Before any Florida Gator can trot out onto the field for the kickoff inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, he must tap the sacred gator head that sits between the locker room and the playing field.
It is a tradition that is near and dear to the heart of every Gators football player, coach and staff member. Players have reported getting chills and goose bumps, not from the crazed 90,000-plus fans roaring just beyond the south end zone entrance, but because of the honor they feel when touching the gator head that stares fearlessly at them as they approach. Some players even claim to gain more energy, internal strength and confidence after touching the artificial beast that looms just before the most intimidating swamp around. -- Edward Aschoff