Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Memories of the Game; in Interviews with Times-Union Sports Writer Michael DiRocco, a Pair of Former Gators and Bulldogs Talk about Playing in the Florida-Georgia Game and Some of the Their Favorite Memories

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Memories of the Game; in Interviews with Times-Union Sports Writer Michael DiRocco, a Pair of Former Gators and Bulldogs Talk about Playing in the Florida-Georgia Game and Some of the Their Favorite Memories

Article excerpt

TERRY JACKSON (1995-98)

RB Terry Jackson played at Florida from 1995-98 but only played in three games at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The '95 game was in Athens because of stadium renovations. He's now UF's director of player and community relations.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THE SERIES?

My favorite memory is probably a play that I didn't make. In '96 I was playing a little linebacker as well. I played both ways because Jevon [Kearse] and Mike Peterson were hurt and we needed some depth at linebacker. I missed a pick. I still play that memory in my mind, the dance I would have done if I had scored. Being able to make that play and the guys laughing at me for not making that play [is what I remember most].

DO YOU REMEMBER THE ACTUAL PLAY?

I was man-to-man on Larry Brown, the big tight end, like 6-7, and I think Mike Bobo was the quarterback. I thought I was in the perfect position but he [Bobo] threw a perfect pass right outside my arms.

AND YOUR TEAMMATES WERE LAUGHING?

That's what our team was about. It was about having a good time. The play before that I got double-teamed by Larry Brown and a tackle and they pushed me 20 yards down the field. I look at over to the sideline and they're over there laughing at my expense. It was my first time playing defense.

WAS YOUR FIRST FLORIDA-GEORGIA GAME IN JACKSONVILLE EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE?

I grew up in Gainesville so I went to those games and grew up watching the craziness of it. It was a surreal feeling. ... When you drive into there [Jacksonville] on that game day - the scene, the madness, it's really hard to appreciate unless you actually see it in person. After I finished playing and as an adult going to those games as well, you can't understand what's actually going on until you play in it.

JOHNNY HENDERSON (1976-77)

DB Johnny Henderson (1976-77) might be the guy who gave Fourth and Dumb its name in 1976. He's the player who made sure the Gators' fourth-down gamble didn't work.

WAS THE ATMOSPHERE FOR YOUR FIRST FLORIDA-GEORGIA GAME WHAT YOU EXPECTED?

It was pretty incredible. It was very electric even back in the day when there were only 60,000 people [in the stadium].

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY?

The best memory I have about it is coming out of the tunnel onto the field. You could actually smell bourbon in the air. It was incredible.

SO THE CROWD WAS CRAZY, HUH?

I could not imagine playing in that game at night or late in the afternoon. Our games were always at 1 o'clock.

EVER GET WORRIED?

No. There was not that much spotlight on the behavior of fans as there is now. There was no Internet. If something happened, you pretty much never heard about it. I wasn't worried at all.

OK, YOU MAKE THE PLAY IN 1976 (TACKLING EARL CARR ON FOURTH-AND-1), WHICH SPARKS GEORGIA TO A 41-27 VICTORY. WHAT WAS IT LIKE AFTER THE GAME?

When I was getting interviewed after that game the sports writer mentioned to me, 'What did you think about the call?' I said, 'I thought it was kind of dumb.' Thus it became Fourth and Dumb. When I got out of Georgia, I went into coaching in 1980 and started at UT-Chattanooga and my father, who was a high school football coach in Georgia for years, said, 'I don't believe you'll be getting any job with [Doug] Dickey, calling him dumb like that.' I wasn't calling him dumb. I just thought it [the play] was dumb.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SPECIAL MEMORIES OF THE GAME?

Obviously in '75 when I was a sophomore when [Robert] Appleby threw the ball to Gene Washington [in Georgia's 10-7 victory]. That was electric. I've never experienced a swing in a game like that. Florida was totally dominating us. We hit them with a big play like that and they didn't recover.

JACK YOUNGBLOOD (1968-70)

DE Jack Youngblood's fumble recovery near the Florida goal line was the turning point in the 1970 game. …

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