For those that don’t know, I started attending Florida Atlantic University this past Spring after attending University of Florida after high school in 1999. I’ve always been a diehard Gators fan, one of the biggest you will ever come across, and never thought my heart would be swayed even in the slightest. Yet know I find a little bit of my heart falling for these lovable FAU Owls.
My Gators obsession started even before birth as I am sure that I was exposed to Gators love even in the womb. I was born at lovely Shands Hospital on the UF campus in Gainesville, FL while my parents were there attending school. The first picture of lovely Frank Reed Fitton III at the hospital shows me wearing a shirt that says, “I was Born a Baby Gator.” So were talking about 32 years of beautiful tradition here, so you are dam right I’m living in the past.
Since I started in the spring 2013, I did miss last year’s forgettable FAU football season. This year has been my first exposure to the Owls in that regard. I never thought that I would really care about following this team at all, but honestly it is hard not to love them. While not a dominant force at all, that are young and full of fight. Led by sophomore quarterback Jaquez Johnson, the Owls may be sitting at 2-4 on the season but they could very easily be 4-2 with stinging close loses to Rice and Middle Tennessee State. The Rice game Johnson sat out with a collarbone injury and the MTSU game was lost in overtime.
The Gators are first in my heart now, and at this point I figure forever, but I am telling you that you never know. I’m just glad that they are not rivals at this point. FAU did make a visit to the Swamp a couple years back, but it was a paycheck game that they had no chance of winning. While I don’t think it is possible to root for two top tier type teams. I think it is possible to root for two teams if one is at the top level of the game and the other is farther down.
Yet this Owls team I will say definitely appears to be on the rise. Who knows what we might be talking about a few years from now. One of FAU’s victories this year is over the University of South Florida, and those Bulls were a top tier football team a few years back. While they have taken an epic fall since those days, they took quite the epic rise to get to the position for said fall. Could FAU trudge a similar path? Could FAU and Florida one day be rivals? I would say that crazy things certainly have happened.
Right now for me it is UF first and FAU second and rising, yet with still a long way to go. Yet FAU is for a fact #2 with a bullet. Once I finish this degree at FAU it might make it even a closer battle, and in that time I anticipate FAU improving as well.
With that improvement FAU’s fan base hopefully might get a little more fired up, which they would certainly need if they want to win this heart. With this blog post in mind, today I wore a Gators shirt to class at FAU. I did not get a single comment, or even a dirty look that I noticed. This shouldn’t happen if we were in fact rivals. I need a little bit of hatred between the schools in order to make me choose one or the other in the future. So I am letting you know right now Owls, that if you want to win this heart over you are going to have to get a little bit more fired up. Trust me too, you want this heart, you want it bad as I am one of the biggest fans of my teams out there. Right now you are staying in the guest house, hopefully seething and planning a mutiny. I cannot wait to see how the next couple years play out. Hell, we even got Jeff Driskel’s brother coming to Boca Raton to play next year that would make it even more interesting.