TWO BITS: Florida Gators open indoor practice facility for use, put mascots on Tinder

1 » The Florida Gators on Saturday officially moved into the Indoor Football Practice Facility, christening the $17 million structure with a full team practice. The IPF was completed nearly two weeks ahead of schedule and by all accounts looks beautiful, especially the orange, blue and green synthetic surface.

After covering the IPF approval and construction process thoroughly over the last year, there’s not much more to say about it at this point. Check out this link for prior articles about the IPF, including the name of the field and a full video fly-through, likely produced by the project’s lead design company.

Continue Reading » TWO BITS: Florida Gators open indoor practice facility for use, put mascots on Tinder

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Florida Gators debut new Albert, Alberta mascot costumes ahead of 2015 season

With the Florida Gators athletic program already in the midst of a number of overhauls – mostly to teams and venues – the program officially debuted on Friday new costumes for its long-time mascots, Albert E. Gator and Alberta Gator.

After being alerted to pictures and videos of what looked to be new mascot costumes, reached out to the athletic program and received confirmation that Albert and Alberta have indeed changed their look. But how drastic is the change?

According to the University Athletic Association’s marketing and promotions staff, the primary adjustment made to the costumes is the material: they are “much more lightweight and customized for [the] hot Florida weather.” Cosmetically, the biggest change fans will notice is the eyes of Albert and Alberta, which are opened more.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators debut new Albert, Alberta mascot costumes ahead of 2015 season

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FOUR BITS: Watkins, Halapio, Pouncey, Colbert

1 » Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jaylen Watkins and New England Patriots guard Jon Halapio, both third-day selections in the 2014 NFL Draft, signed rookie contracts with their respective teams on Monday. There is already talk that Watkins may be able to push for a starting cornerback job at some point this season, though Philadelphia’s plan right now is to work him out at corner, nickel and safety in order to figure out how he can contribute the most from the get-go. Halapio is expected to start out as a reserve in New England, which is trying to strengthen its offensive line this offseason. will post full stories on each signing once it is able to obtain the detailed contract information for the players.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Watkins, Halapio, Pouncey, Colbert

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Gators pictures: Albert doing the hora, sneakers

OGGOA was sent two interesting pictures over the weekend, one with direct ties to the Florida Gators and the other, well, a little stretch. Enjoy.

» At a Jewish wedding last weekend, Florida mascot Albert was in attendance and was hoisted up on a chair during the hora. It seems that Alberta was too busy indulging in the red wine to participate. Picture courtesy of Susie Gilden of RBB Public Relations. Side note: This will occur at my wedding.

» To the right is a picture of an alligator made completely out of rubber from various pairs of sneakers. A “Florida Gator,” perhaps? Maybe not. But cool none the less. Thank you to OGGOA reader Daniel M. for passing this along.

Should you also come across interesting pictures relating to the Gators, feel free to send them in to

Who knows – maybe you will even win a prize for your submission!


Florida Gators student-athletes remake “Thriller”

Congratulations to University of Florida telecommunications and news broadcasting major Kristin Giannas for this fantastic remake of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video featuring Florida Gators student-athletes. Mascots Albert and Alberta along with several members of the Gators football, women’s basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, baseball, cheerleading and dazzlers squads all came together to create this 5:50 video that is sure to be a big hit.

Well, there WAS a video below. Until it was made “private” by the user on YouTube. I hope those of you that viewed it earlier were able to enjoy! I will be sure to update this post should the video be made public again.

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FOUR BITS: Defense is Strong; Gator Growl; Bet

1 » No. 1 Florida Gators and No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide are on top of the college football mountain – both literally and figuratively. While a meeting between the leaders of the East and West in the SEC Championship game seems inevitable, it is not the teams’ high-powered offenses that will take them there. Instead, it is defense that separates Florida and Alabama from the pretenders. Dave Curtis of the Sporting News may have put it best to Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated: “You know how in the NCAA tournament you have those years where the Final Four has two No. 1 seeds on one side and a four and a six on the other?” he said. “Well, if the Dec. 5 SEC Championship were a national semifinal, Florida and Alabama would be those dueling No. 1 seeds.”

2 » The Gators top-ranked defense has only given up 6.4 points per game, five less than their average last season. In fact, Florida’s defense is so dominant that its players may finally earn defensive coordinator Charlie Strong the head coaching gig he so richly deserves (and has for years). After I posted this, I came across a new article by the New York Times stating that a previously snubbed Strong is making a major case for himself. “It’s time for college football to make a statement,” writer Lenn Robbins says.

3 » With the LSU Tigers in the books as a 13-3 win, the Gators look ahead to the Arkansas Razorbacks next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in The Swamp. But before kickoff can commence, Florida’s annual Gator Growl homecoming event will be taking place Friday night. Featuring comedian Dana Carvey, band O.A.R. and dance group the JabbaWockeeZ, the largest student-run pep rally looks to be as entertaining as always. And if that wasn’t enough, former Gators star quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel will be hosting the festivities instead of Albert and Alberta. 2009’s show theme is “Legends of the Swamp,” and the students plan to honor one of the best senior classes ever to run out onto Florida Field.

4 » It was not just the Gators that won on Saturday night as Florida Congressman Adam Putnam won a friendly bet with Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s First Congressional District. Putnam, a UF graduate, won a case of root beer produced by the Abita Brewing Company of Louisiana from Scalise, who would have received some of Florida’s Natural Orange Juice should LSU have been victorious.

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