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Celebrity candidates who should lead ‘Two Bits’ cheer

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Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:27 am | Updated: 5:35 pm, Wed Aug 28, 2013.

Will Muschamp announced some earth-shattering news at his press conference on Monday. The Gators will bring back UF celebrities to lead the crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in rousing renditions of the "Two Bits" cheer.

If you haven’t gone to a Florida football game, the Two Bits cheer is a chant that goes simply: "Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for the Gators, stand up and holler."

George Edmondson Jr., known as "Mr. Two Bits," led the cheer at The Swamp for decades until retiring in 2008.

Since then, Albert has led the cheer.

But this season, Florida will be bringing back alumni to get the crowd fired up.

I’m glad to see this cheer getting some much-needed attention.

It’s something that sets UF apart from other schools. Cheers make college sports great.

Muschamp announced on Monday that former running back Errict Rhett would lead the cheer for Florida’s season opener against Toledo on Saturday, but he didn’t say it would solely be athletes. But Rhett isn’t the most well-known alumnus.

Yeah, he may have rushed for more than 4,000 yards, but that was 20 years ago. The Gators can definitely bring in some bigger names.

I have a few ideas for who else should take the field later in the year:

Ryan Lochte: Jeah! Lochte is probably the most famous Gainesville resident at the moment. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is for you to decide.

In case you forgot, before he was an 11-time Olympic medal winner and reality show star, Lochte swam for UF from 2002 till 2006.

With three years until the next Summer Olympics, Lochte probably has some time on his hands.

He can take a weekend off of jet-setting around to Los Angeles and New York and spend some quality time in Alachua County.

It wouldn’t be the first time he got involved with publicity surrounding the football team. He was the guest picker on ESPN’s College Gameday when the show came to Gainesville for Florida’s game against South Carolina last year.

And I think even Lochte could remember the 16 words in the cheer.

Bill Nelson: Forget politics for a second. Forget that Nelson is a Democrat. He’s a United States Senator, which is a pretty awesome honor in itself. He attended UF before he transferred to Yale, but he still counts as an alumnus.

And think about it, with UF’s rising admission standards, there’s a very real chance that another U.S. Senator is walking through Turlington Plaza, trying to avoid people handing out flyers, right now.

Oh, and did I mention he was an astronaut? Like, a real, flew-into-space astronaut? That might be cooler than the whole Senate thing.

Tom Petty: OK, so Petty isn’t an alumnus, but he’s a Gainesville native, which is close enough. And he’s a rock ‘n’ roll star!

Just imagine it. The band stops playing and Petty walks onto the field with an electric guitar.

"Two bits!" twang.

"Four bits!" wah-wah.

And then he could launch into "Free Fallin’" or "I Won’t Back Down." What gets a crowd more fired up than a group sing-a-long?

I’m surprised UF hasn’t given him an honorary doctorate in badassery. Look it up, it’s a thing.

And "American Girl" is about Beaty Towers, right?

Tim Tebow: Tim Tebow’s exploits at Florida are well-known. He threw the football a lot. He ran the football a lot. He won a Heisman and got a statue.

And let’s face it, he probably won’t be doing much in November anyway.

Follow Adam Lichtenstein on Twitter @ALichtenstein24.

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