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Why Your Mascot Sucks: University of Florida Gators

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Chomp, chomp, chomp?

Syndication: Tallahassee Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee Democrat via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Ahoy friends! We’ve reached the Elite 8 of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament and and next up in our examination of the top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers’ opponents is the University of Florida and their mascot, Tim Tebow...just kidding, its Albert the Gator.

You may recognize Albert from, famously, one of the greatest This is Sportscenter commercials of all time...

RIP Steve, RIP.

Origins

Unlike most schools, Florida did not adopt the Gator as its mascot by a school vote, or by the suggestion of the coach or faculty member.

Instead, the Gator was chose by the Miller family, of Gainesville, Fla. Phillip Miller, who owned a store in Gainesville visited his son, Austin in Charlottesville, Va., where Austin was a law student at the University of Virginia.

During the visit, the Millers went to the Michie Company to purchase some pennants and banners for their Gainesville store. They were shown examples of colleges with mascots, to determine which design he wanted to sell and when asked what the mascot was for Florida, they realized at the time the school did not have one.

Austin, who was not even enrolled at UF decided that the Gator would be a good choice, as it was a native of Florida and no other school had it as a mascot. He then found some photos of gators in the University of Virginia Library and provided them to the Michie Company, as the manager admitted he had never seen an alligator before...

I mean, I get it was 1908, but how could you have never seen even a picture of an alligator before?

Phillip then returned to Gainesville with pennants and banners to sell in his shop with gators in a variety of poses. The pennants and banners came in the Florida school colors of blue and orange and it was rumored to be the first appearance of the alligator as the school logo. The school’s football team began using the Gator nickname in 1911.

The school, like many others, acquired its first live mascot in 1957 when it acquired Albert. Multiple live gators have taken on the mantel of Albert over the years and the school have even used a robotic gator before...

A robotic gator? Coming out of Florida? That sounds like a preview of the apocalypse...

In 1970, the first Albert mascot appeared in a vinyl costume and then in 1986, Alberta made her first appearance, as Albert’s sidekick and friend.

Appearance

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Albert and Alberta, are the “First Couple of Florida Sports,” going on 36+ years together. However, their relationship status is a bit of a mystery. According to the school they are just friends, but in my opinion, there is no way these two aren’t involved romantically by now...

As Winston Bishop once said, “you can’t put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf and expect them not to mix. ‘Cause somebody gotta eat a sandwich.”

What are you afraid of Florida? Just say they drunkenly hooked up on Spring Break in Key West, like everyone else. Tale as old as time...but unlike everyone else, it wasn’t a one night stand and they are in love.

THIS IS THE LOVE STORY WE, AS A NATION, NEED.

What in the name of Tom Hanks is this...?

They are anthropomorphized American Alligators, which can be found all around the dumpster fire that is the state of Florida and their costume designs hold true to their real life reptilian brothers and sisters.

Their green bodies feature scales that cover their backs and their faces feature the alligator’s signature teeth. Their overall design is spot on and while they are predatory in nature, I feel as though their design is approachable enough for children.

Both feature claws on their feet and hands, while Alberta’s are painted orange and Albert’s black. Alberta also can be seen with lipstick on her face, thus further signifying that she is the lady gator. It’s 2021, genders norms are meant to be broken Florida, get woke...

The pair also have their own unique personalities and Albert is said to idolize Godzilla, that one gator from Mega Python vs. Gatoroid and the wrestler, Titus O’Neil. He is also rumored to love a good movie marathon. While Alberta prefers playing practical jokes on with fans with her spider on a stick, dancing on the sidelines and is said to be the perfect mix of sassy and classy.

The pair received cosmetic updates in 2015, where their eyes were opened more, their skin became smoother looking and the block F on their clothes, became more stylized.

Smart move Florida, block letters are so last year. To summarize, the design of Albert and Alberta is top notch, their costume redesign in 2015 was well done and they are totally getting down, Gator-style.

Albert and Alberta certainly don’t suck, but the state of Florida does.