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The original Mr. Two Bits, George Edmondson, performing at a game.

Wednesday August 27, 2014Attention UF Students: Win A Chance to be Mr. Two Bits

The original Mr. Two Bits, George Edmondson, performing at a game.

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

rhett as 2 bitsGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- For Errict Rhett, the most pressure-packed part of it all was the need to do it right. 

The Mr. Two Bits tradition dated to 1949, and Rhett had been pegged for the all-important role of carrying on that tradition by paying homage to super Gator fan George Edmondson, the Tampa native who regularly performed the ceremonial pre-game cheer until retiring in 2008 at the age of 86. 

“I practiced all night,” Rhett said. “Then I practiced for a couple hours before I went there.” 

Then, on Aug. 31, 2013, Rhett became the first honorary Mr. Two Bits when he led the crowd at Florida Field through the 64-year-old chant (pictured right).

The new tradition of bringing in a celebrity Mr. Two Bits will continue for the 2014 season -- but with a twist.

Now a UF student will have a chance to get the crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to “stand up and holler.”

The University Athletic Association announced Wednesday the inaugural Mr. Two Bits Challenge, a contest for student season-ticket holders, with the winner leading the Two Bits cheer before the Sept. 6 home game against Eastern Michigan. 

The official rules (as stated here):

  • Contestants must film a video, anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds long, doing the famous cheer -- “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar! All for the Gators, stand up and holler!” – and explaining why they would like to be the honorary Mr. Two Bits. 
  • Suggestions for the video: Explain what being a Florida Gator means, what Gator football means or how the tradition of game days have shaped their experience at UF, etc. 
  • The video must be submitted via either Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Mr2BitsChallenge.
  • Entries must be posted beginning Aug. 24 up until midnight Aug. 30. 

The more creative and more passionate, the better. 

Entries will be judged by UF athletic director Jeremy Foley, student government president Cory Yeffet and, fittingly, the first honorary Mr. Two Bits himself, the guy known as E-Rhett.

“I can’t wait to see if anyone out there can match my enthusiasm, 'cause no one else was able to,” boasted Rhett, the all-time rushing leader in UF history who batted leadoff for a Two Bits lineup that went on to include Gator icons Danny Wuerffel, Chris DiMarco, Chris Doering, Wes Chandler and Carlos Alvarez. “None of ‘em got the air I got. I was like Michael Jordan out there.” 

The opportunity to lead one of Gators’ most storied football traditions in the 90,000-seat stadium was an idea hatched by the UF marketing department as a way to recognize the student body and what it brings to Saturdays at Florida Field. 

“The students are what make game day in ‘The Swamp’ so special,”  said Alicia Longworth, assistant athletics director for marketing and promotions. “Whether they are chomping or swaying or singing ‘We are the Boys,’ it’s the east side of the stadium that always brings the passion and energy to a Gator game.”

Now some fan will get a very special opportunity to bring those elements before the game.

“How many people will ever get that chance?” Rhett asked. “Man, I get chills just thinking about it.” 

 

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