Farr epitomizing Florida football team’s need for fun

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When he's performing his job on the playing field Florida senior long snapper Ryan Farr is serious. But on the sidelines or in other occasions, he likes to have fun with his teammates. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Take a glance toward the sideline, and you’ll likely see Florida’s enthusiastic specialists. They’re yet to be household names like Eddy Pineiro and Johnny Townsend, both now with the Oakland Raiders, but they’ve brought amusement to both Florida fans and the team in Dan Mullen’s inaugural season in Gainesville.

It seemingly started at Florida’s Fan Day midway through preseason camp. Senior long-snapper Ryan Farr, disguised as a Gators fan in fake glasses and a fishing hat, made his way through the autograph line in an attempt to deceive his teammates into thinking he was a stranger. It worked on many Gators, and the UF-produced video once again emphasized the return of fun in the Florida program.

And Farr and his fellow specialists have kept up the high-energy antics throughout the 2018 campaign. They can often be seen mimicking the offensive huddle, playing harmless pranks on teammates and, most recently, playing the air guitar during Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” before the fourth quarter. As the camera zoomed on him, Farr sealed his performance with a kiss.

“I didn’t notice the camera. I was just shredding and all of a sudden I look up and somebody was pointing at it, I was like ‘oh, it’s game time now, I better start really performing’, and then after they come up to me and I blew a kiss at the end,” Farr said. “My grandma actually called me and she’s like, ‘I thought that kiss was for me.’”

The Las Vegas native traded in his real guitar for a chance to snap at Florida, and Farr said it felt good to imagine picking up his axe once again. For the Florida faithful in attendance Saturday, many of whom have sought a reprieve from Florida’s “us against the fans” mentality, Farr’s fun-loving antics seemed to be much appreciated. And he’ll be the first to tell you he has plenty of time on his hands to think up hijinks.

“We snap, we warm-up, we come out before the team, so we kind of get our work in then. And then we get our punt period and PAT, and whatever else. We get it done real quick, do a little training and then you can only do so much, so we move on to just kind of like playing, some different stuff,” Farr admitted. “During games, if the defense is on the field, we’re kind of just chilling. We may have a little too much time on our hands, but we make good use of it.”

Set to play his final home game Saturday against Idaho, Farr now understands the pressure that comes with playing for a Power Five program with a rich history. But if he’s learned anything in his tenure, it’s that the gravitas of college football should come with a hefty dose of amusement on the side.

We just go out there and try to have fun. We’re just trying to have fun and bring other kids on the sidelines up and just kind of get the fans excited, too. Just like, messing around, man, just trying to have fun out there, cause it’s real serious when I’m on the field, I’m real serious,” Farr said. “But I really just like to have fun with football. It’s a sport I grew up loving. And the other specialists did, too. I’m just trying to have fun while I’m out here. It’s a business, but I like to enjoy myself, especially because I’m coming up on my last three games, including the bowl game. While I’m still here, I’m just trying to have a good time.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Dang it Sparky, I can’t help it. Graham just knocked it out of the park again with a well timed, well written, and very clever article! He even worked in the word, “gravitas”…..which has previously only been used by the elite national media. Let me see YOU do that! 😂

    Sincerely,
    Graham’s Grandfather

  2. A very fun read that offers some insight into some of the team members who don’t get all the attention. Hopefully, we have the feelers out there on the recruiting trail for a new minister of fun. Maybe there will an article next offseason talking about whether he feels any pressure to fill the giant clown shoes left behind by Farr.

    Or maybe this headline, “New recruit willing to go as Farr as it takes.”

  3. I love players who can play hard with full focus on the field but also have the ability to not take themselves too seriously. Allows them to play at their best while enjoying the game. After all, that is what is…a game!

  4. Well said my friend. One of the things I admired about Spurrier was his keenly competitive spirit and love of winning, all the while keeping the game and his job in perspective. He worked hard at “coaching ’em up” and just as hard at enjoying a family life and of course, golf.