Georgia Florida, A rivalry that is rooted deep in every Georgia and Florida fan’s soul. The emotions that surround this game every year are plenty. There is good fun and animosity, celebration and mourning, elation and anger. For over 100 years both sides have felt the entire range of these emotions.
The first game between the two teams was in 1904, but the rivalry officially began in 1915 in Jacksonville, Florida. The game was permanently moved to this “neutral” location in 1933 with the idea that it was an easy place for both groups of fans to travel to by train. The game was sold out that year and has been near or at capacity every year since.
The game attracts massive crowds to Jacksonville each year. The festivities are known to be so grand that in the 1950’s it was dubbed the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” by the sports editor of The Florida Times-Union Bill Kastelz. The city dropped the nickname from official usage after Florida fans stormed the field in 1984 and Georgia fans in 1985. It is now occasionally called the “War for the Oar,” as the winning team takes home the Okefenokee Oar.
Although Georgia has won only seven games out of the past 25 matchups, they lead the series 50-43-2. The most significant victory of the series came in 1942 where Georgia’s Charley Trippi and Heisman Trophy-winning back Frank Sinkwich combined to score seven touchdowns. Georgia crushed Florida 75-0. Florida would not have a team in 1943 due to players being drafted for service in World War II. It would be the only year that the game has not been played since the rivalry’s beginning.
The history between this prominent match-up of Southeastern Conference opponents is ever plentiful and rich, and its results mean the world to fans on both sides of the state line.