To be honest I haven't met too many Gators fans and the ones I have met seemed nice enough. I know a few people that went down to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl a couple of years ago for the Michigan-Florida match-up and said they had a great time and that for the most part Gators fans treated them well.
The reason most college sports fans hate the Florida Gators has little to do with their fans and more about the combination of their amazing recent success in football and men's basketball and two of the most nauseatingly hyped up college athletes in recent memory; Tim Tebow and Joakim Noah.
I respect that Tebow's a great guy and is one of the great college players of all-time, but I could have done without the close-ups of him during every game followed up by announcers inevitably spending 25 minutes talking about how he's such a winner, how intense he is and how there's never been a leader like him. Then he had that speech after Ole Miss ran the Gators at the Swamp last year and that was probably the most overplayed segment in the history of sports. To sum it up imagine every single reason you hate hearing about Brett Favre (i.e. he's a kid out there, he just loves playing, he's a gunslinger etc.) and now you understand why everybody but Gators fans were ecstatic when Alabama stomped on you in this year's SEC Championship and we got to see Tebow cry.
While I think most of the vitriol towards the Gators related to Tebow stems from the non-stop media coverage of the guy more than anything he ever did, Joakim Noah is a completely different case. Noah's middle-school antics, the fact that we had to hear about his energy and hustle non-stop during two national championship runs when he wasn't even the best player his team was more than I could bare.
This guy was an absolute clown what made it worse was how ESPN and the media ate this shit up. It was as if we were witnessing the de-evolution of mankind in front of our eyes and it was being celebrated and praised as if it was something we should all strive for. It was bad enough that Florida won back-to-back national championships , but couldn't they have had Al Horford or somebody more human and likeable receive the accolades and attention?
There's unbridled joy and raw emotion, like Mark Ingram's Heisman speech and then there's that. The fact that he looks like Sideshow Bob is bad enough, but when you combine it with behavior more often found in our relatives in the ape family it becomes unbearable. I mean when you can't respond normally during interviews it really makes it hard for anybody to be able to relate to you.
Gators fans take heart in the fact that almost every other college wishes they could duplicate the success you've had in the latter part of this decade in capturing a pair of national titles in football and men's basketball. I can tell you that my sporting experience is no match for that, but please don't chalk up the hate for your school to plain, old jealousy. We wish we could win like you guys did, but that's not the main reason we hate you. You have Tebow, Noah and the media that transformed them into cult figures to thank for that.