SPECIAL: Final Four Journal

In a special Gator Country feature, reporter Ryan Moss will be chronicling his experiences in Atlanta as he follows the Florida Gators at the Final Four.

Friday March 30, 2007

After leaving Gainesville at 7:30 P.M., we arrived in front of the Georgia Dome around 1 A.M. Immediately, we took our place on the pavement in front of the UF will call ticket office as the first people there. The ticket office wasn’t opening till 10 A.M. but with students being given tickets on a first come first serve basis we wanted to make sure we got the best seats possible. Slowly more people showed up and joined us in line. We were equipped with only one pillow each and we layered on as much clothes as possible to battle the blistering cold. It was a struggle to find even a remotely comfortable position on the concrete. In the end I managed to pass out for about a total of 3 hours. I am one of those people who need a lot of sleep to function, but I was willing to sacrifice the sleep for a chance at top notch seats. There had been rumors spreading that UAA was only giving students tickets that were in the upper levels, but most people didn’t believe this. So when the ticket office opened in the morning we were pretty confident that we were getting great seats. We did get first row seats; the problem was they are in section 330. Apparently UAA had decided to give all the premier (lower level) seats to alumni and boosters and stick the students up top. We were told by one official that it had to do with the pricing of student tickets and the limited number of lower level seats. Regardless of the reasoning, I was completely outraged at the fact that UF would put its loudest fans, the students, as far away from the court as possible. We, as the Rowdy Reptiles, cheer our hearts out for the Gators and nobody could believe that we were being paid back with such awful seats.

After getting over the initial shock of the tickets debacle we headed to the open practices and watched Georgetown for a little bit. Center Roy Hibbert looked good, but I don’t think he can handle all of our size.

We went on to walk around in search of tickets to the Naismith Awards, so we could repeat last years experience. During that time we ran into Villanova Coach Jay Wright and ESPN announcer Digger Phelps. Phelps said he expects the Gators to win it all.

We stopped by the end of OSU practice and the beginning of the Gators. However, we were so exhausted from our experiences the night before we were forced to head back to where we were staying and rest up for the big today tomorrow.