Many people have commented that the Swamp seems to be slipping this year. Besides the boos, people are horrible this year about getting to the stadium on time and leaving way too early. It’s like we’ve been invaded by orange and blue-clad Dodger fans. Pat Dooley even brought that up today.
Now, the only home games we’ve had so far have been blowouts (or an ugly, sloppy blowout in the case of Kentucky) so that explains why people have been leaving early. A lot of alumni probably left Kentucky early as well because of long drives home after a late game, and that’s understandable. All the students leaving early is not acceptable.
In fact, there even has been a Facebook group started called “Florida Football Etiquette.” The rules are aimed at students, but most could apply to anyone. Since Facebook is locked to members only, here’s the list verbatim (so pardon the grammar, capitalization, etc):
1. Thou shalt not ‘BOO’ anyone on our team
2. Thou shalt not bring out our keys (Bad Bad Karma…)
3. Thou shalt not start the wave when our offense is on the field (it may look cool but it’s cool enough to distract our offense… so stop – and when we’re on defense you should be screaming)
4. Thou shalt not stay silent when opposing team is on offense (Screaming starts in the huddle NOT when the whistle is blown and can end after the snap)
5. Thou shalt not sit during the actual game (excluding the exceptions, half time, time outs, extremely painful feet, play or penalty reviews etc)
6. Thou shalt not leave without singing the Alma mater and the Orange and Blue fight song at the end of a winning game.
7. Thou shalt not underestimate any SEC opponent (see: Vandy 2005)
8. Thou shalt cheer for tebow AND participate in Leak for Heisman chants.
9. Thou shalt not chant “Tebow” after our senior qb with a passing efficiency of 174 has a bad play
10. Thou shalt… If you’re a jacka** (or told you’re a jacka**) when drunk, then don’t drink heavily before the game cuz you’ll ruin it for others, jack a**!
11. Thou shalt not scalp student section tickets to fans of the visiting team.
I would also add:
12. Thou shall not start chanting things while the band is on the field for pregame, even if you can’t hear them chiming the hour.
I know that it’s fun to chant “Let’s Go Gators!” to get the team fired up, but when the team is still in the locker room and the band is playing something, it’s not appropriate.
So, if you’re going to the game this Saturday, show up at least 20 minutes early so you can watch the pregame show. It really is cool, and it will get you properly fired up for the game. Right after they’re done, they have Mr. Two Bits come out to lead the entire stadium in his signature cheer. Then, there’s the awesome video they play right before the team runs out. It’s all a fantastic experience, and I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to be there for it.
If you’re going to the game, get there at least 20 minutes early and follow these guidelines for being a fan. If you’re not going, send a link to this to someone you know who is. I’m not trying to drive traffic for the site (do you see any ads?) but rather to make sure the Swamp is at its best.
There’s a lot of Bama fans making noise this week about their stadium environment being better than ours. That’s utter nonsense, and we need to show them why. The game starts when the band marches in for pregame, and ends after everyone has sung the Alma Mater and “Orange and Blue.” Got it?