Tag Archives: football

Gators vs. Seminoles: GAME DAY!

Okay, for those of you not paying attention, the Top 5 is firmly in the University of Florida camp… BIG TIME!  And, although we’re having a miserable football season, we still proudly rise to the in-state rivalry of Florida vs. Florida State.

So, we’re going with the Gators today… at least until half-time when we’ll re-evaluate the score! Ha!

And, Rivalry Weekend extends to round ball as well, with the Gators and Seminoles meeting up tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FSN/Sun Sports.  And, while we searched for a decent video featuring both teams, we just couldn’t find one, so you’re stuck with a totally awesome Gator Basketball video.  You Seminoles are welcome to either grin and bear it or post a link to your own in the comments below. 🙂


Filed under Florida Gators, Fun, Sports, Uniquely Florida

Gator Nation: Rumors of our death are greatly exaggerated…

I heard a dirty rumor that my University of Florida Gators lost their third consecutive game last night. They were saying this hasn’t happened since the late 80s, and these gossip-mongers now have me in a deep, dark funk.

You see, the Gators just don’t lose three in a row. We don’t even lose two in a row. (Heck, we don’t even lose one unless it means we can still somehow manage to win the SEC and vie for the national championship with that one meaningless, regular season loss.)

Why don’t we lose?

We’re Gator Nation, baby, and we. just. don’t. do. it.

Florida State loses, of that we’re sure. Bobby Bowden may be a god to football, but even he was fallible, especially towards the end.  (And, the Gators don’t even consider football played south of the Ocala Forest as real pigskin, so please don’t bring up Miami and some obsolete swagger.)

And what about the rest of the SEC?  Well, unless your name is Alabama, who we allowed to be ranked #1 pre-season this year–we are gracious Gators after all and don’t mind sharing the spotlight early in the season–we don’t really worry about our lesser SEC foes.  (However, on occasion we will root for Steve Spurrier to win a few games; deep down he is a Gator after all. That and Gamecocks are never good enough to be a real threat!)

But the vicious rumor mill works triple time when the University of Florida is involved.  Gators seem to have a bright orange and blue target on our backs… that’s just what happens when jealousy is at work, you know.

Lies! Deceit! Hatefulness!

What’s this about Tim Tebow leaving us high and dry and that Urban Meyer has no offense?  The entire Gator Nation became Mile High fans (you’re welcome, Denver) and Trey Burton is developing nicely. (John Brantley is just saving a spot for him.)

And what’s this about Chris Rainey threatening girlfriends?  (Just hateful rumors from rival fans… they follow Brett Favre everywhere, too, you know.)

So, don’t try to show me the headlines this morning; turn off Sports Center; tell Craig James to keep his big mouth shut and to maybe let former Gator QB Jesse Palmer talk more.

Tell them all to be quiet because I know Gator alumna Erin Andrews will tell me the truth… when she leapt from former University of Florida Dazzler to Dancing with the Stars, the orange and blue never quite washed out.  She knows what we all know when these hateful rumors of the Great Gator’s death run rampant… and here it is:

“Wait ’til next year!”




Filed under Just for Me, Out of Orlando, Sports, University of Florida

Chomp, Chomp, Gator Chomp!

Florida football starts today!  And to celebrate, I am posting the latest “stuck in my head” song: “Gator Chomp!”

Now, for you Gator-haters out there, I will be happy to give equal playing time to other school videos, as long as they are positive and related to the great state of Florida. (As I said before, I’m a gracious Gator!) So feel free to post a link in the comments or send me a link to your favorite video of your school’s football team.

Let’s get ready for some football!


Filed under Florida Gators, Fun, Just for Me, Sports

So Thankful Football Season is Here! (Let’s hope happy endings are, too.)

Regular readers of the Top 5 are probably well aware that I am a huge Gator fan, being a loyal member of the Gator Nation! (Many moons ago, I stood on the sidelines of the Swamp as a Gator cheerleader, so yeah, my blood really does run orange and blue.) So, it’s right around the end of July when I start itching to see a little football, and by the end of August, I am near crazy with anticipation!

Top 5 editor Bess in her cheering days.

Now, of course, this year my time waiting has been filled by watching Tim Tebow make the leap to the NFL, and while reviews are still out, he does seem to be doing better than many critics would have credited him. (Fingers crossed, but I gotta believe he will find a way…he is Superman after all!)

Tebow Gator Chomp

And I also got a little bit of SEC hate-on by watching former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin back with USC while playing in Hawaii. (But I had to stay up past midnight to do it!)

However, for the last two years, football has been a bit closer to home as my nephew has been playing on the middle school team for Orangewood.  His season kicked off Thursday night at Master’s Academy in Oviedo, and unfortunately the Orangewood Rams got mightily smeared… let’s just say they didn’t stop the time clock for the last 5 minutes due to the “score differential.”

My nephew starting in his first game this season.

But the real story of the night was not the score, but rather an extremely terrifying event. One of Orangewood’s defensive lineman, Evan Pughe, went down during an extra point kick. The rest of the team ran off the field, but when Evan tried to get up, he couldn’t. In fact, from the sidelines, it appeared he could only move his head up and down, in desperate attempts to raise the rest of his body.

The trainers quickly made their way onto the field while the rest of us watched nervously.  We could see they stabilized his head, helmet still on, and stayed gathered around him as he lay helplessly on the field in the blazing sun.  More trainers and coaches made their way on and off the field to him, before calling both young teams to center field to speak to them quietly and then have a group prayer. Then they were sent to their respective sidelines, where both teams knelt in worrisome limbo, waiting to see what would happen next.

The trainers remained extremely professional, but we parents and fans were heartbroken as we watched his sobbing mother be brought down on the field to see her son, kneel beside him, and give what comfort she could. As a mother, I can only imagine the thoughts running through her head!  We also wondered where the ambulance was, as one was not present at the game, and it seemed like at least fifteen minutes before a rescue truck arrived and slowly made its way around the track to the area closest to where Evan was lying still.  (We never saw his legs move once during the entire time he was there!)

Evan was transferred and strapped down to a backboard before being transported to the ambulance, teammates gathering round, saying words of support and encouragement.

And while this story has a happy ending–Evan was released later with just a very sore, sprained neck–it did make me wonder why an ambulance wasn’t there the whole time. Perhaps cutbacks? (I am sure it is expensive!)  Perhaps a risk-analysis?  Perhaps some other reason I don’t even know about? Whatever the reason, perhaps it should be rethought…happy endings don’t always happen in football.

And speaking of football, thank goodness the Gators kick off tomorrow!  So my wish for this season–in addition to another national championship!–is that the thousands of football players who don a jersey this year have a safe and healthy season… especially my nephew!

Go Gators! (Or whoever you are rooting for…I’m a gracious Gator after all!)


Filed under family, Florida Gators, Just for Me, Sports

Thanksgiving Holidays – Florida Style

The Thanksgiving holiday evokes different memories for people, but in my house, Thanksgiving always meant two things: sweet potatoes and football!

1. Sweet Potatoes & Florida Oranges

Anyone who knows me knows I am not big on kitchen skills. I strongly believe a love of cooking is something passed down through memories of time spent with a parent lovingly doting over a blender and stove top. Well, those memories are nonexistent in my household, as my mother despised cooking as much as I do; so, my memories are of quickie meals done out of a few pots or of frequently eating out.  (I don’t blame my mother at all, as she spent her childhood in the legendary Morrison’s Cafeteria where all the wait staff knew her family by name! For generations now, the women in my family just aren’t that domesticated, I guess.)

Some of the few times my mother would put in an effort at cooking was the occasional holiday meal. No, not all of it was wonderful, as cooking takes practice, but there were some dishes that my mother made simply divine. I would put her sweet potatoes toe-to-toe with anyone else’s in the country. She takes the skinned, mashed sweet potatoes and mixes in freshly squeezed oranges, right off the tree. Something about the pulpy citrus juice creates this wonderful texture that almost caramelizes with the potatoes when cooked. Add the traditional toasted marshmallows on top, and it is one recipe that I proudly brag about.

What dishes remind you of this time of year? Any kitchen secrets you want to share?

2. Florida vs. Florida State

Yes, this is the other holiday tradition that simply cannot be missed in my household. Both my husband and I went to the University of Florida–he a swimmer and me a cheerleader–and so we take this weekend very seriously.  Although this football game amounts to little more than bragging rights as of late, it used to be a vital battleground for national rankings.   For almost as far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving weekend means Florida-Florida State.


"Top 5" editor Bess and another Cent. FL native Buffy Thompson before a UF-FSU game.

And, just for kicks, here’s a vintage cheer picture from the late eighties. OMG! I miss that big hair!

So, no matter who you are cheering for this weekend, remember to enjoy who you are cheering with…Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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Filed under family, History, Seasonal, Sports, Uniquely Florida