Many college football teams have a tradition to stand on the field together as the marching band plays the school’s alma mater. I would venture to wager the majority of those teams do so win or lose.
On Wednesday night in New Orleans, just one player remained on the field to hear the alma mater for Florida after the Gators were roughed up in the Sugar Bowl by Big East champion Louisville to the tune of 33-23.
There is something special about this image to me. It shows me that Kitchins appreciates the support a marching band provides all season long, and is a sign of a mutual respect clearly not shared by his Gator teammates. Florida entered the Sugar Bowl a heavy favorite against Louisville and ended up getting their teeth knocked in all night right from the first play of the game. While the players on the field may have lost interest or motivation for whatever reasons, the job of the band is to continue showing the spirit and support through thick and thin. To me, this image shows me that Kitchins gets that, while his teammates likely do not recognize or respect that.
You can sometimes learn a lot about the character of players and a team during bowl season. Tuesday night in New Orleans may have given us a glimpse in to the state of mind and culture of the Florida Gators, for better and worse.
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