If you went to a Florida Gators home football game from 1949 to 2008 you were guaranteed to see one thing and that was George Edmondson lead his traditional Two Bits cheer to start the game off.
Edmondson retired in 2008 at the age of 86 years old. Ever since that day, the Florida athletics department has been trying to fill the enormous void created by this legend’s absence.
Starting in 2013 the Florida Gators started inviting former athletes back to Ben Hill Griffin stadium to be a “celebrity Mr. Two Bits”.
Well this Saturday, September 6th, a new honorary Mr. Two Bits will lead the Florida crowd through the annual cheer.
And for the first time ever, it will be a student.
Who got the golden ticket?
After winning an online contest, Florida senior business major Josh Comiter will have the enviable opportunity and honor of leading the opening cheer.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Comiter on Wednesday afternoon about the wonderful opportunity he has to fulfill a lifelong dream of his and, let’s be honest here, any true Florida Gators football fan.
Listening to Comiter’s thoughts about his experience and upcoming debut had me smiling ear to ear for hours after we spoke.
We at Gator Country are excited for this lucky young man whose name will go down in Florida Gators football history.
After you read Comiter’s words, we’re pretty sure you’ll be smiling too because, seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up!
“This is the highlight of my college career,” Comiter said. “It’s funny how this came about because my older brother emailed me and told me that I had to do this competition because it was my oldest brothers dream to be Mr. Two Bits.
I grew up watching Mr. Two Bits and watching him go throughout the stands firing up fans. It’s really more of who I am and how I was raised and that’s a Gator fan.”
My whole family is Gators, my mom, my dad, uncle everybody is a Gator. We’ve been going to Gator games my whole life, I was at the 1996 national championship and the 2006 national championship game.
My favorite memory of Mr. Two Bits would be just seeing him at the games. Just sitting at games with my dad seeing him at a gate or seeing him pop out of nowhere doing the cheer and the whole crowd doing it with him as he holds up his Mr. Two Bits sign.”
So How Did Comiter find out he was the lucky winner?
“The way I found out was they sent me an email,” Comiter said. “They asked me to email them my phone number and so I did and about 30 minutes after doing that I got an email saying congratulations you won. It was funny because every Monday I go out to eat with my friends and we were sitting there when I got the email. I read the first paragraph and I started freaking out saying I can’t wait to tell my family that I won and then I read the next paragraph it says, “do not tell anyone.”
(When he was able to) I called my brother and dad to tell them and when I told my brother he couldn’t believe it, he just freaked out. Everyone started telling me you’ve to practice and start going over form and get everything perfect.
Yesterday was my brother’s birthday so it was kind of like a birthday present to him. There really is no words in my vocabulary to describe what that moment meant to both of us.
It’s a special birthday present to my brother Matt.”
What’s Josh going to wear?
“Florida gives you a whistle, the tie and a Mr. Two Bits poster,” Comiter said. “When you look at the past honoree Mr. Two Bits they didn’t wear exactly what he wore so you can wear pretty much whatever you want but I’m going for exactly spot on what he wore. I want to look exactly like he did. I just went out and bought pants and everything for it. I have the exact outfit now.”
What will Saturday be like?
“There is no doubt in my mind that when I wake up on Saturday I’m going to say that this is the greatest day of my life,” Comiter said. “I didn’t realize how big this was until last night when I couldn’t sleep because I thought about how big this was going to be.
When I’m out there on Saturday I’m doing this for my entire family.
I have family and friends driving and flying in from as far away as New York. I have family coming to the game that have never been to a Gator game before. So I’m going to be Mr. Two Bits for their first Gator game. I’m really hoping that everyone is quiet when I come out there like they did for him.
I think it would be so cool if all 90,000 people were quiet when I was doing it and then erupted for the cheer.”
Final thoughts from Josh
“I’m going to be doing the cheer that some of the greatest players in the history of Florida have done,” Comiter said. “It’s mind blowing and it’s surreal.
I think it’s truly a privilege to be able to honor George Edmondson by being able to carry on his tradition and being the first honorary student to be able to do this.”
Many thanks to Josh for giving us the opportunity to talk to him about his involvement in this awesome moment in Florida Gators history.
I speak for everyone at Gator Country when I say that I hope the day goes great for Josh and that he enjoys every single moment of his once in a lifetime gift.