Part of what makes Ben Hill Griffin Stadium the electrifying atmosphere that often causes opponents to buckle under pressure is the crowd. With 90,000 people screaming their lungs out for the Florida Gators, the sound decibels can be overbearing for opponents. And, well, a joy for Gator fans to be a part of.
After an absence of this in 2020 due to the pandemic that’s wreaked so much havoc, it looks like the 2021 season will see its return.
The Florida Gators’ official football twitter account made this announcement to boisterous e-cheers from fans this afternoon. In the statement, the University declared:
We will resume full in-person participation in athletic and other activities on our campuses, including fan participation in THE SWAMP!
Can you tell by the UAA’s complete capitalization of the last two words that they’re just as excited as the fans?
Of course, some individual fans are likely to be leery of this. But the seats that may be vacated by those in this group will be more than happily snatched up. Even if the Gators had a relatively unappealing home schedule, it would be difficult to imagine that the Swamp would not return to at least 95% capacity for home games (nosebleed seats are never easy to sell for the likes of Towson or Charleston Southern).
But with the appearances of Alabama, FSU and Tennessee in the Swamp, it’s impossible to imagine that the stadium won’t be overflowing for at least two, maybe three games in 2021. Sure, Florida did lose Heisman Trophy finalist Kyle Trask, a bevy of his pass catchers and a couple of offensive linemen. But with the emergence of Emory Jones and the flashiness he brings on the ground, it’s difficult to think that this team wouldn’t be appealing to watch in a normal year.
Then you throw in the starvation for a return to normalcy that’s settled into fans’ souls, and, well, it’s going to be a year to remember in Gainesville- if for no other reason than that we as fans will get a live reminder that we should never take something as special as packing this cathedral of the sport for granted.
Welcome back to normalcy, y’all. See you in the Swamp this fall.
Here’s to enjoying the sweetest dose of normalcy ever.