LOOK: Florida’s 25th anniversary celebration of ‘The Swamp’ to include commemorative apparel

Florida- ben-hill-griffin

It wouldn’t be “The Swamp” without Steve Spurrier.

It was simply Ben Hill Griffin Stadium until the HBC came along with a nickname that stuck in a 1992 interview with The Gainesville Sun.

“The ‘Swamp’ is where Gators live,” Spurrier told Bianchi. “We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous. We feel this is an appropriate nickname for our stadium.”

25 years later, Florida is celebrating the nickname on Saturday with some hilarious apparel including a drawing of Spurrier. Next to him it reads, “25 years ago, the Head Ball Coach called it The Swamp and we’ve been chompin’ ever since.”

It looks like a cup will be available as well with the saying on it. Mike Bianchi, who wrote the original article in The Sun, recently recalled that the nickname took awhile to catch on.

“I knew immediately, despite some eye-rolling among UF administrators, that the ‘Swamp’ was yet another stroke of Spurrier brilliance,” Bianchi, now columnist at The Orlando Sentinel, said Thursday. “I knew it because Spurrier absolutely loved it. He was giddy about it. And you knew if it excited him, it was damn sure going to excite Gator Nation. That’s because Spurrier thinks like the most rabid Gator fan thinks. He is the ultimate Bull Gator, and he came up with the perfect name at the perfect time.”

It’s true (and as Bianchi said and wrote at the time), the nickname was not universally embraced by the University Athletic Association in 1992, with some feeling it was too “backwoods” and did not “do justice to a state-of-the-art-facility like Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.”

After falling victim to Michigan last Saturday, the Gators face a much easier task this week in Northern Colorado. Kickoff is set for 6:30p.m. on the SEC Network.

The post LOOK: Florida’s 25th anniversary celebration of ‘The Swamp’ to include commemorative apparel appeared first on SEC Country.

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