GT's Billboard Campaign: All in Good Fun, or Crossing the Line?
In the 48 hours since GatorTailgating.com launched our billboard project, we’ve received a certain amount of feedback. Some of you love it- and I mean REALLY love it. You’re telling all your friends about it, you can’t wait to see it for yourselves- a bright shining Orange and Blue light, an oasis, if you will, in the midst of that long, tedious, and generally nap-worthy trek down I-10 that will lead you to this year’s UF-FSU matchup. Some of you love the idea that much.
And, well- we've had at least one email and several comments from those of you that hate it.
To some of you, it may seem harsh- a bit extreme- that we are taking our need to gloat to such dimensions (14x48 feet to be exact.) But let us assure you, the last thing we want to do is cause bad blood between the two schools.
We truly feel that the billboard will be all in good fun. Far from being “in their face,” the billboard’s placement will be located on I-10 westbound outside of Tallahassee, not in their city limits, and certainly not where FSU fans are going to see it every day. Of course they’re going to see it at some point- but so will thousands of Gator fans who live in the Tallahassee area, as well as Gator fans who will be making the trip up for the game this year. This rivalry has a 50+ year history, and even our own coaches, namely Spurrier (who dubbed FSU “Free Shoes University”) and Meyer, who refers to FSU as “The School Out West,” publicly poke fun at them. Lately the rivalry hasn’t been as heated as in years past, and we’re just trying to spice it up a bit- we hardly feel like we’re taking it too far.
If you visit GatorTailgating.com regularly, you’ll know that we actually promote and pride ourselves on respectful tailgating and treating opposing fans with hospitality and generosity. At every tailgate we’ve had since our inception, we have hosted opposing fans (including some great FSU fans) who are some of our most enthusiastic supporters! We don’t want to create bad blood with FSU fans- or any of our other rivals. We’re just really really proud of our boys in Orange and Blue and wanna shout it from rooftops. However, the tallest building in Gainesville is only 7 stories tall- a billboard just made more sense to us.
We’d also like to point out that over the years, Gator fans have witnessed numerous examples of poor sportsmanship from within the Gator Nation. The infamous “Fire Ron Zook” website and billboard come to mind, as do the 2 websites calling for Coach Meyer’s dismissal, which sprang up early on during his time at UF. That kind of message is far more tasteless than our message to FSU is, because it’s coming from some of our own. We want to unite the Gator Nation with our friendly message to FSU- and will promptly be removing the billboard after football season.
Love it or hate it, we’re pretty excited about the billboard project and if you have any reservations about being a sponsor, I assure you that those who have donated have been quite pleased with their decision! If you too would like to join in making billboard history, click here. We promise you that donating will evoke strong desires to belt our verses from We Are The Boys, and a swell of Gator pride!