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Florida Gators Countdown to Kickoff, No. 12: 12 special Saturdays

We take for granted that the Gators play on Saturday. And I’m glad that we can.

Florida v Georgia Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

I have known very few things to be immutably true throughout my life. Life, I have learned, is about change, about things that happen and how they’re handled, about actions and reactions. Weather changes; climate changes. We grow old; we bear young.

But on the weeks when the Florida Gators play football in the fall, it’s on a Saturday.

This is, I think, a little-known and usually-unmentioned aspect of being part of Gator Nation — but it’s valuable. Florida hasn’t played a regular season game on a day other than Saturday in literal decades, making the Saturday routine much easier to adopt into our lives and making the deviations from it — for, like, a national championship game — even more special.

The rhythm of working up to and then coming down from Saturday is familiar to us, and any break in that rhythm for a game marks that game as important.

And in a different vein, any break in that rhythm for a game that isn’t important is going to feel like a betrayal of what we have come to cherish as our typical walk on the bank of the flowing river that is time. The SEC and other powers that be have accommodated the quiet Florida preference to always play on Saturday, and I expect that will continue — but the SEC has made Texas A&M and Tennessee — at least one of which still counts as a proud program — play on weekdays, and Mother Nature has pushed other schedules into disarray.

If Florida is eventually scheduled to play a regular season game on a Thursday or a Friday — or even a Sunday or Monday — it will not be the end of the world. But it will feel dramatically different for us Gators fans, conditioned as we are to think that every day should be Saturday even after the demise of the blog of the same name.

For now, at least, these Saturdays are sacred — and special.