It was a little less than a year ago that we experienced our first Gator football game. After moving from Philadelphia, the home of the Eagles and the City of Brotherly Love, it’s hard to imagine discovering an equally passionate fan base, but we’d also never been to Gainesville on a Saturday.
Your first stroll down University Avenue on game day can be a little jarring if you aren’t prepared. This seemingly sleepy college town transforms overnight from quiet, moss-covered trees to walls of orange and blue adorned with every Gator hyperbole within reason.
On this particular Saturday the Gators were gearing up to play Tennessee. Accordingly, the rival shades of orange were in full swing. We arrived just in time for the players’ entrance with the legendary Gator Walk. The pageantry was on par with the greatest show on earth. The band, cheerleaders, students, and hundreds of fans welcomed these men as they prepared for battle. At times it felt like the scene from Gladiator, when Russell Crowe led his men into the Colosseum. In this modern day version, Coach Muschamp led the way. Although none of us had any real attachment to this team, we were compelled to reach out our hands for a high-five. I guess that was the first time we saw a Gator.
As that story goes, quarterback Jeff Driskel went down in that game, but the team rallied for a victory. Overwhelmed with a growing sense of pride for this newly embraced nation, we locked arms with strangers at the end of the third, and by the end we knew motions to every chorus. Unknowingly, this was the beginning of a love affair.
There is something truly unique about belonging to the Gator Nation. Something that never really leaves you, no matter how far you are geographically separated from The Swamp. It’s hard to explain, but come Saturday you sure can feel it. Ultimately, we celebrated that commitment and flair in typical 160over90 style with a 2:32 minute video.
The video debuted during the Eastern Michigan game. By game two of the season against Kentucky, the students were reciting the words. We’ve been told that watching it gives fans the chills, but if you really want to feel your hair stand up you have to experience it eight minutes before kickoff alongside 90,000 of your brethren. Kinda like this:
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Shannon Slusher
Chief Creative Officer and Founder, Darryl Cilli
Chief Creative Officer and Principal, Jim Walls
Group Director of Client Services and Principal, John Campanella
Creative Director, Greg Ash
Associate Creative Director, TJ Aseltyne
Director, Konstantinos Psimaris
Producers, Nick Pitcavage and Tom Ammon
Editor, Anderson Bradshaw
Director of Client Services, Maggie Slomiany