As the thunder started to rumble and the clouds became more and more ominous, a heavy flow of fans, myself included, filed into The Swamp to support our Florida Football team play Idaho. We took our seats for kickoff only to find out there was already a decent delay, pushing the start of the game back thirty minutes for every lightning strike. At 7 o’clock it seemed there wouldn’t be a minute that passed by without lightning illuminating the evening sky, and we only knew this would mean a greater delay…but we didn’t care, we came to cheer on our Gators and weather was not about to stop us!

Time continued to pass, but the rain and lightning didn’t seem to get the memo that we were here to stay. First it started as a light drizzle, then the skies opened up. But did the student-athlete section duck for cover? Not in the slightest! In what seemed a rehearsed act, the section broke out into a simultaneous Gator chomp, chanting “It’s Great to be a Florida Gator!” The energy among us was as visible as the lightning jumping from cloud to cloud above our heads. We continued to stand in the pouring rain, just waiting for the announcement that the game would start any minute. As we all know now, the game didn’t start until hours later, but we stuck around. It seemed that with every passing moment, the excitement and energy continued to grow, even though at this point, every one of us looked as though we had jumped into a swimming pool.

What they say is true…in all kinds of weather we DO stick together. Even if that weather is a thunderstorm that lasts nearly all night, only allowing for 10 seconds of game play in our home-season opener. The Gator Nation is not just a collection of people rooting for the Gators; it is a family, in a sense: a devoted, crazy, and unified family that bleeds orange and blue. A family that will stand in the pouring rain for hours to support our favorite football team.


About Julia Hackett

My name is Julia Hackett, I'm a sophomore on the UF dive team and a St. Thomas Aquinas High School alumnus. I call sunny South Florida home, more specifically, Sunrise, Florida. I'm majoring in journalism with the hopes of one day becoming a sideline and post-game reporter, aiming for baseball and football. I'm a "Jeopardy!" buff and enjoy reading anything from Dr. Seuss to E.E. Cummings...when I have free time that is. My quote to live by: "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."- E.E. Cummings