College football in general, and in the SEC and at the University of Florida specifically, have many great traditions. One of those at Gators home games involves the famous “Two Bits” cheer to rally the crowd to root the home team onto victory.
The man who came up with the cheer in the 1940s, and had it become a rallying point for hundreds of Gator home games since, died earlier this week.
George Edmondson, who became better known as “Mr. Two Bits,” and could be seen on one hot Saturday after another every fall rallying the crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Steve Spurrier Florida Field for the Gator fans to “Stand up and Holler.”
We mourn the passing of a legendary Gator – Mr. Two Bits. https://t.co/wGikZLu3J2
— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) July 4, 2019
It all started, when Edmondson got invited to a 1949 Florida game against the Citadel, and the Gators team was really struggling. He has recounted numerous times that with the fans booing the home team and players that he wanted to come up with a positive way to encourage them by the fans standing up to cheer, even if the play on the field was bad.
Hence, the old playground/high school cheerleader cheer “Two Bits. Four Bits. Six Bits, a dollar. All for the …… stand up and holler.”
Edmondson did this cheer at that game in 1949 and became known for his whistle around his neck to signal the crowd and then soon after would hold up the “Two Bits” sign and start the cheer. This went on for decades and became one of the “institutions” of going to Gator home games.
Edmondson “retired” from his on field role of leading the cheer in 2008 at age 86 after having led the cheer for over six decades of home games.
However, the tradition has continued with the likes of Gators legend Steve Spurrier leading the cheer, former Olympic Gold medalist Dara Torres, the ’06-07 back to back Men’s hoop champions, and we even wrote about former Gators/NFL star turned broadcaster Cris Collinsworth doing it last year, too.
Again, the traditions and the rabid following of fans is legendary all over the SEC, but what Edmondson started in the middle of the last century still has a legacy for Florida football.
Edmondson is survived by his wife, children, grand and great grand children and they are planning on holding a celebration of life service in August in Tampa for him. And there, you can bet, the “Two Bits” cheer will be held one more time for the man who started it at Gators games.
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