Friday, November 30, 2012

Gator Gifts Worth Giving

With the holiday season upon us, you may be wondering what clever gift you can give to University of Florida family or friends this year that won’t break the bank. If you’re lucky enough to call Florida home, you may have considered the gift of swimming with alligators as a one-of-a-kind treat. Unfortunately, the days of alligator pool parties are now a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still give loved ones something gator-related. Here are five fun gift ideas to show your Gator Pride.
LSU book
This book, Albert’s Journey Through the Sunshine State, is a wonderful, educational gift that any little Gator fan will love. Kids reading along will enjoy a tour of Florida as told by the University of Florida mascot. Why not promote traveling, education, and your favorite school at once? They’ll grow up to be smart just like you.
Gators wallet
If you’re looking to buy a gift that’s practical in its use and shows your spirit subtly, a Florida Gators leather wallet like this one might be a great solution. This trifold wallet has an embossed logo on the front with panels for credit cards and IDs on the inside, and plenty of room for cash and receipts. I’ve had one of these for about a year now and it’s still treating me well.
University of Florida ornament
Our family has a tradition of buying a new Gator-themed Christmas ornament each year. It’s always fun to see what the latest addition to our collection is. If you’re looking to add some blue and orange to your holiday d├ęcor, University of Florida ornaments like the one above are an easy, quick fix and an inexpensive gift for all.
Gators salt and pepper shakers
If someone on your list is moving into a new apartment or house, these matching Gator salt and pepper shakers make for a wonderful housewarming gift. What better way to spice up their kitchen than with some team spirit?

Gator fan garden gnome

Finally, if you’re looking for a gift that’s just plain silly, look no further than this Florida fan garden gnome. Did I mention how perfect this is for white elephant gift exchanges?
Happy holidays!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A favorite Gator weekend

Tim Tebow and the other Florida Gators quarter...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hoops Gators knocked off #2 Michigan State, while Tebow’s Swamp Legacy concluded with yet another pasting of the worthless Seminoles of Florida State… all within 24 hours of each other.

In terms of schadenfreude, could this have been written any more sweetly? ESPN College Gameday dropped by, not because of the enormity of the game — FSU stinks, after all — but the significance of Tim Tebow’s final game in the Swamp. The parallel storyline, Bobby Bowden’s coaching legacy, was necessarily weak in the modern sense thanks to Bowden’s lack of accomplishments in the last 8 years of his career.

FSU’s ship is sinking. HMS Bowden is taking on water faster than Jimbo Fisher can bail it out. Meanwhile, the Gators are two games away from a historic accomplishment, and Tebow’s legacy as the greatest player in college football history is nearly cemented.
Good times, ladies and gentlemen. A halcyon era of Gator dominance… a masterful meld of coaching and players to produce an unprecedented string of success against Florida’s rivals.

But enough on the 6-6 Nolies, who don’t feature a single player on the roster who know the taste of victory over the Gators.
You want to talk about Gator Greats? Sure, Tebow’s one, but many of the Gator Greats of ‘09 play on defense. Brandon Spikes. Carlos Dunlap. Ryan Stamper. Joe Haden. A.J. Jones. While UF enjoyed a field day against FSU’s swiss-cheese offense, against better competition, our defense has carried the day. Thank you, boys. You may have walked through that tunnel for the last time, but you will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to Buy Your Girlfriend the Best Fan Outfit

Regardless of whether your girlfriend is a sports fan or not, if you like football, baseball, basketball, or hockey, chances are you’ll want to take her to a game someday. While she could wear her normal attire, it’s common to feel left out at a game if not wearing the proper apparel, especially at college sporting events.

Sure, you could dig through your closet and find something for her to wear, but she’s probably not going to be too thrilled about throwing on an oversized t-shirt or jersey. Thankfully, team apparel selections aren’t limited to the generic rack of tees and sweatpants found at the nearest supermarket. We’ve put together some team outfits appropriate for warmer weather. Have your girlfriend looking her best in authentic team apparel that suits her personality and style.

As this Alabama Crimson Tide outfit demonstrates, plenty of team accessory options can be found if you know where to look. While there is nothing wrong with a team tee, a lightweight, comfortable ruffle dress is a great option and looks fine with the simplest of shoes. Add sunglasses, earrings, and a watch, and your girlfriend will be supporting the team from head to toe in items she actually likes.

Even a simple outfit such as this Ohio State ensemble shows plenty of team spirit. The logo-pattered cover-up dress and flip flops assure comfort and the watch adds a nice touch. If desired, the trio can be paired with accessories such as a scarf or floppy hat, as shown. You might like baseball hats, but chances are your girlfriend might like something else even better.

If your girlfriend isn’t into dresses or the weather is a bit colder, something like this Florida Gators combination could be perfect (and it's obviously my favorite). If jackets are her thing, a lightweight full zip jacket paired with matching jewelry makes a big statement and shows the team logo in subtle but effective ways. The bracelet, pendant, and earrings are stylish without being overpowering.

This Texas Longhorns outfit is another simple yet great example of fashionable team gear that your girlfriend will love. Shirts such as the striped tube top look like items that could be found at the mall. A leather watch makes a great accessory regardless, and the team logo makes it even better. A flip flops pendant necklace is a great summer item.

So, if your girlfriend isn’t thrilled about spending hours at a sporting event (or even if she is), keep your own team clothes to yourself and surprise her with comfortable and fashionable women’s apparel. Forget the plain men’s crewneck tee for her, unless you want to see it crumped up in the bottom of her closet or in her workout clothes pile. Pick her out something special that suits her style, and she probably will find places other than sporting events to wear it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome to the SEC Missouri and Texas A&M.

As a Gator fan who admittedly doesn't put much time and effort into what goes on in the Big 12, I'm doing my due diligence and getting to know each one of these teams prior to our upcoming season. So here's what I've discovered thus far:

  1. Missouri and Texas A&M have been middle dwellers (is that even a word?) for the past decade. shows the number of victories by all of the the Big 12 teams since 2000 and it seems like the SEC could have done better (Texas/Oklahoma) or worse (Kansas/Baylor).
  2. The folks at Bleacher Report did a nice write up on the upcoming Missouri schedule and the waters get deep quickly as the first league game is against potential title contender Georgia. A lot of tough road games will really test this team.
  3. Texas A&M doesn't have it much better, though, as they get Florida in game number two and then South Carolina and Arkansas back to back a couple weeks later. On paper, this is one of the most brutal conference schedules I've seen, but at least they get most of the better squads at home.
  4. Texas A&M almost knocked off Arkansas last year and rolled up huge numbers on offense, but looked hapless against them on defense. However, stud quarterback Ryan Tannehill's dual threat ability left for the NFL and that void on offense might be very tough to fill. The Aggies do return three all conference players including WR Ryan Swope and tackle Luke Joeckel on offense and LB Sean Porter on defense. 17 starters return, so the cupboards aren't bare and a lot of prognosticators seem to think A&M will be able to keep their head above water right away.
  5. Things aren't as rosy in Missouri, as only 11 starters return for 2012. Missouri tends to be a little pass heavy on offense, and none of last year's targets return. The Tigers run a single back set, so how well they can get quarterback James Franklin in tune with three new wideouts and a new tight end will be key. Tailback Henry Josey ran for more than 1,000 yards last year, so how well he can carry the offense in the early going could be key. How a mostly new offensive line can handle SEC defenses will also be interesting to watch.
It appears the "experts" expect these teams to come in and win enough to be bowl eligible this year. Me? I'm selling on that one. If A&M can pass the ball effectively they have enough tools on both sides of the ball to maybe win 7 or 8 games, but I just don't see this Missouri team beating anyone but the very few bottom dwellers of the SEC (read: Mississippi and Kentucky).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Florida Gators Gift Ideas for Father's Day

It may seem a little early to be psyched about the 2012 University of Florida football season, but for die-hard fans like myself, there is no better time than the present to start sporting your Gator pride. Father's Day is less than two weeks away, making it the perfect time to buy some practical Florida attire for your favorite old man. He may have acquired a lot of Florida sweatshirts over the years from fall tailgates and cold stadium seats, but chances are he's lacking gear for the warmer months. I'm personally not a fan of people who seem like "season-only" fans. Why not show your Florida team spirit 24/7, 12 months a year? If your dad isn't sporting orange and blue around the town, he's got some preseason work to do to show his team spirit. The good news is, I'm here to help! I've compiled a list of some necessary Gator fan gear your dad can put to good use at a cookout, on vacation, at a pick-up game, on the golf-course, and just about anywhere else he might visit this summer. I'm positive these items will generate at least a few discussions on last football season, the upcoming football season, and other sports teams he's been dying to talk about. Maybe he'll even get some high-fives or hear someone sing "We are the Boys from old Florida." I can't say for certain that anyone will break out in song, but what I do know is that he'll be proud of your gift choice! 

  1. Florida Gators Fiero Deluxe BBQ Set
  2. Florida Gators Woven Towel
  3. Florida Gator Mens Color Blocked Swim Trucks
  4. Florida Gators Rubber Logo Flip Flops
  5. Florida Gators Large Grill Topper
  6. Florida Gators MVP Black/Framed Dart Board Cabinet
  7. Florida Gators Set of Three Nylon Headcovers
  8. Florida T-shirts