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SEPTEMBER 2018 GO GATORS! College Football Season Is Finally Here
A s a little kid, I wasn’t the biggest college football fan in the world. I’m originally from Chicago, but I never much latched on to the Wildcats. My interest in the college-level sport grew gradually as I got older. Of course, I was always big into football itself. We used to have big family gatherings in front of the TV to watch the Bears — a perfect excuse to get together. Then, in high school, I played receiver and defensive end, and while I wasn’t anything amazing, I always loved my time on the field. But once I headed off to the University of Florida, my interest in college football solidified forever. From then on, it was Gators for life. When I was attending the University of Florida, the Gators were an absolute powerhouse. We’d go berserk at the already-legendary Florida tailgates, psyching ourselves up to trounce whichever competitor was unlucky enough to make their way to Gainesville. Tailgating back in my undergraduate days at the University of Illinois was pretty tame by comparison, everybody cocooned in coats with hot chocolate clutched in their hands, but in Florida, it was on a whole different level. Those were massive, summer-like parties where it was basically impossible to not have a good time. I got totally caught up in the experience, proud to be part of such a tight-knit, passionate community of fans. It’s a feeling that never left, even as the
Gators have wound down their unstoppable success in recent years. My son Noah has been an even bigger fan than me ever since he was little, back when Tim Tebow and Co. carved a scorched path through the SEC conference and secured two national championships. He thought they’d never lose, and though I tried to warn him that it couldn’t last, being only four years old at the time, he wouldn’t listen. Still, even today, he sticks by his team, loyal to the end. Even though they’re no longer the force that they once were, I’ll always be a Gators fan. We try to make it out to at least one Gators game a year as a family, and it’s always a blast. And of course, whenever I see my sister, a Florida State alum, I’m contractually obligated to give her a hard time and place bets to see who will win. If we come out victorious in the rivalry, my kids and I will call her and talk as much trash as humanly possible, but if we lose, we duck and cover and pretend it never happened. These days, the games are a great excuse to stop everything on Saturday and spend some time away from yardwork, business, and all the little, less-exciting things that pile up. When it’s football time, the stakes feel higher, and it’s easy to become totally engrossed and forget about all the minor stresses of everyday life. No matter what, it’s something I look forward to every fall.
This year, as any of the fans out there reading this right now will tell you, the outlook for the Gators is brighter than it has been in a long time. At the time of writing, the season hasn’t started to kick up just yet, but with Dan Mullen at the helm, I’m confident that 2018 will be the University of Florida’s year. You can bet that, until the Gators return to their rightful role dominating the SEC, my family and I will be here, sending them all the good vibes we can spare. In the meantime, go Gators!
-Luke Kron, PT Managing Partne
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