There was a great disturbance this weekend. Every Gator felt it, and it showed during the football game on Saturday. The team struggled more than the three previous weeks combined. Urban Meyer will look to the footage, but the real problem is much easier to pinpoint.
The first away game is traditionally the first weekend freshmen can go home. Social psychologists have observed that when a freshman returns to the nest for the first time, he or she digs through old possessions like a cat in a litter box. The amount of crap in the average dorm room doubled this weekend from high school artifacts alone. Sifting through old threads can easily lead to nostalgia, making it acceptable to put on that old letterman's jacket or senior sweatshirt.
But it just went too far when you decided to pack your old jean shorts.
If you returned to Gainesville with a pair of "jorts," the damage you've done is irreversible. Every time a Gator thinks about denim shorts, a Georgia fan gets his wings. This surge of karma is enough to throw every living Gator footballer onto the brink of insanity - and cause performances like Saturday's.
Since the '90s, we've been lampooned by Bulldogs, Tigers and Volunteers for our supposed love affair with jorts. Older Gators have diligently worked to destroy the stereotype of a typical Florida supporter, but it's tough when so many examples of bad taste can be found every Saturday. If you've ever wandered around in the alumni section, you'll immediately know the type; rat-tailed, pot-bellied 50-year-olds have a certain stench, similar to that of a denim factory.
It must be understood that I'm not referencing cutoff jeans. If I were an indie boy trying to score a date with an indie girl, I would scissor with the best of them.
A utilitarian would also cut off jeans when spring arrives, and buy new ones in the fall. Over-stuffed freshman fannies can't fit in one size of pants for too long, so it's best to wear them before you can't pull them on past your kneecaps.
Cutoffs are questionable, but nobody, not even Angelina Jolie, should wear mass-produced jean shorts. If you're unsure, here's a handy little question to determine whether your jorts are appropriate: Do they have a hem at the bottom? If yes, you have bigger problems than the C you'll receive in Fashion 101.
I hate to be so hard on first-year students, but our Southeastern Conference status is dependent on their judgment. It may be too late for some of the rest of us. I've unfortunately seen upperclassmen - who should know better after being taunted at The Landing in Jacksonville for the yearly Florida-Georgia Cocktail Party - wearing jorts to class. It's unfathomable that these offenders would choose to lend credibility to the jokes of our rivals.
Florida isn't really part of the South, and we shouldn't act like it. We are the southernmost state geographically, but if we wanted to be true rednecks we'd be living a few miles north.
Something is seriously wrong when a fan from another SEC school calls Gators fans hillbillies, and wearing jean shorts in public doesn't help any arguments against the stereotype.
This is our clarion call. Put down the jorts. Don't even consider wearing them to the upcoming football games. If we actually succeed in "whiting-out" Auburn this Saturday, even one pair of jean shorts could change the outcome of the entire game. Jorts are much more than a fashion no-no - they could be the only thing standing between UF and another championship.
Kyle Cox is a junior majoring in marketing and anthropology. His column appears on Tuesdays.