Fervent Florida Gator fans cheer on their team at the end of the Gator parade Monday evening on Treasure Island. The parade started at the Middle Island Grill, traversed down Gulf Boulevard and ended at Gator’s Cafe and Saloon.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Many stayed up past their bedtime on Monday night glued to the television cheering on the Gators to a 41-14 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
At the Tuesday morning Board of County Commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Bob Stewart, well-known as a Gator’s fan, was “basking in the glory” as he bragged about the fact that his team had done what had never been done before – winning a national championship in football and basketball in the same season.
Commissioners Ken Welch and Ronnie Duncan, who usually don’t join with the other commissioners who agree with Stewart that there is no team better than the Gators, conceded it was a great victory.
“I congratulate the Florida Gators, and that’s hard for this Georgia Bulldog,” Duncan said.
“It was a great game,” Welch agreed.
The game was the talk of the town on Monday and a cause for celebration in Treasure Island. Fans flocked to Gators on the Pass at John’s Pass for a parade, pep rally before crowding inside to watch the game. Sid Rice, also known as King Gator, joined with special guest the 1996 Gator’s 1996 Championship Defensive Coach Jimmy Collins along with past Gator Great Scot Brantley in pre-game celebrations.
The celebration even made its way to the nation’s capitol as Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown agreed to make good on a bet he lost to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.
According to a press release from Nelson’s office, the two senators made a friendly wager last week, pledging that the senator from the losing state do the same number of push-ups as totals points scored in the game.
“Today (Tuesday), Brown will pay a visit to Nelson’s Capitol Hill office to attempt 55 push-ups,” the release said.
Nelson also announced plans to offer a resolution honoring the University of Florida football team for their historic season and for winning the national championship.
According to a story posted at www.gatorzone.com, the Gators win in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, earned the Gators its second-ever national football championship.
“With the win, Florida became the school in NCAA Division I history to win capture national titles in football and men’s basketball during the same calendar year, having earned its first title on the hardcourt by defeating UCLA in April,” the Web site said.
The Web site also said that Sun Sports and FSN Florida were planning to bring fans special bonus coverage, including full replays of the game and exclusive live coverage of Saturday’s planned celebration in Gainesville.