There seems to be a storyline we’ve become accustomed to this month: The Florida Gators enter a game where they’re matched up against an opponent, and a fanbase, chomping at the bit and eager for a win. While there’s been no doubt each game has been an important next step and test for this year’s Gators team, has there been more on the line for some (most?) of our opponents?
In Week 2, the Gators hosted a Kentucky team who brought with them 31 years of baggage (some of those bags carrying heavy and cumbersome losses).
In Week 3, Colorado State made the trek from the Mountain West to seek some closure to a strange storyline involving a shared former coach.
In Week 5, the Gators are in for a dogfight with a team and crowd so amped to “see Dan go down” they’ve renamed a certain dairy treat.
For Florida fans, how badly did we need a win to improve a 31-game streak to a 32-game streak? How badly did we need a win against a team whose most recent former coach was the same man who left a sour taste in our mouths? How badly do we need a win to show “Stark-vegas” Dan belongs in Orange and Blue?
It seems, not quite as bad as the other side needs it.
Every game is important, and every game matters. And for our team, every game is an opportunity to show steady improvement and increased commitment to the new Gator Standard.
But, to know that the perspective from the other side is a bit different — that a win over Florida is a major highlight for some football programs’ seasons — is, to me, a nice reminder of how great it is to be a Florida Gator.
It’s a reminder that even when times are tough for our football team (and boy, have they been tough), the chance to play against our team is special and meaningful to a lot of people — and it should always be just as special for us to have the chance to watch the good guys take the field.
What does it mean for you? Does knowing the other side wants to win the game so badly add something extra when you watch the game on Saturday?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: Hi y’all, it’s Leli. This post was actually written by a new contributor Andy has brought on - Alexa Tsongranis. (Welcome Alexa!) Her byline doesn’t appear on this piece because (as we just figured out) only Andy as manager can add author names to the database - and since he is in a vehicle on his way to Starkville right now! - we were unable to get her name up on this post.
Second Editor’s Note: It’s Andy. I’m in Starkville now, and I got the byline changed. Thanks to Alexa for writing this and leli for shepherding it via my very clear (note: they weren’t) instructions via text from a car in rural Alabama.