MY TAKE: How It All Started in the '70s for this Florida Gators Fan


MY TAKE: By DAN BOND


How it all started in The 70’s for this Gator Fan

Our babysitter would turn on the radio for my brother & I.

When asked about my first trip to the Swamp, I said, “Wow that’s a hard one!” My family grew up Gator fans. My mother went there in the 50’s and grew up in Jacksonville, so of course I was a Gator fan from the start.

We were not big on taking pictures back then, where you document everything from dusk to dawn. It’s just a part of life now and so much the better.

I was born in 1970 so that’s where we begin. The 70’s were not the best of times for Florida Football: 59-53-3 and 0-4 in Bowl games.

Some of the earliest game day memories are of are of my brother and I, he is a year older than me, being picked up by our babysitter and taken to her house. We would play but she would turn the game on the radio so we could listen. TV games were few and far between back then.

I was always excited to hear what happened at the game when my parents picked us up and when I was older I made the 80-mile trip from Jacksonville to Gainesville. We would ride down to the game in our conversion van and tailgate at our regular spot. We parked in a wooded lot on the south side of Stadium drive. Dad and I would walk up to the ticket window and pick our seats.

I was just tall enough to see the counter back then. The little window at the ticket office. Mom liked to sit close to the field so we usually found seats in the endzone in section D.