The Florida Gators football program stated in 1906. That was the same year the Wright brothers patented the airplane. The very next year, they moved the rows of seats closer together to make more money, and people became irate when arrogant passengers slammed their seats into reclining positions suddenly.
“The next person that slams their seat back real sudden is getting a beating,” said a passenger. “It’s bad enough that this plane only stays airborne 17 seconds at a time.”
The Gators have won a national championship three times–in 1996, 2006 and 2008. They are the proud winners of eight Southeastern conference championships. The school has produced three Heisman Trophy winners, and three Florida Gators coaches have been inducted into the College football Hall of Fame. “We also have more fans that have pet gators that have escape into the neighborhood, causing panic and chaos,” a school official noted.
Florida was a founding member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They have many traditional rivalries including the University of Georgia, University of Tennessee and LSU Tigers. In addition, they have a long-standing rivalry with the Florida State Seminoles. This rivalry gained intensity as both schools became national powers in the 1980s and 1990s. “Our biggest competition with Florida State is not football, it’s cornhole. You try tossing a bag in a hole way down yonder after 6 beers,” an alumna said.
The Gators played their first season in 1906 when the Gainesville campus opened with the introduction of the new statewide university system. They beat the Rollins College Tars 6-0 in their very first game. Yes, that’s their name, the Tars. After they beat the Rollins College Tars, they also beat the Hampton College Asphalts and the Barris College Concretes. “But we lost big time to the Parsons College Pavements,” said a player.
Florida great Edgar Jones scored 108 points during the 1925 season, a record that would remain unbroken for 44 years. In 1923, he scored every point in a victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide, beating them 16 to 6 in a dramatic comeback. Turns out the entire team had food poisoning. He scored every point because he was the only player on the Florida bench. “The very first no huddle offense in history,” one wag noted.
Jones also played for the University of Florida men’s basketball team in both 1924 in 1925, sometimes playing both football and basketball the same day. He would wear his football pads on the basketball court to save time between sports. “There were a few games we had to remind him to take off his helmet while playing basketball,” an assistant coach said of the prolific sportster.
Other standouts from this era in Florida Gators football history include Carl “Tootie” Perry, who for two years played every single minute of every single game. “He also played in the band at halftime, and sold Gator T-shirts before and after the games,” a school official said.
In the summer, he shoveled coal on trains running in between Jacksonville and Leesburg Florida. The coal shoveling developed his arm and upper body strength so much, the University of Florida incorporated it into their football training. They bought a coal-fired locomotive which circles the campus, taking students to class while developing the physical strength of the football team, and it does that very thing to this day.
“Next stop — Chemistry and Engineering buildings. All aboard!”