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FAU Owls Tug at My Florida Gators Heart Oct 07

FAU vs Florida graphicFor 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.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at South FloridaSince 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.

Sun risingRight 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.

UF Bat House Collapses, Trippers Mourn Aug 18

Bathouse collapsedSunday was a very sad day at my alma mater The University of Florida. One of the real monuments of Gainesville, the UF bathouse collapsed. If you’ve never been to the bathouse, I feel sorry for you. If you’ve never dropped acid and gone to see the nightly flight to feed, I feel real sorry for you.

The campus at the University of Florida used to have a little bit of a bat problem. The little fuckers were everywhere, especially at the athletic facilites, during the late 1980′s. One time while at James G. Pressley Stadium at Percy Beard Track for a track meet, then Governor Bob Martinez famously complained about the smell of bat guano. It was due to this problem that the Bathouse was constructed, with money from the University Athletic Association, in 1991. Its goal was to provide the perfect type of structure to convince the bats that it was the best place to be. It was sort of a hedonism resort for bats. The Bathouse became home to over 200,000 Mexican free-tailed bats.

The Bathouse also contributed to the local economy, as all the pounds and pounds of bat guano that fell to the floor was donated to organic gardeners to use as fertilizer. The Bathouse really contributed nothing but good to everyone. That’s why what happened on Sunday was so sad.

One of perhaps the most tremendous experiences of my life was the first time I went to see the Bathouse. I had heard about beforehand but had never been out there before. I was sitting around with some friends doing acid when my buddy, WAKEBOARD BEARD, turned and said “It’s getting close to dusk, we should go see the bats.” This would become one of my favorite lines, and I’m definetly going to work it into a screenplay before my time here is done.

Bathouse signFor those that don’t know, every night the bats leave the Bathouse to go out and feed on the insects around Lake Alice for the night. They all leave at the same time, its really quite a mesmerizing experience. It takes about 10-15 min for all of them to leave and its just a mess of fluttering flying little hell demons, its fantastic.

The first time you see it is just really incredible. I had such a great time, that I made it my goal to spread the joy of the experience to anyone that had never had it. Every year I’d find some new students and I’d provide the acid and the life changing experience. Its really the closest to nature that you can possibly feel. Especially if their a novice tripper, the look on their face when you turn and say “I think it’s time to go see the bats”, is just priceless. I’ve had people afterwards get down on their hands and knees and thank me for the experience.

That’s one of the things that makes it so ironic that the collapse happened on Sunday. Sunday was also move-in day for all the new students. I feel sad for those students and hope that the plans to reinvigorate the Bathouse come to fruition. They say that its going to take about $10,000 dollars to repair the existing one, and $60,000 dollars to construct a new one which they were already thinking about doing before the collapse.

These numbers seem like nothing, and I don’t really see anyway the University does not get right on. After all we pay Urban Meyer $4 million a year to coach the football team. I’m not saying he doesn’t earn every penny of that, but the money for the Bathouse should be no problem.

It should be mighty interesting the next few days in Gainesville as well, as now these 200,000 bats are searching for a new home. I implore anyone that spots a bat, to just leave it alone. If you leave them alone, they usually leave you alone. My dad was not so lucky as a child. One time while cleaning out the chimney where he lived in Cedartown, GA. A bat swooped down and bit him, right on the big toe. He jumped around with that bat latched right on his big toe and it wouldn’t let go. Eventually they got the bat off, but my dad then had to go and get rabies shots. If you’ve never had rabies shot, I can assure you that their something you want to avoid.

To UF officials, I must say get off your asses and get the dam Bathouse fixed. All those new students are missing out on one of the most important experiences of being a Florida Gator. I’d really like to try and raise the money myself. Imagine if I got it together and they named it after me. The Frank Fitton Bathouse, oh my god.

At UF We Hate Coming in 2nd Jul 29

UF beerbongThe stuffed shirts up at The Princeton Review released their rankings of the top party schools recently, and my University of Florida came in second. God, I hate coming in 2nd in anything. The #1 school according to these rankings is Penn State University. Florida was #1 last year, so that means either we partied less or those dam Nittany Lions partied harder this year. Florida administrators are happy about it of course, but I think I can speak for all of our alumni when I say Fuck That.

I don’t understand how we could possibly lose out to the people at Penn St. What the fuck is there to do in Happy Valley, I guess they can just sit around and drink all day, but that’s not really a “party” in my mind. When I think Penn St. I think blue blazers and getting hand jobs from your prude girlfriend. Certainly not the way we roll up in Gainesville.

I don’t want to sound like an old man or anything either, but they partied much harder in Gainesville during my day. I was actually there for the beginning of the curbing of the rocking era.When I first got there, a 2 am closing law was unheard of. That law was passed in about my 3rd year up there, and it was pretty much totally aimed at shutting down this awesome rave club Simon’s. Anyone up there during that time, or living anywhere else in the state knows about Simon’s. That place was usually going until about 9 or 10am. Its main problem was a geographical one. Simon’s was located downtown basically right across the street from the courthouse. That meant that when all those lame ass government people were heading in to work at 9 am, people would be stumbling out of Simon’s with that lovely perpetual smile.

The guy that owned Simon’s rocked too, he was this crazy Russian guy named of course Simon. I remember when they were playing around with the 2 am closing role at the city commission meetings he would always be there. These meetings were on local TV up there, and I would watch just to hear what Simon had to say. When they passed the law, he picked up a chair and threw it at the head commissioner, it was awesome. He then opened up Soulhouse, but it wasn’t anywhere near the debauchery level of Simon’s.

Another initiative they pulled while I was up there was banning halftime re-entry at football games. This was a tremendous policy they had, it meant that at halftime you could leave and then re-enter the stadium. Anyone that’s been up to that little slice of heaven in north-central Florida for a Saturday service, knows that right across the stadium are a whole bunch of bars. So at halftime everyone would run across the street to The Purple Porpoise (now sadly defunct and the much less rocking Gator City), The Swamp, or The Grog House and you would get there and they’d already have shots lined up and waiting. You’d down a bunch of shots in succession and then run right back to the stadium without missing a thing. I think that law was pushed through by the local liquor store and Ziploc bag lobby, which is strong, as it just meant that know you had to sneak a whole lot more booze into the game.

Losing to those prissy Penn St. boys is just not acceptable. I’m tempted to just scrape this whole being sober thing and enroll in grad school so that I can make it my mission to return us to our deserved place at #1. It might be taking the idea of Gator Nation a little to far, but I am tempted. At the very least I can implore the people up there to man up and crank it up a notch this year. When you feel like just drinking beer, make it a Jager-Bomb instead. When you feel like just having sex with one freshman girl, make it a threesome. When you feel like rolling to class stoned, suck it up and eat some mushrooms. Show a little school pride.

You can see the top 20 on the Princeton Review’s tainted list here