63 years ago (the date is debated, some places say 1947 others say 1949) a man named George Edmondson Jr. started a tradition that he continued to do in The Swamp until 2008. In a 2007 St. Pete Times Article, George admits he lifted the cheer from high school football games (not to many people would know thought since he started doing it at Florida games in the 1940’s). So here is how the cheer starts…Mr. Two Bits silences the crowd by blowing a whistle and holding up a sign which says “2 Bits.” Once the crowd goes quiet, Mr. Two Bits swings his arms and the fans begin to cheer:
All for the Gators Stand up and holler!
If you need a visual, here’s how it goes…
Most non-Gator fans will say it’s hokey or even cheesy (especially since most people don’t know what a “bit” is), but for UF it’s tradition. And tradition is important.
Mr. Two Bits is more than just a “cheer” leader he’s a staple of UF Folklore. To this day only Albert repeats the cheer (since George has retired) in full Mr Two Bits attire. Mr. Two Bits does more than just cheer though, he provides opportunity. The Mr. 2-Bits Cheerleader Scholarship Fund is an active charity…check out the packages (pretty impressive). Every halloween in Gainesville you are sure to see a Mr. Two Bits costume or “two”. He’s a staple, he’s Gainesville, he is Gator Nation.
This will be the 2nd year that Mr. Two Bits won’t be “leading” the fans, but his presence can still be felt in Gator Nation. I mean seriously…the guy has his own clothing line.
Mr. Two Bits will always be tradition and never be forgotten…(no he’s not dead, we just thought he deserved a little love before the season started)….