It is one of my very favorite football weekends of the year. It’s time for the Florida-Georgia rivalry. The game, which has long been played at a neutral site in Jacksonville, is a fan favorite for both sides.
The Florida-Georgia game is often referred to by another moniker - “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” That name originated in the 1950s and stuck as a popular unofficial nickname given to the annual match-up. However, in 2006, both schools asked CBS and the City of Jacksonville to not use the epithet when promoting the game. It should be noted that the game isn’t technically called anything - the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, and any other associated titles bestowed upon the annual SEC East contest between the Gators and Bulldogs, are all nicknames.
The latest attempt to introduce another designation for the game appeared on t-shirts released earlier this week dubbing the match-up the “River City Showdown,” much to the ire of many Gators and Dawgs.
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is not called the River City Showdown.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) October 24, 2016
It's called The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Stop trying to make this a thing, schools. The game already has an excellent name. It's OK to acknowledge that people enjoy a cocktail. https://t.co/Q0ZUdAIfo9— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) October 24, 2016
The "River City Showdown" is not a thing... It's called The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party lol— Alex Anzalone (@AlexAnzalone34) October 27, 2016
Besides, there was already another River City Showdown. pic.twitter.com/tob3PjIQuO— Seth Emerson (@SethEmersonAJC) October 24, 2016
It should be noted that this is not an official attempt to re-name the game, and that neither school endorses the name - they just sell the apparel that licensees have emblazoned with it. (If you go to shop.floridagators.com, prominently displayed on the second banner, you will find the aforementioned River City Showdown merchandise for purchase.)
There were a lot of folks mad on the internet about the River City Showdown title. However, that nickname, like all the others - including World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party - are unofficial. The WLOCP one stuck but I really don’t see River City Showdown doing the same. So the River City Showdown handle is silly, not likely to be a thing, totally unofficial and optional to use - rendering this another nontroversy*.
There is also some debate about whether to call the game Florida-Georgia or Georgia-Florida. Each fan base seems to favor the version with their team’s name first, naturally. Florida-Georgia, the alphabetical listing of the teams, is often used. Some entities rotate their usage of Florida-Georgia or Georgia-Florida so that the designated home team is listed first.
Do any of you care about the game’s nicknames? What gets you most excited about Florida-Georgia? Are you looking forward to hearing Verne Lundquist call his last game in the rivalry (after he becomes the first member of the media to be inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame)? How many of you lucky Gator fans will be at the game experiencing it firsthand? What are you excited to see tomorrow - Florida’s running game? The return of some of Florida’s defensive players? Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor working against Georgia’s passing game? Tell us in the comments!
*I stole this from Andy, so credit to him for that.