The Real Story Behind "Gators Wear Jean Shorts"
Florida-Georgia is an experience like no other. It’s a spirited mix of college tailgating, SEC rivalry at its best, and heated insults spewed between an evenly split crowd. The most creative and disarming of all insults being, “Gators wear jean shorts!” The first year I heard it, I asked a Georgia fan how it started, and he had no idea. Three years later, I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of things. So, without further delay, I give you the history of the “Gators wear jean shorts” insult.
It started back in 1997. Georgia hadn’t won a game in years, and some of their fans realized it’s hard to effectively talk trash when your team can’t back it up (take the hint, FSU). So Georgia fans, Kevin Davis and his fraternity brothers made their way to the stadium, helpless while Gators taunted and chomped at them. They worked desperately to come up with creative insults. Answering their prayers, a Gator fan strolled by wearing jean shorts, and Davis jumped on the opportunity. “Gators wear jean shorts!” he declared, and his friends began chanting the insult. They continued the chant during the game, and it caught on like wildfire. So many Dawgs were desperate to mock the defending national champs in any way they could, and they had found a way.
The Bulldogs won that day. It was their only win during the Steve Spurrier era, and they were proud of it. Davis and his friends returned to Georgia and immediately designed t-shirts to promote the insult that rallied the troops to an unlikely win and gave the Georgia faithful a victory to cling to for years to come.
From a couple fraternity brothers, to some t-shirts, and now everyone in the SEC calls the Gators out for out for their "Jorts" (a new word created to describe Jean shorts). Even Oklahoma had fans at the 2008 BCS Championship Game with a dry erase board counting Gators sporting the infamous Jorts.
The real question for Gator fans is which way to go about the statement. Gators can embrace jorts in all their hideous glory, thereby negating the insult intended by opposing fans obnoxiously screaming it at you. The other option is to fight it head-on by informing our fellow Gators of their fashion missteps and encourage them to seek other wardrobe opportunities.
Some Gators, proud of their Jort tradition, have gone so far as to make up quotes such as "Champions wear jean shorts" and "Jorts: The quality of a jean with the comfort of a short." It's hard to argue with their point since the Gators have a winning record against Georgia since the comment was first made. There is even a facebook page (started by a GT.com member) entitled Support the Jort.
Just for the fun of it, here are a couple things on the internet regarding Gators and their jort-wearing tendencies.
Ly Anne Agger is a Columnist for GatorTailgating.com
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