Thursday, February 12, 2015

Florida's Rowdy Reptiles are Loud, Relentless and Awesome

Florida's Rowdy Reptiles are one of the most impressive student sections in the Southeastern Conference, if not all of college basketball.

I have been watching Florida games from afar for years but television really doesn't do justice to what it's really like to face the Gators in the O'Dome.

Even a mediocre (they're 12-12 now) Florida team is a handful to contend with in Gainesville.

The Gators took undefeated Kentucky to the wire before the Wildcats were able to get the win last weekend.

One big reason why the game was so close was the intense O'Dome atmosphere. It's true that Kentucky gets everyone's best shot in the Southeastern Conference, but Florida has a different level of home court advantage.

The O'Connell Center is somewhat small by high major basketball standards, which makes for a loud arena.

The fans, and particularly the Rowdy Reptiles, are essentially right on the court...and they are loud, sometimes and obnoxious and completely relentless.

In fact, the Reptiles were at the game more than an hour early, screaming at every person who even seemed associated with Kentucky.

From start to finish, the students danced, chanted, screamed and wildly cheered for their Gators.

While Kentucky escaped with a victory, I have to give the Rowdy Reptiles a ton of credit for being one of the best student sections I have ever witnessed.

I'm a big fan of great college basketball atmospheres and I haven't seen anything quite like Gainesville on Saturday since Indiana in 2012 (yes, that game).

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