There was a time — we swear this was true — when Florida and Tennessee were the swaggering titans atop the SEC, and Georgia and Alabama were afterthoughts. The trash-talking Gators embodied the spirit of their mouthy, blade-witted coach, Steve Spurrier, while the coolly competent Volunteers existed in the mold of their phenomenal quarterback Peyton Manning — always competitive, always in the championship conversation, but all too often falling short of the biggest goal of them all.
Twenty-five years ago this week, that rivalry hit its apex with Spurrier’s infamous declaration that “you can’t spell ‘Citrus’ without U-T” — a devastating-at-the-time one-liner that, today, requires some backstory to appreciate.
Join us now as we return to a time when the Gators and Vols were the talk of the college football world. Just make sure you’ve got thick skin.
Back in the ‘90s, the purest form of college football entertainment came in the summertime at meetings of the Gator Club — the Florida football booster community with outposts throughout the Sunshine State. It was there, over plates of rubber chicken and maybe a few cold beers, that Steve Spurrier would kick into full-on Head Ball Coach mode, sassing and harassing every one of his rivals, to the utter delight of the Gator faithful in attendance.
“I did 21, 22 Gator Clubs during the offseason,” Spurrier recalled to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. “Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm … you tell the corny joke, you drink a few beers, everybody has a good laugh.”
Here’s a little open secret: Spurrier didn’t actually come up with all those savage one-liners he used to throw around like diamond-tipped darts. FSU standing for “Free Shoes University,” Auburn’s library burning down with unused coloring books still…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/you-cant-spell-citrus-without-u-t-steve-spurrier-peyton-manning-and-one-of-historys-great-insults-220257136.html?src=rss
Author : Yahoo Sports
Publish date : 2022-09-21 22:02:57
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