Annual Florida Football Event

The Florida Georgia game is one of the nation's oldest and fiercest football rivalries; it is usually played on the last Saturday in October.  The rivalry began in 1915.

Since 1933, this football game has been played in Jacksonville. It is currently played at Everbank Field - home of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL - on the banks of the St. Johns River.  It is a signature Florida event.

The St. Johns flows north, and Gator fans say that's because Georgia sucks.

Georgia fans want their bulldog mascot, UGA (pronounced UGGA), to eat the ugly Florida Gator.

Like many stadiums in America, the name of this stadium has changed over the years.

Florida Georgia Football 1958 Poster

Everbank used to be AllTel, but for eons it was simply known as the Gator Bowl.  That was the city stadium where the annual Gator Bowl was played, as well as the Florida Georgia game.

The Gator Bowl game, one of the leading Florida events each year, is still played here.

There is nothing I'd rather do on a fall weekend than go to the Florida-Georgia game.  I've been going to it off and on for more than 50 years, and the pageantry and rivalry is beyond anything else I've ever seen in college football or any other Florida event.

In my opinion, the Florida-Georgia game even tops the Florida-Florida State rivalry.

Everbank Field Jacksonville Florida

Florida Georgia Game:  World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

The events leading up to the game have been known for years as the "world's largest outdoor cocktail party". That designation has fallen out of favor with the officials, but there is still plenty of fun for drinkers and teetotalers alike.

For many years, an Amtrak train bedecked in Orange and Blue made the annual pilgrimage to Jax, picking up Gator faithful all the way from Tampa, Orlando, Miami and points in between. It was one of the traditional Florida events enjoyed by Gator fans for many years.

The train disgorged the mellow passengers at the Jax train station and buses carried the crowds the rest of the way to the stadium. That grand train trip is no more, in the dustbin of Florida events.

Of all Florida events, tickets to the Florida-Georgia game can be very hard to get.  I've been lucky some years just going up there and buying a ticket from somebody at the last minute.

I won't use the word scalper, because scalping is illegal at Florida events and many other places.

It's best to be in political office in Florida or Georgia. Elected officials always seem to be able to get tickets.

If you can't get a ticket, just drive up to Jax and soak up the fun at a local sports bar. You will soon get into the spirit of the rivalry and make it one of your favorite Florida events.

Disclosure:  The author of this article is a life member of the University of Florida Alumni Association.


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