Confession: One of my favorite parts of the job of "guy who runs Alligator Army," and thus my life, is live-tweeting Florida sporting events. It's a challenge to say things creatively, amusingly, accurately, insightfully, and concisely, and I generally enjoy that challenge very much; whether I excel at it is up for interpretation, but an absurd number of accounts that do not seem entirely fake follow @AlligatorArmy, so I guess some people think I do.
The difficulty level for live-tweeting is often rather low: I'm sitting in a chair with a laptop beside me or on my lap, and the hardest part is Googling an opposing player's name, or maybe massaging the syntax of a sentence. But when I'm attending a game in person, I'm often flying without the backup of Google, or the luxury of instant replays, or the confidence that I'll be able to delete swiftly.
And when I'm attending a well-attended Florida football game? I'm lucky to get service.
I wasn't lucky on Saturday night, not until the early fourth quarter — when a quintet of tweets that didn't send finally crossed the transom and made it to timelines.
Those five, in their proper order, with some context:
Florida 13, Mississippi 0 is a real score after a full quarter of play.— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) October 4, 2015
This was, obviously, from just after the first quarter ended. What you might not know — but what I did — is that it was also a callback to a tweet sent almost two years ago — yes, I do callbacks — in a much, um, sparser crowd in The Swamp. Reality is changing for the better for Florida.
Lol— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) October 4, 2015
This was after Florida's second touchdown in the second quarter.
Jim McElwain is a damn lie with all this "beat the heck out of us" stuff.— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) October 4, 2015
This was from the beginning of halftime, as Florida ran off the field looking like the more confident and competent team after a thorough thrashing of the Rebels. McElwain may or may not have played his players like a fiddle with his open praise of Mississippi this week. Certainly, the Gators played like they were mad about something for much of the night.
Hugh Fr33z3— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) October 4, 2015
After Mississippi's field goal in the third quarter, which was dumbfounding, stupefying, incredible, amazing, and a dozen other things. Trust me: Those who were paying attention in the stands had no clue why Hugh Freeze opted to get three points, either.
No matter how many times I swing and sway in my life, it will never be enough.— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) October 4, 2015
I think you can figure this one out. This remains my single favorite Florida tradition, and I hope it always will be.
Those were the tweets I sent in a flurry; I got a few more off between the moment in the fourth quarter when they all sent and the end of the game, including one reviving one of my favorite words, a very popular "Final:" tweet, and documentation of the weirdest Florida tradition.
But Twitter and the still-not-really-allowing-most-humans-to-communicate-in-the-way-they-communicate cell service in The Swamp conspired to keep my bon mots (or, well, mots) mostly in a Notes file and my Twitter drafts.
Here, in rough chronological order, and with some context, are some things I would have tweeted, if I could have tweeted them, from pregame and the first three quarters of Florida's win over Mississippi. (There are also some observations I didn't carve into tweets. Sue me.)
I don't think you can really see it in the picture, but this guy's dog was wearing a Lady Liberty crown foam thing on its head. It really completed the tableau.
I had my customary #TweetYourSeat tweet ready.
After Chris Thompson made a play on punt coverage: "Chris Thompson's speed is sometimes an asset!"
After this, which was so, so, so obviously a preface to a "surprise" reunion in the form of the serviceman being in attendance, at least in the stadium:
"The military member reunion is a cheap pop — virtually every crowd will chant 'EWE-ESS-AY, EWE-ESS-AY!' But it's undeniably powerful in person."
After Will Grier's first pass on a naked bootleg to a man down the field: "Four games of PA naked bootleg and finally Florida throws 'deep.'"
After Demarcus Robinson's TD: "D-Rob with a get-it-to victory."
After the subsequent Bryan Cox, Jr. fumble recovery: "This place is a madhouse."
After Florida's second touchdown: "Called the PA; gorgeous fake and decent throw."
On the next Mississippi drive: "Ain't no such things as halfway crooks, Chad Kelly." (He was shook. We all saw that, right?)
After Mississippi's missed field goal: "Unreal."
After Robinson was driven back several yards and taken down on a tackle that followed an incompletion: "Unnecessary 'BULL-SHIT.'"
Florida's board at one point displayed OKLAOMA STATE, spelled like that; also, closed captions rendered Emmitt Smith's first name as "Emit" and "Emmett."
After Mississippi's first penalty: "MOVE BACK YOU SUCK IN AN AROUND." (Seriously, students: You are bad at cuing your chants. It was in an around, it was so disjointed. Get it together.)
After Brandon Powell's TD: "Brandon Powell. Bye now."
"Jarrad Davis dropped a pick-six."
"Will Grier's passer rating dropped after his fourth touchdown drive of the night."
"People actually know the words to 'It's Tricky' and are singing along!"
"Callaway's TD came on a filthy move you can see a lot better from the reverse angle."
There was a lyric I heard as "Yeah, I run with Brick Squad" in a song played after the band performed at halftime, but Google suggests it wasn't that exact bar verbatim. Either way: Song was dope.
The next song played was Sigma's "Nobody to Love" — which is built around Charlie Wilson's vocals from Kanye West's "Bound 2," which I also heard, inexplicably, while walking by a tailgate on 2nd Avenue — which backdropped another video. It was also dope.
After Jonathan Bullard's tackle for loss on the first drive of the second half: "Jonathan 'Burial' Bullard." (I would maybe have linked to this.)
After Antonio Riles Jr. starred in a "Name That Tune" video board skit in which he read the lyrics to Aerosmith's "Dream On": "Antonio Riles Jr. is a terrible air guitarist."
"9:35 for three fucking points."
A "GRIER FOR HEIS-MAN" chant broke out before Grier even took the field in the third.
"Deafening 'BULL-SHIT' for the flag on Thompson's kick catch interference." (I have never heard a louder "BULL-SHIT" chant.)
Fans around me were actually begging Florida to run the clock out IN THE THIRD QUARTER, AGAINST THE NO. 3 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY.
An ad — intercut with Percy Harvin's touchdown run in the 2006 SEC Championship Game, and maybe a certain person screaming "I LOVE YOU, PERCY, PLEASE COME BACK" — played on the video boards late in the third quarter. It ended with the person who introduced the clip saying "I'm a Gator ... and we are Koch." Yes, that Koch.
At one point, "Timber" was played. I noted this by writing TIMBERRRRR, with all five of those Rs.
What? I like "Timber."