Tailgates, rituals and attire: University of Florida

Saturday, November 26, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CST
University of Florida Gator fans erupt in pandemonium at The Swamp in Gainesville, Fla. as a touchdown is scored against the University of Tennessee in September 2007.


Hometown: Gainesville

Team: Gators

Colors: Orange and blue

Tailgating: "Good, solid, Southern down-home tailgating," said Doug Brown, associate executive director of Gator Boosters, the university's athletic fundraising organization.

Between 15 and 18 parking lots around campus officially hold tailgate parties, but Brittany Spaziani said that's only part of the story.

"Pretty much there’s a tailgate wherever there’s a green area, like grass — in front of the library, by the stadium and along the street,"  said Spaziani, an employee at The Colorful Gator, a spirit-wear store in Gainesville.

Food: Barbecue, sometimes "gator tail"  and occasionally themed for the opponent, such as Cajun the Gators are playing LSU.

"It's not elegant tailgating," Brown said.  "It's a  good, down-home, fun type of tailgate."

Attire: Most women wear dresses to the game, Spaziani said.

"When it's really hot, a lot of people wear loose-fitting, lightweight dresses. But usually nicer dresses," she said.

Rituals: Before the game, there's the Gator Walk. Players are treated "like rock stars" as they walk to the stadium "through a bunch of fans, five-to-10 deep," Brown said.

Then, there's the Gator Chomp.

"Everybody puts their two arms together, extends them and moves them up and down like the jaws of a gator," Brown said.

Next: University of Georgia

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