The 2019 college football season kicks off by renewing a classic, heated rivalry. The Miami Hurricanes head to Orlando to face the No. 8 Florida Gators for the Camping World Kickoff game, and ESPN’s College GameDay crew will be on hand for any fan willing to pay the $100 cover charge. This Sunshine State showdown rekindles a game between UF and ‘The U’ that hasn’t taken place since 2013, but rest assured, the bad blood still exists.
As you’d expect, Canes fans are more than up to the challenge. Head coach Manny Diaz is bringing the iconic University of Miami swagger back to the program, and fans are drinking the Kool-Aid two cups at a time to the point where famous Gainesville landmarks aren’t even safe from the wrath of the Canes.
Photos obtained by WSVN 7 News in South Florida show the iconic SW 34th Street Wall — a retaining wall and Gainesville landmark built in 1979 — has been painted over by an apparent Miami Hurricanes fan who’s ready to bring the noise on August 24.
A professional graffiti artist painted “SMOKE DEM GATORS” on the wall, complete with Sebastian the Ibis and a Florida alligator being “cooked” over an open flame.
While technically illegal, local police don’t enforce strict rules against graffiti on the wall. Occasionally, students will be punished by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office or Gainesville Police Department, but the wall is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation and isn’t exactly a “high priority” of police to prevent the layers of paint that accrued in recent years. Think of it as a kind of community bulletin board for local artists.
Heck, it happens so often that this isn’t even the first time this year a University of Miami fan tagged the wall.
The 1,100-foot long graffiti wall contains everything from University of Florida athletics murals to birthday wishes to an incredible memorial for Gainesville native Tom Petty that are added over time.
A Miami fan taking over one section of the wall is hardly a new occurrence, but you better believe a faithful Gator is on their way to cover the green and orange invader.
Ah, don’t you just love college football rivalries?