soon after, a football team was developed. Then in 1958, the FSU Seminoles traveled to Florida Field to take on the Gators. “It’s a game that is embedded in history, that is passed down from generation to generation,” said UF freshman Muyang Liu. And as the story goes, the rest is history.
2. The Gameday Apparel
On rivalry game day, out come the hordes of orange and blue, garnet and gold shirts, hoodies and hats. To Gator nation, traditionally the orange and blue represents the colors of the sunset or the ocean. For FSU, the administration in 1905 took crimson and combined it with the recognizable purple of the championship football teams to achieve the color garnet. And just you wait for the wave! The rippling effect of the traditional wave done at the football games will create a sea of colors flooding the stadium.
3. The Tailgating
Before the game families, friends and frats all celebrate. Of course, the celebrations can vary in their intensity. However, tailgating on rivalry game day is a necessity for getting properly pumped for the game. Going with friends or family? Well, then you should definitely go to Museum Road. Museum Road will be lined from beginning to end with cars and tents. Let the smell of bbq wafting through the air be your guide. But get here early, spots fill up fast. Tailgating at a frat? Well then expect the unexpected. Need help finding frat row? Just listen for the continuous blasts of music. Normal football game tailgating will look like a quaint get together when compared to the rivalry gameday tailgating parties.
4. The Competition
For many students, being friends with the enemy is strictly forbidden on rivalry game day. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Taylor Lockett (a student from UF) and her boyfriend (a student at FSU) are planning on attending the rival game together. But while she will be cheering “Go Gators,” he will be singing the FSU fight song. It’s the classic romantic tragedy, a boy from FSU and a girl from UF. While her favorite part of the day is spending time with him, getting to jump up and scream out that the “Gators are better!” follows closely. “We absolutely dress oppositely, I bought the tickets this year so he’ll be the only one wearing Seminole colors in the crowd of orange and blue,” Lockett said. She clarified that while the competition between them stays friendly, “the competition is most definitely real.”
5. The Feels
You can practically feel the energy buzzing around each football fan on rivalry gameday. With every single play, both teams sit on the very edge of their seats. For many fans, the outcome of this rivalry game is extremely important. According to Baemnet Abetew, a freshman at the University of Florida, how the rest of the week goes depends entirely upon the outcome of the game. “If we win I will cry tears of joy, but if we lose I will cry tears of sorrow. Either way, I guess I am crying,” she said. The potential highs and lows of this rivalry game create an atmosphere of constant excitement.
6. The Cheers
On a regular gameday the cheers yelled out by the crowd are almost deafening. However, they are nothing when compared to the rivalry gameday cheers. Families and students alike cheer for their favorite team by either chomping their arms like a gator or throwing their imaginary tomahawk. The exhilaration and elation demonstrated by the fans of either team shines clearly through the cheers repeated throughout the game. Just imagine the decibel of the cheers growing and growing. The fierce competition makes the crowd yell even louder and the cheerleaders flip even higher than normal. The routines performed by the cheerleaders and marching band on rival gameday are most definitely a sight to see.
7. Family Time
What beats quality family time watching some good old rivalry football? Nothing. Unless your house is divided like Angel Wells’, that is. For Wells, a freshman at the University of Florida, watching football with the fam is a whole different kind of experience. “Back home my house divided by FSU and UF fans. We sit and watch the game on separate sides of the house. We are only together for the party when we eat food,” said Wells. Other families will travel quite a distance to all come and tailgate together. So, don’t miss this opportunity to bring the family together in whatever way possible.
8. The Bragging Rights
The battle between the two teams is referred to as the “Sunshine Showdown” in which both teams compete for the Florida Cup. Whatever team wins this game attains endless amounts of bragging rights until the next rivalry game. Bragging rights are essentially the trophy for football fans. For Angel Wells, “putting the losing team in their place and rubbing their faces in it” consists of huge parties and celebrations. Many other forms of bragging rights have since been created such as cleverly conceived comebacks. Throughout the game and even after you might hear and even use such favorite comebacks as “FS who not FSU!” and “Haterade!” and “Go lizards!”
9. The Tradition
Many current and past UF students grew up watching the Sunshine Showdown between UF and FSU. When these students eventually grew up and became students at the University their love for the game and the tradition only grew with them. For many students, such as Amanda Carnevale, Gator alumna, the intense need for the opposing team to lose was instilled in her from an early age. “When I was growing up I would go with my family to the rivalry UF vs. FSU football game. “My favorite thing to do was tailgating, dressing up in orange and blue and screaming the cheers at the top of my lungs,” said Carnevale. The intense tradition was something she was raised with as her Dad graduated from UF.
10. The Food
Since UF hosts the game, you need to know the best places to grab grub. Although you might wait in lines for some of the restaurants at midtown, it’s well worth it. Check out the Social at Midtown, located behind the stadium. On game days, they open early. You can even keep up with the game while getting drinks by watching the game on their giant TVs. But beware of crowds, Social can fit about 1,000 people. Another favorite? Swamp Restaurant. The Swamp Restaurant encompasses everything that makes the Gator nation so unique. Good food, times and football. Sit down to a meal with family and friends to soak up the rustic, timeless atmosphere.