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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

I really feel bad for all you freshmen.

You're never going to enjoy the cheap, fattening, how-can-it-take-this-long-to-take-a-hamburger-order experience that was Wendy's inside the Reitz Union.

The old faithful institution &ndash I swear it was open more hours in a day than most people are awake - is no longer with us. It is being replaced by Cheeburger Cheeburger, which I hear is a little more expensive with a little more quality.

Still, the UF class of 2013 never gets to eat at Wendy's in the Reitz. There's just something weird about that - I feel like you're missing out on something.

Here are three tips to make sure you don't have similar regrets when it comes to your UF athletics experience.

First of all, do yourself a favor and know what's going on with the Gators. At the absolute, scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel minimum that means the football team (and more than, "Oh yeah, there's that Tebow dude."). Consider upping yourself to decent casual fan status and learn about the men's basketball team.

But really, you should indulge yourself and learn something about some of the smaller sports. I know I'm one of the biggest champions of the worthiness of smaller sports - i.e. you're rarely, if ever, watching this sport on ESPN or ESPN2, but there is something to be said for the fact that 18 UF sports made it into their NCAA Tournament.

Second, go to the home football games. This sounds obvious enough, right? Yet you will know people who willingly choose not to go each week. (I apologize in advance for the terrible students who only got student tickets to sell them to the highest bidder each week. Dante has a special circle in hell for these pseudo-ticket brokers.)

Yep, people go to the library or other "usually packed" locations in Gainesville. They often use an explanation that has to do with the fact that this is a rare time when said destination is empty.

Hello! There's a reason why Gainesville is dead on game days outside of The Swamp and the surrounding area. Don't be one of these people. Ever.

Third, become a Rowdy Reptile as quickly as possible. What's that, you ask? It's the frequent flyer program for the UF men's basketball team.

Attend eight home games in a year to gain access. Membership allows you to go online before the season and pick all the games you want to attend &ndash a major advantage over non-reptiles, who must sign up for three games at a time at a random time assigned by the ticket office. If you're not a Rowdy Reptile and you can't make the signup time, good luck getting a seat in the O'Connell Center, especially for SEC games.

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Well, there you have it. Consider those the basic three steps to not messing up your UF athletics experience. Surely I left some things out, but the advice boils down to this: Do as much as you can.

Live it up. Try things. Have fun. Be smart.

All UF sporting events besides football are free to students, and except for men's basketball, you don't have to do any advance work to attend. Just show up and flash your Gator1. It's just that simple.

You may not get the Wendy's experience, but then again you're probably better (and healthier) off without it. Just follow the three steps.

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