Welcome to fall, fam! The leaves have officially started to change colors, the smell of pumpkin spice latte is in the air & most importantly…….college football is BACK!
For me, football has always been a significant part of Saturdays in the fall. I grew up in the state of Georgia, but I’ve been a Florida fan since I was old enough to say, “Go Gators!” If you didn’t know, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida have one of the longest & loudest rivalries in college football. Being a Florida fan & living in the state that’s overrun with “dawg” fans is a challenge.
The rivalry runs true & deep. Walking through the sea of red & black in the grocery store on game day in my orange & blue is never well received. It doesn’t stop with just strangers; even family members who are die-hard-dawgs refuse to talk to me during the Florida-Georgia game. As much as I love the spirit and I live for the rivalry sometimes I find myself wishing, “can’t we all just get along?”
On Monday, Sept. 21st two schools who would face-off against each other on the field that Saturday had the same feeling. To celebrate International Day of Peace, a day that recognizes the efforts of those who have fought to end conflict and promote peace, these schools got together to put their football trash-talking aside for the day & decided to lift each other up. Instead of the usual sports-banter these two schools decided to flip the script & made “fetch” happen on their campuses by spreading the love for one another.
The University of South Carolina & University of Central Florida are calling their matchup against one another on Saturday, Sept. 26th the Best Friend Bowl. Many students - in both schools! - were posting about getting T-shirts made for the event. Students from South Carolina were offering advice to UCF students who would be traveling to Columbia for the game on things like best places to park, good restaurants in town & places to meet up if they needed a tailgate to join! The amazing thing is that after International Day of Peace ended, they continued their support of each other & vowed to cheer each other on throughout the week all the way up to game day on Saturday!
Maybe these two schools are onto something? Maybe instead of creating rivalries with our neighbors, we should reach out & offer encouragement! I for one can’t wait to watch the “Best Friend Bowl” this weekend, I think I’m more excited to peek into their feeds than I am to watch the game! I just hope no one gets too attached if they continue the love with their opponents for next week…