Since it is Florida week, I would just like to refer everyone back to my post from last years game about jean shorts and Gator fans. It has become the most requested page on my site, and although it isn’t quite as valid this year (game is in FL), it’s still pretty damn amusing.
Category Archives: Florida Gators
Today, the other four SEC teams in the NCAA tournament will play their first round games. Here’s a quick preview on each of their games.
1:45PM Tennessee(5) vs. Long Beach State(12)
This game is one of today’s upset picks by the CBS analysts. And, as everyone knows, that means the upset will not happen! Just look at yesterday, when Vandy was the upset special, and summarily dismissed George Washington by the largest margin of victory for the day. Long Beach State just doesn’t have any experience playing top teams, except for a 30 point defeat to UCLA at the begining of the season. UT should be too much for the 49ers, and Chris Lofton loves the big stage. 66-55 UT.
Update: Tennessee has scored 57 points in the first half, so my score may be off slightly…
8:40PM Kentucky(8) vs. Villanova(9)
Although Kentucky is my second-favorite team, they just haven’t been taking care of business this year. They have shown the ability to consistently lose close games, so unless Tubby has turned around the mental toughness of this team in the past week, they don’t have what is needed down the stretch. UK has lost 6 of its last 10 games. Conversely, ‘Nova has won 7 of 10, and two of their losses have come at the hands of 2 seed Georgetown (by a total of 8 points). Sadly, I think I will be saying goodbye to the Wildcats today, which could mean a goodbye to Tubby as their coach, also. 78-74 Villanova.
8:50PM Florida(1) vs. Jackson State(16)
What to say here, Florida is one of the nation’s elite; Jackson St. is not. In Jackson St.’s only game against an SEC opponent this season, they lost by 31 points to Alabama. For an upset here, it would really take a triple dose of March Magic. Florida has rebounded from their February slump, just like last year, and is storming into the tournament. Even the second and third string Gators should handle this Tiger team. 81-58 Florida.
8:55PM Arkansas(12) vs. USC(5)
This game should be an exciting matchup. Before losing to Florida in the SEC championship, Arkansas had won 5 in a row. USC has played the top members of their conference very close all season, but has also had some surprising losses, their last one being a blowout in the Pac-10 finals to Oregon. They seem similar to a Vanderbilt, who plays to the level of their competition so often. This game is being played in Spokane, so the Pac-10 crowd should give USC a loud group of supporters. One big question in this game is whether Charles Thomas will be available for the Razorbacks. He helped lead Arkansas into the SEC title game, but wasn’t available against Florida when they fell by 21. If he isn’t playing, I see about a 10 point victory for USC, but if he is healthy enough to contribute, this could become a tournament classic game. 74-71 USC.
ESPN’s Page 2 posted yesterday about the favorite song of day-glo orange fans everywhere, Rocky Top. It touches on many issues facing Knoxville residents, from the cost of phone service to a new frightening trend: “date mauling.”
In the overall feeling towards Rocky Top, I have to disagree with the author though. There are few things that make me angrier than listening to this chorus blaring across a football field. Which is sad, because once upon a time I liked the song itself….. but then I went to college. In the SEC. And not in Knoxville.
For my personal “worst sound ever,” it comes down to a close race between Rocky Top, the “Go Gator” intro played by the Florida band, and a slowly dying cat with a wad of bubble gum stuck in its throat clawing on a chalkboard.
In response to a recent comment, I wanted to reassure everyone that although I have been missing from my blog recently, I have not been taking a hiatus from Vanderbilt sports in general. In the past few weeks I have:
- Attended the Houston College Baseball Classic, in which the Diamond ‘Dores went 3-0 including a win over then-#1 Rice, and a thrilling extra innings victory over Arizona State. While a walk-off home run is always fun, it’s not every day you get to see a walk-off stolen home plate. Due to this performance and their continued domination, the baseball team is now ranked #1.
- Made a trip back to Nashville to see the men’s basketball team knock off #1 Florida. Remember my last post? I think I called this one. This game was quite exhilarating, and had the best crowd and atmosphere I have seen probably since 2004. The team definitely responded with a well-controlled game, including a definite victory in the mental game. Even though we were called for many fouls, I think they helped keep Florida from finding a rhythm more than they hurt our team.
- During the same trip, I watched the women’s team completely destroy the South Carolina team the next day. Our women’s team is quite fun to watch, putting up as many 3’s as the men’s team, and with a great inside-outside game.
- Asked many many bar owners to put Vanderbilt games on TV in Houston. Thus far, it has been quite a success! Compared to a year or two ago, many more bars pick up the out of area games, which helps me out a lot.
And now, the ‘Dores have won their fourth game in a row against Kentucky, which completely sealed up their NCAA tournament bid for this year. Now we just need to get into the 4-5 seeding range. If we can close out our season with two more wins, and end the SEC campaign at 11-5, I think that we will be quite happy with our seed, no matter the SEC tournament results. It will be very nice to not have to be biting my nails on Selection Sunday!
Vanderbilt faces their toughest test of the season tonight when they make the trip to the land of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, and several million retired people. They face a top-ranked Florida Gators team that has not lost a game since early December.
However, Florida has recently shown some weaknesses, including a near loss to a struggling Ole Miss team. Normally, this would be a glimmer of hope for the Commodores, who are rarely ever given a chance against the top of the league. However, the Gators are definitely aware of the status of Vanderbilt this season. The ‘Dores have just cracked the top 25 for the first time in several years, and are being called the “hottest team in the SEC’ by many sports analysts. So, the “bomb squad” can be assured that the Gainesville crowd and team will be as prepared as if they were playing Kentucky tonight….. well, almost.
Can Vanderbilt win tonight? Yes, they have shown the ability to win games as the underdog for the past 3 weeks. Will they? I doubt it. The ‘Dores always tend to struggle when they visit Florida. Last year, they were blown out in Gainesville, then almost knocked off the Gators on the return trip to Nashville. I feel that Vanderbilt’s chance to knock off Florida will come not tonight, but on Feb. 17th. However, a solid performance, win or lose, will keep the supporters around and keep the team’s spirits high as they work towards an NCAA tournament berth.
Do basketball Gator fans still wear jean shorts?
Despite a 4th quarter rally by Vanderbilt, the Florida Gators held on to beat the ‘Dores by a score of 25-19 on Nov. 4th.
Since this was an LF special (LF=Lincoln Financial, who took over the SEC broadcasting business from JP Sports when they bought the parent financial company), the game started at 11:30am. Not exactly my favorite gametime. This meant I had to be out tailgating around 9am for this one. So I woke up around 8:30, threw on a hat, and headed over to tailgate. Not surprisingly, our normal tailgating crew was nowhere to be found. Only me and one other guy made it out. So we decided to walk around and made it to the law school tailgate party.
I am still amazed that a group of people that can tailgate at 9am for a 1pm game, can’t get out of bed to tailgate at 9am for an 11:30am game. Oh well…. The law school put on a good tailgate, except that most of the students who showed up were actually Florida fans. It almost felt like tailgating for an away game, much like the Michigan dental school tailgate. Got in a few games of cornhole, even though their set was waterlogged and the bags were more like throwing stuffed animals than bean bags.
The game got off to a bad start, with Vanderbilt having several punting/special teams mistakes leading to some quick Florida scores. With Florida leading 22-6 it started to look like Vanderbilt wouldn’t be able to get anything going. However, Chris Nickson led the team on two fourth quarter scoring drives to bring the score up to 25-19. However, Bryant Hahnfeldt’s onside kick bounced too far into Florida territory for Vandy to recover, and Florida got the one first down they needed to run out the clock.
Vanderbilt has suffered a long series of close and disappointing losses this year. However, in my estimation, their competitiveness has not looked like a fluke. In each game, Vanderbilt has looked like a team that has the ability to compete week in and week out, and the next step will involve being able to pull victories out of some of these games. Vanderbilt has only been able to do that in one instance this year, against Georgia, when a late scoring drive sealed the victory. If Vanderbilt could pull out just half of their close games, they would be a bowl-bound team.
This year the Commodores are 1-4 in games decided by a touchdown or less. If they could just move up to around .500, they would be 2-3 or 3-2 over those games, giving them either a 5-5 or a 6-4 record at this point. This will be the next challenge in front of Bobby Johnson and his staff as they move to the 2007 season. But it does feel good to be halfway through November and still have bowl possibilities alive!
NASHVILLE, TN – Local stores have begun preparations for a surge in expected sales in advance of this weekend’s matchup between Vanderbilt and the University of Florida. Besides the normal jump in cheap beer, grain alcohol, chewing tobacco, and
camouflage clothing huntin’ attire seen on football weekends against SEC schools, Gators fans buy one other item in surprisingly large quantities: jean shorts.
Favorite purchase of Gators fans.
We talked to local Sears manager Robert Carrinzo about this unique phenomenon. “We first started noticing this trend about 8-10 years ago,” said Carrinzo. “Normally, by the time the Florida game shows up on the Commodores schedule, we have already removed jean shorts from our shelves. They would just buy a full pair of jeans, ask for a pair of scissors, and cut off the legs right at the sales desk! Now, in anticipation of this being a regular occurrence, we keep several boxes of shorts in storage after we ship back our other summer items to the distributor.”
At a local Wal-Mart, we caught up with an early-arriving Florida fan to try to figure out what causes this jump in sales.
“Damn, I just love me my jean shorts,” stated Earl Mitchum, of Alachua, FL. “But dammit all, if the damn rusty springs in my ole truck didn’t just rip the ass right out of my last pair. It’s a fur piece up here to Tennessee, so by the time I got here, I needed me a new pair.”
Earl Mitchum, Florida Fan
When asked why he and other Florida fans love jean shorts so much, Mitchum replied, “Damn, I dunno. I guess I started wearin’ ’em when I ripped the legs off my jeans. Then I got twice the use out of ’em. Guess I just got used to ’em.”
While not normally calculated in the economic benefits of football games, Wal-Mart, Sears, JC Penney, and other local stores expect to see up to a 630% increase in the sales of jean shorts and jean short accessories over the next four days. While not considering it a make-or-break weekend for the store, Carrinzo said, “This is always a great bonus for us, and is definitely going to get our sales off to a good start for the month. Two years ago when Florida played Vanderbilt in Nashville, I made half my quota just on this weekend. Who’d have thought that jean shorts would be the item that saves our revenue statistics during the down period before Christmas rush?”
Not us, Richard, not us……
For more information, please check out Gators Wear Jean Shorts