As a new era begins on Saturday night for the Gators with coach Dan Mullen taking over at the helm against Charleston Southern, the University will reach back to its past for someone to fire up the crowd.
Former All-American wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, who later starred in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals, but is now best known as NBC Sunday Night Football analyst, will be the honorary “Mr. Two Bits” on Saturday night.
One of the greatest players in #Gators history will do the 'Mr. Two Bits’ honors to usher in the @CoachDanMullen era Saturday night. Welcome back, @CollinsworthPFF. https://t.co/O3qC9wAYU2 pic.twitter.com/uoiNBSnLiS
— Chris Harry (@GatorsChris) August 28, 2018
The tradition started decades ago by now, 96 year-old super-Gator fan George Edmonston AKA “Mr. Two Bits” has continued with celebrities from time to time since 2013 coming to lead the cheer.
Collinsworth, who’s 59 and is about to enter his 10th season in the NBC Sunday night booth with Al Michaels, has the opportunity Saturday, because the NFL season does not start until after Labor Day weekend.
Collinsworth started for the Gators from 1977-80 and later was a second round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1981 draft. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons and went on to play in two Superbowls with the Bengals in a nine year career.
Collinsworth has some nerves, as he told Harry about the pressure to deliver blowing the whistle and leading 70,000+ fans in the Two Bits cheer,
“I’m trying to make sure I don’t mess it up,” Collinsworth said. “When you’re Mr. Two Bits, I think you’re pretty much one-and-out. It’s like throwing out the first pitch. If you mess it up, there’s no second chance. So I better get it right.”
Collinsworth is a 1991 inductee into the Gators Hall of Fame
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