Image Credit: Richard Ward
It is not uncommon to see a southern college football fan with a tattoo of an iconic coach on his body — primarily Alabama fans donning ink of Bear Bryant and Nick Saban — but while there are plenty of fans with Florida Gators logos, jerseys and helmets on their bodies, rare is it to see the Head Ball Coach on someone’s skin.
That is no longer the case as Richard Ward of Sanger, California, who shared with OnlyGators.com on Thursday night why he commissioned a long-desired tattoo of former Florida coach Steve Spurrier, finally had his new ink completed.
Ward, 32, a “born and raised die-hard fan” of Gators football, has neither been to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium nor seen Florida play. “That’s my dream,” he said.
His inability to get to a game did not stop him from watching the Gators his entire life and learning to love football through Spurrier’s Fun ‘n Gun offense.
That’s why Ward (@rich559 on Twitter) ultimately decided on the tattoo, which features Spurrier being held on the shoulders of two players — Kenyetta Walker and Gerard Warren — following UF’s 2000 SEC Championship Game victory. It is Ward’s second featuring Gators football and both are on his calves.
At some point, you can bet this will get around to Spurrier, who will probably be somewhat demure and sarcastic, asking why someone would want his likeness on his skin. The truth of the matter, though, is Spurrier means as much to Florida fans as Bryant and Saban do to those from Alabama.
Maybe Ward will start a new trend.
Spurrier has returned to Gainesville, Florida, a bunch since retiring as head coach at South Carolina. The Swamp was recently renamed Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which will be made official during the 2016 season.
Real photo of Steve Spurrier via Associated Press/John Bazemore