Fact or Fiction: Will some fans in stadium defy the UF administration and chant “Gator Bait”?

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Fans hold up a sign during Florida’s game against Auburn at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium last Oct. 5, 2019. [Matt Pendleton/Correspondent]
There are truths and untruths in the world of sports. And there are also opinions that are worth discussing. You may agree or disagree. Just do it with decorum. So continues this occasional feature as Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun embrace the debate:
Item No. 1
When Florida opens its season against Eastern Washington, at least 50 percent of the fans in the stadium will defy the UF administration and chant “Gator Bait.”
Andreu: I think the older fan base is going to have a bigger problem with this than the younger one because for decades the chant has been a big part of the Gator experience at games. So, the old guard might be more reluctant to let it go. There has been some venting on social media and some threats of canceling season-ticket orders by some fans. But by the time the season gets here (if it, in fact, does), I think there will be overwhelming acceptance that the chant is gone — and that it needed to go. FICTION.
Dooley: This is certainly a sensitive subject and judging from emails and Tweets there are a lot of upset people about the idea of abandoning a chant that goes back to at least the ’70s. I do believe things will calm down over the next couple of months and Florida will probably offer up an alternative like “Gators Go!” or “Florida Bait!” Still there will be some people who won’t let it go. But not that many. The interesting thing will be if there are fans who get angry with the “Gator Bait” crowd. FICTION.
Item No. 2
A team other than Florida or Georgia will win the SEC East in the next five years.
Andreu: Georgia is on top in the division now and in a position to hold its spot with all the great recruiting coach Kirby Smart and his staff have done. The biggest threat, probably for now and the next few years, is Florida, which has closed a lot of ground in two years under Dan Mullen and likely will be the pick to win the East this season. This very well could turn into a situation like the 1990s where Florida and Tennessee (mostly UF) ruled the East. But I would not discount Tennessee. The Vols finished the 2019 season with a lot of momentum and Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have been recruiting lights out over the past few months. So, the Vols will be a legitimate threat at some point in the next few years. And don’t forget about the job Mark Stoops is doing at Kentucky. FACT.
Dooley: There have been 28 SEC Championship Games and it has been either Florida or Georgia representing the East in 20 of them. And there is no real reason to think that is going to change the way these two teams have it going. You could see one of them fall off but not both. The only team with a puncher’s chance over the next five years would probably be Tennessee, which used to make occasional appearances in Atlanta. It depends on how much you believe in what Jeremy Pruitt is doing but remember that every year he has Florida, Georgia and Alabama on his schedule (not to mention LSU in ’22, A&M in ’23 and Auburn in ’25.) FICTION.
Item No. 3
There will be at least one overtime game this year involving the Gators.
Andreu: The Gators haven’t had one since 2015, against Florida Atlantic in The Swamp, so they’re probably overdue. And with the surreal year that we are experiencing, it only makes sense that some wild and crazy stuff is going to happen on the field this fall, including maybe an overtime game or two for the Gators. How about an overtime game with LSU in The Swamp or Georgia in Jacksonville? That certainly would be exciting stuff. So, yeah, let’s see the Gators go into overtime this season. FACT.
Dooley: Sure. Why not? As crazy as this year figures to be we could see it happen again, maybe multiple times. It has been five years since Florida’s last overtime game against Florida Atlantic in one of the wildest finishes ever in The Swamp (and in the rain). Since overtime came into college football in 1996, Florida has played in eight OT games. Amazingly, six of those games have been in Gainesville. And Florida is due. So count on it, an overtime thriller at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field. FACT.

8 COMMENTS

  1. ”Still there will be some people who won’t let it go.” -Gatorsports.com

    And you all in the MEDIA had to DIG IT UP, and smear it around like a little kid with paint. NOBODY IN MY LIFE (that knows FLORIDA ATHLETICS) KNEW ANYTHING about this UGLY HISTORY. It’s you all that KEEP BRINGING IT UP! So who, AGAIN, won’t let it go?

  2. #1: I must have been laboring under the false impression that Dooley & Andreu were Florida grads, or at least understood Florida — but in retrospect I fear that they both must have graduated from Woke Forest University instead.

    #2: You better hope Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are the heavyweights in the East again, and that everybody else remains capable on every Saturday — because right now the so called national sports media still thinks the SEC has only one division plus one.

    #3: Who cares as long as the Gators win? Did I miss something?

    #4: Gatorgi70x7 for President! Say it with me, y’all, Gatorgi70x7 for President…….

  3. I grew up in Jacksonville during the 60s and 70s and not once did I ever hear the phrase “Gator bait” outside of the Swamp. There are way too many snowflakes out there with too much time on their hands looking for things to be faux offended about. Get a job and a life and quit looking for ways to be a victim.

  4. “My wife (US grad, black-hispanic-white) had this to say about the ban. ‘WTF?
    I am retired reporter. Can’t believe the Sun sports writers would spend so much time digging up a story that NOBODY ALIVE REMEMBERS and she (my wife), our kids (mixed bag of cultures and complexions) have been yelling all their lives and WE HAVE NEVER HEARD A COMPLAINT UNTIL NOW, AND I’VE BEEN A GATOR FAN SINCE I WAS 5 YRS. OLD (NOW 70). SO HOW LONG DID IT TAKE THE PINHEADS AT THE SUN TO DIG UP THIS STORY AND CLAIM IT’S RACIAL HISTORY MADE IT UNSUITABLE AS A CHEER.? I WILL BET ROB $1,000 YOU WILL HEAR ‘GATOR BAIT’ FROM THE STANDS AT THE FIRST HOME GAME. ANY TAKERS. MY WIFE SAYS SHE’LL BET $20,000 TO $1.