Hey y’all, I’m Tarin Moses from the University of Florida! This is my third year cheering for the Gators and I have loved every minute of it. This past Saturday, we played in the much anticipated Alabama game! Although we would have preferred a different outcome, the entire weekend was a blast!
The more the merrier
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to get the house ready for our friends and family! There were so many people staying at our house this weekend, including a few Bama fans! I am so blessed to have so many loving people in my life that come to every game. My roommate, Morgan, is also a cheerleader so we got ready together and walked to the stadium.
On game days, we get to the stadium three hours before kickoff and head to our appearances. The first one of the day is the infamous Gator walk. The cheerleaders stand at the beginning of a long tunnel of gator fans waiting on the team to arrive! We lead the crowd in a few cheers, and also walk around and meet people.
After Gator walk, we quickly head across the street to Emerson Alumni Hall. They usually have a DJ, and a lot of food cooking! After our outside pep rally, we go inside where the Gator boosters are! The first thing we do is eat a pregame meal and then we walk around and get to meet all the boosters. It is so interesting to hear all of their stories from “back when I was in college”. I met two Bull Gators and of course we had to take a picture with Albert!
First we warm up with our specific team (orange and blue). We do a dynamic warm up before we stretch out and stunt with our partners! Then we practice all of our pyramids and timeouts as a team. After that, we head over to the Alumni side and run through pregame with orange team. After warm up was finished we had a few minutes to take pictures and Ryan Martin and I had to get a “Sideline Report” picture!
Tradition is key
Pregame is the most intense and exciting part of Florida football. The first thing we do is lead the entire stadium in an Orange and Blue chant. Hearing over 90,000 people screaming our colors is just the way to start off the night! The next thing the cheerleaders do is a routine in the end zone while the band is entering the field. The fans love seeing our basket tosses and pyramids while we lead them in the gator chomp. The cheerleaders then grab their sign so we can lead the crowd in “Gator spell out”.
After Gator spell out comes one of the most unique traditions in Gator football. Our mascot, Albert, comes out on in the middle of the field and the cheerleaders help him lead the crowd in the “Two Bits” cheer. For most of the cheerleaders, the next part is our favorite. The last thing we do is stand in the middle of the field while an intense video of Florida Alligator swimming and chomping playing on the screen. Then the announcers says “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE COME THE GATORS” and our team tumbles across the entire field while the boys run flags behind us, and the football team follows.
The beginning of the game was definitely exhilarating. The atmosphere of the Swamp was unlike any other I had seen in three years! Our boys put up a good fight and played with a lot of heart, but the defeat sank in during the last few minutes of the game.
The cheerleaders still sang our Alma Mater and fight song with the band, just like after every game. I know our team will be a stronger because of this game! We’re coming for you next week, Tigers. Always remember, if you’re not a Gator… then you’re Gator Bait!
– Tarin Moses
-Photos: Paul Fong, Alyson Lowder, Ashley Rowley