We need to play some music to get in the mood first.
HELL YES! CHAMPIONSHIP MODE RETURNS!
For the uninitiated, Championship Mode was the founding philosophy behind this website. In fact, it predates Alligator Army by a year, as the Urban Dictionary entry was October 2006 and the first mention of Championship Mode on Alligator Army was in September 2007.
The idea behind Championship Mode is simple enough: for significant games or events, you can reach a heightened mental state that impacts an outcome in your favor. On a personal level, it is the feeling you have before you ace a test, nail a presentation at work, or nail that hot project manager who was impressed by the presentation at work.
For Gator Football, Championship Mode is reserved for the Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and FSU games. Special consideration is given to Alabama, Miami and in emergency situations (such as the 2006 South Carolina game). The K2 and Everest of Championship Mode are the SEC and BCS Championship Games.
Championship Mode is not to be abused. You and your bros getting hammered before the Kentucky game is not Championship Mode. This brings us to a crucial point of Championship Mode: you must be able to impact the game. No drunk has ever been in Championship Mode. A few drinks to get excited is fine. But, I can't get into Championship Mode if you're falling over people and smelling like stale vodka. Additionally, If you are one of those people who show up after introductions, you are a horrible human being.
I say this is a Call To Action because it is Tennessee week and Florida needs you. We have not sold out our first two games, our basketball team played much of last season in front of empty seats and we dropped in the US News and World Report College Rankings. I realize that no one cares about academic rankings, but when Miami is 20 places better than us in anything, you should be pissed off. You don't have to be a Gator grad to appreciate that we should never lose to Miami. Besides, for most of us who are young alums, the second most psychotic Gator fans we know are our fathers who never a four-year school.
Embracing Championship Mode is about more than wearing your lucky shirt for the big games or drinking the same beer. Championship Mode is a commitment to the University of Florida, in all kinds of weather. Maybe you're not convinced Will Muschamp is the right guy, or there aren't any Filipino missionaries for you to identify with on the team. The fact is that on Saturday afternoon, the University of Florida will begin play in the hardest conference in America against a school that advocates killing federal agents in their fight song. You need to get your mind over what ever mental block is preventing you from investing in this team and get your ass into Championship Mode.
Some of you have been reading this and slowly nodding your head in agreement. Others are asking what sort of person invents random crap like this. (This sort of person.) And another group thinks they are the real fans because they spend all day on message boards and don't need silly names for their gameday experience. To those last groups, that is fine. You do what you got to do to make you feel warm at night. But when you watch that game on Saturday or look at that Florida degree hanging on your office wall, ask yourself, "Have I done enough? Did I yell on that third down? Did I delete that email from the Alumni Association asking for membership? Could I have done more?"
While you're wondering if you want to really support the Gators, the rest of us will be in Championship Mode, screaming until it hurts, clapping until our hands are swollen. Just don't be surprised when we give you a dirty look for showing up late and spending the game with your orange and blue crocs glued to the ground.
Coming Thursday, Classic Moments In Championship Mode.