College football fan and Florida Gator fanatic
“There is no better way to spend a Saturday in the fall, than at a college football game”
My name is Jarrett and I am a passionate Gator fan.
What has led me to embark on such a quest? The answer to that dates back to the decision that I made to attend the University of Florida.
I was born and raised on Long Island. Growing up in the Northeast, I was a huge sports fan. Hockey and football were my favorites. But because the Northeast and particularly downstate New York, is not known for college football, I did not gain an appreciation for the differences between pro football and college football. I watched both, but I believed the differences were confined to a few rule differences and which day of the week the game was played. Both provided a way to occupy a fall/winter weekend, but there were no key differences. Was I misguided to say the least!
When the time came to go to college, I chose to attend the University of Florida (to my mother’s dismay as she wanted me to go to Washington University in St. Louis). Going to college in Gainesville allowed me to experience that while pro football is a game, college football is an event. An if you do not know what I mean by event, just watch RV’s roll into town on a Wednesday for a Saturday night game and watch 75 year-olds tailgate for 4 days. My timing could not have been any better as I arrived at the University of Florida in the fall of 1990 which coincided with Steve Spurrier’s arrival from Duke. During my years at UF, I learned to love the pageantry that is college football; including neutral sites games against Georgia in Jacksonville, SEC Championship games (which back then seemed to be the Florida Gator invitational), and even the occasional road game.
After graduating UF (yes, I was one of the few to make it out in 4 years) and moving back to New York, I made it a point to go down to Gainesville for a game each year (and still counting). I have seen games in other stadiums, but always from the standpoint of a visiting fan. One day, the thought occurred to me that wouldn’t it be great to see the college football experience all over the country. I decided then, that this would be my quest…
To see a college football game in all Division I-A stadiums.
As the years have gone by, I have experienced the greatness and pageantry that is college football all across this great nation and I look forward to many more in the years to come. I am a firm believer that at the end of the journey of life, it is the experiences we have had that will remain with us and not the things we have accumulated. Further, through this quest I am able to travel all over the country and see a lot of the great colleges, cities and towns in America.
As my kids got older and both decided to attend the University of Alabama, to Al’s dismay, I have added an annual trip to Tuscaloosa onto the football schedule. Yes, a Gator ended up with two kids at Alabama. Not easy to take, but it sure beats Ohio State or Georgia.
I have other hobbies and interests but they have become background to this quest. I would like to learn to fly (the pilot type, not the superhero type). It would be nice to be able to rent a plane and fly directly into some of the smaller out of the way schools. But my wife has said no more expensive hobbies, and I cannot exactly blame her, so that will have to wait until I win the lottery or something.
I thought that as the years passed, Beth would want in on some of the trips to California or Las Vegas. But she is perfectly content avoiding all forms of football that do not involve Alabama. That is her choice and we will see if it changes when the Hawaii trip comes up. But I would be remiss if I did not mention that this quest would not be possible without the support of my wife and two children. My wife jokingly (I hope) thought this site should be called questfordivorce.com. Again, I thank my wife and kids for allowing me the 4 trips or so a year that will help me accomplish this quest.
I will conclude by mentioning that recent events have found me relocating from NY to Florida. I told Beth that it is for the warmer weather and better lifestyle but it is really part of my elaborate 40 year plan for Gator season tickets. Hey Al, you think coming up with a Quest schedule has been hard so far, just wait until I have Gator season tickets.