A day of nostalgia in The Swamp

Saturdays in the South during the Fall are dedicated to one thing…College Football.  Last weekend was no different.  My family has had 4 season tickets to the Florida Gators for 52 years.  I went to my first game when I was 6 years old, I was hooked. Gamedays were a big deal when I was a kid.  My whole family would meet at my grandparent’s house and 4 lucky people would get to go to the game and everyone else would stay behind and have a game watching party.

When I was old enough to finally get into the regular rotation of being able to go to the games, the Gators had a young up-and-coming running back named Emmitt Smith. He turned out to be pretty good. Then in 1990 Steve Spurrier became the coach. It was a good time to be a Gator.  As time went on, some of my family members passed away, some got too old to go to games and a couple lost interest.  We are only able to get these tickets through my grandma and as her health deteriorates we are left to wonder: will this be our last year? Is this the last season we will get to sit in these seats?  I decided I wanted to take my two oldest boys to “The Swamp” and watch a game with them from the seats that I’ve been sitting in since I was 6.  This was the last home game of the season, I might never get this chance again.

So me, my dad, and my two oldest boys set off for the game.  We walked through UF’s campus and stopped to watch the band warm up and get their full police escort march into the stadium.  It amounts to a mini parade.  We finally got to our seats.

Go Gators

It was a little bit rainy but we avoided any major downpours and the boys seemed to be enjoying themselves and somewhat into the game.

Watching The Gators

Somewhere in the middle of the 2nd quarter my 3 year old decided he needed his nap and he passed out in my lap 🙂

Nap Time

He rallied back after his nap and we were able to stand and sway back and forth while singing “We are the Boys” along with 80,000 of our closest friends.

The Swamp

We finished the day off by posing with pictures on top of the Gator statue in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and doing the gator chomp.

Gator Chomp

I’m not sure if they are old enough that they will remember this day once they grow up but it was a day I’ll never forget. I’m glad I got to share it with them and my dad.  I never could have imagined on my first Gator game 28 years ago that one day I’d get to share the experience with my kids.  Even if it only was for one game.

How about you? What wonderful experiences from your childhood are you looking forward to being able to share with your kids? What have already been able to share?

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