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Declaration of Fandependence, Sports

July 23, 2009

Your Declarations of Fandependence (Part 1)

Tags: basketball, Declaration of Fandependence, football, gators, len bias, terps, university of florida, university of maryland

Submissions are flying in!

Check out the original post here for more information.  (Briefly, I asked you to tell me who your favorite team was and why…but definitely read the post!)

Here are two terrific Declarations of Fandependence:

From Tom Oates (), videographer extraordinaire!

The late, great Len Bias

The late, great Len Bias


We’re Americans; we love a comeback story.

No college team has a better Tragedy to Triumph story than the University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team.

The 1986 death of Len Bias spiraled the program into a turbulent pit of sanctions, coaching changes and a flurry of negative stigmatism.

We also love the story of the prodigal son; the Terps have one of their own.

In the 1960’s Gary Williams was Maryland’s scrappy, overachieving point guard. Returning to his alma mater in 1989 as head coach, Williams was besieged by NCAA sanctions; penalties for violations conducted under a previous coaching staff.

Twelve years later, Maryland – led by another scrappy, overachieving point guard – captured the NCAA championship.

What’s not to love? It’s the all-American tale.


By: Sasha Muradali, guest blogger

When, I think back to my days at university, I see a sea of orange and blue: a vision of the University of Florida.

Located in Gainesville, Fla., a small town in the middle of nowhere, population 150,000 – population of UF 60,000 – Gainesville is where I spent four of the happiest years of my life (2003-2007, B.S. Public Relations).

Go Cure Cancer. Go Gators.


Sasha and the Gator Girls!

Sasha and the Gator Girls!

A college town, at its truest, I think of pokey sticks, spending dry, hot days under umbrella shaped trees, rain that spewed from the side in mass buckets and squirrels the size of small dogs. I remember the smell of the air, the fresh, swampy scent of flowing fresh water ponds and the scent of pine. I recall, the love bug season, the giant butterfly garden, live alligators and the scary, small car-sized raccoon inhabiting the moonlit street of Sorority Row every night. I taste the 3 a.m. Starbucks runs, cold pizza and lager on my lips.


Go Write the Great American Novel. Go Gators.

I met my best friends at UF.  We’ll be friends forever, we’ll grow old together, see each other get married and welcome the other’s kids into the world. There is some inexplicable bond I share with those people. To a certain extent, that bond is shared by a couple hundred thousand alumni and Gator Nation fans alike.

I remember the first time I saw the Gator Nation video, I cried.


I hadn’t graduated UF as yet, but I thought to myself, “this is it. This is exactly what it feels like.” There is just something magical about that place, some sort of rooted camaraderie that is over 150-years old. It is passed down from person to person and shared through the generations.

I know I will always bleed orange and blue. Period.

No matter where I go, who I meet or what adventures I encounter, my Gator Nation days molded me into adulthood. I was molded into a Gator.

Go Start A Fortune 500 Company. Go Gators.

But that’s what being a fan of the Gators, being a Gator – that’s what it’s about.

It’s about this spurt of happiness that crosses your face and swells your heart when you are in another city and someone is wearing your colours, your mascot, your jersey.

It’s this smile that graces your lips when someone you don’t know randomly does a Gator Chomp in front of you. They’re Gators too.

It’s that laugh that creeps up from inside of you, when from across the airport, someone shouts “Go Gators!”

Being a Gator, is so much – it’s more.

There aren’t adjectives enough to describe the exhilaration caused by being a part of three national championships back-to-back, or the rush of seeing University Avenue swarming with hundreds of students after the NCAA or BCS wins. They swung on the trees and climbed the street lights.

I hear laughter; I feel comfort; I see jovial, blinded bliss; I remember my home away from home –

The University of Florida is in Gainesville. The Gator Nation is everywhere. Go Gators!


Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her.

Currently Sasha is the VP of Communications for the Gator Club of Miami. Find them at






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