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.
— Ryan Farr (@ryanrunfarr) October 1, 2018
“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.”