Sports are a huge part of American culture. From baseball to football, our world seems to revolve around World Championships and Super Bowls. I am not much of a huge sports fan, but recently I have enjoyed watching college football. My favorite team has always been the University of Florida Gators, whether I knew it or not. I was never one to just sit down and watch a game, but I have somewhat picked up the habit.
As you probably know, this was not the best season for the Gators. When sports teams play extremely well for a season, the team seems to gain popularity. These "bandwagon" fans root for their team until they have a rough season, then jump ship. However, with the recent trouble the Gators have faced, I have been pleasantly surprised.
I, of course, expected people to stop supporting the Gators, but this was not the case. This season only seemed to bring our fan base closer, rather than pull us apart. While I'm sure we lost a few stragglers here and there, the overall outlook was a positive one.
One of the worst parts of the season was losing to our rival, Florida State University. It seemed to be an expected loss, and it brought an end to our season. Florida State fans got their time to celebrate, but the response from UF fans was not what you would expect.
When losing to their rival, football fans tend to get rowdy and upset. While we may have felt a bit heartbroken, the loyal fans are not angry with the Gators. We sat in silence, let FSU have their celebration, and moved on. We accepted the fact that we had lost and pray for a better season next year.
Regardless of the football season we have had, I couldn't be happier to be a Gator fan. I am not embarrassed of our season, because it is not as if I could change it. What happened, happened, but those who support the Gators have remained. I couldn't imagine rooting for any other team but the Florida Gators. While it would have been nice to have had a winning season or make it to the SEC championship, it simply wasn't in the cards this year.
Since Tim Tebow went through the University of Florida, they have been in the public eye. Therefore, when our season went downhill this year, it caught attention. The Gators were talked about all over the country this year, but not as they usually were. The normal discussion about University of Florida football is how well the team played, not their failures. It was a long season, to say the least.
From screaming at a TV screen during the Miami game to just crossing our fingers during the FSU game, the Gators have been united in supporting our team all season. The saying "you win some, you lose some" applies perfectly to this situation. Not every team can have a great season every year. Someone has to lose and someone has to win. However, a losing year does not mean that the team will be a losing team forever. They have an opportunity to review their mistakes, practice, and come back stronger than ever. If anything, a losing season serves as motivation to do better next year.
As a University of Florida fan, I am definitely looking forward to next season. I hope we come back and surprise the country. However, even if we don't, I know Florida Gator fans will stick together. In all kinds of weather, Gators stick together.