GatorZone.com Senior Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Chris DiMarco came to the Tennessee game two weekends ago, but arrived just after former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel did his honorary "Mr. Two Bits" performance before kickoff.
"I was mad because I missed him," DiMarco said. "I thought it would have been so cool to see it."
Instead, he'll get to live it.
DiMarco, the PGA Tour veteran and UF Hall of Famer, will be the third Gator great to perform the "Mr. Two Bits" celebrity pre-game ritual Saturday when 17th-ranked Florida (3-1, 2-0) takes on Arkansas (3-2, 0-1) in the first night game at the "Swamp" in nearly two years.
A three-time All-American for the Gators and 1990 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, DiMarco hopes to get the crowd going the same way Wuerffel did for the Volunteers and Errict Rhett, the school's all-time rushing leader, did before the season-opening win against Toledo when the tribute to George Edmondson was first unveiled.
DiMarco, with three career victories on the PGA and nearly $23 million in earnings in 23 years, was brought back to Florida Field a few years ago and introduced to the crowd for his post-UF achievements.
"That day, being cheered by all those fans, it made my hair stand on end," he said. "So I can't imagine what this will be like."
Not to put any pressure on the guy, but DiMarco will be the first non-football alum -- though certainly not the last -- to do the new "Mr. Two Bits" thing. And, yes, his wife of 22 years already has brought him a yellow shirt and orange-and-blue striped tie.
DiMarco, now 45, actually has seen quite a bit of the real "MTB," with his Gator Booster game-day parking space relatively close to Edmondson's. In fact, DiMarco has a photo (right) of he and wife Amy toasting the 1995 Florida State victory at Gainesville -- the one that gave UF its first undefeated regular season -- with Edmondson at a local watering hole.
Now DiMarco gets to toast the man in the ultimate salute.
"I'm honored, flattered, pumped ... all those things," DiMarco said. "I don't know if the fans will all know who I am, but the ones who do know me know how much I bleed orange and blue. And they'll certainly see my passion out there Saturday night."