Georgia Florida Football Classic is a great time here on Amelia Island and everyone seems to be predicting a close game.
Georgia Bulldog and Florida Gator fans are showing their colors all around Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island. From flags on cars to banners hanging from balconies, signage and school spirit can be found everywhere.
Florida is the home team, which rotates each year as does the name of the game with the home team being the first name in the title, however for a Georgia fan like me, it is always The Georgia/Florida game.
This classic rivalry, which has been held in Jacksonville every year since 1933, except for 1994 and 1995, when the contest was held at the respective schools’ campus stadiums due to the reconstruction of the current Jacksonville Jaguars stadium, is always a great time here on Amelia Island and the surrounding areas, and everyone seems to be predicting a close game; one Amelia Island could use. Fernandina Beach becomes a sea of red and black and when the Bulldogs win those tourists will stay in town through Sunday. If they lose, they tuck their bulldog tails and head back home.
The Bulldogs lead the overall series with a 47–40–2 overall record by its reckoning, and 46–40–2 by Florida’s count. Florida has compiled an 18–3 record in the series since 1990 (Georgia winning in 1997, 2004 and 2007), following a 15–5 streak by Georgia in the 1970s and 1980s. Granted, I went to Georgia during that time frame so it is hard for me to deal with the past 20 years!
This year my beloved Bulldogs (right now) are 2.5 point underdogs, but in this game you never know what will happen.
Prior to the game there will be lots of great things to do so if you are a fan of either team you need to indulge yourself in all that Amelia Island has to offer!
- -Second Amendment Outfitters lets you shoot a gun at your rival’s target and enter for a chance to win a gun.
-Amelia Liquors will have the Jose Cuervo Girls at their South Store to take your picture in front of your favorite teams logos and colors. You can also create a label to put on a bottle of Cuervo tequila to show your team spirit to all your friends, and they will be available for personal photos as well. This all takes place from 4 till 6 on Friday. Their North Store also has a wine tasting and more, so get out and enjoy our paradise.
Friday night the island is buzzing with colorful fans, but come Saturday morning they start heading to Jacksonville to tailgate at the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, leaving the island all but deserted.
I will be staying at home this year to watch this most important game in the sanctity of my own man-cave so I can scream and imbibe in a few adult beverages with family and a few friends. When I was in College I witnessed this game in person many times so I feel I deserve to do it my way now!
Many locals throw parties, the grills are fired up and near kick-off time there is a noticeable reduction in traffic and especially male shoppers out and about.
My early prediction: Georgia 30, Florida 24 in a squeaker.
Go Dawgs! Sic Em Woof Woof Woof!!!