Mr. Two Bits
|George Edmondson, Jr.|
|Education||B.A., The Citadel|
Before the beginning of University of Florida home football games (at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium), Mr. Two Bits comes to midfield wearing his signature yellow shirt with a blue and orange tie to lead the crowd in the "two bits" cheer. Mr. Two Bits silences the crowd by blowing a whistle and holding up a sign which reads "2 Bits." Once the crowd has drawn silent, Mr. Two Bits points to the crowd which signals the beginning of the cheer and the fans begin to cheer:
All for the Gators Stand up and holler!
The cheer began when Edmondson attended the season opener for Florida in 1949 against his alma mater, The Citadel. The Gators had lost five of their last six games the previous year and were not expected to do any better. When the fans booed the players and the coach even before the opening kickoff, Edmondson decided to boost their morale by leading them in a cheer about adding up bits (a "bit" is an eighth of a dollar, so eight of them would indeed total one dollar). The fans around him were so encouraged that he returned the next Saturday and repeated his direction. Soon he began the pattern he would use for almost all of the games he attended: moving around throughout the game to lead different sections of the stadium in his cheer.
Though Edmondson was never a University of Florida student, the university has named him an honorary alumnus of the school, and he has claimed it as his new alma mater. He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as an "honorary letter winner" in 1992.
He retired from his cheerleading at the end of the 2008 Florida football season. Florida held a special ceremony prior to the UF/Citadel game in 2008 to "officially" retire Mr. Two Bits. Unlike his first "retirement" at the end of the 1998 season, Mr. Two Bits has only made sporadic appearances on the field since the UF/Citadel game.
Will Muschamp in 2013 has invited Gator greats to serve as "Celebrity Mr. Two Bits" to lead the crowd in the Two Bits cheer before every Gator home game. They wear the same clothes that Edmondson always wore at every game to stand out in the crowd—a yellow shirt, orange and blue tie, and a pair of white and blue striped seersucker pants.
- Mr. Two Bits at SPtimes.com
- Article at cstv.com
- F Club, Hall of Fame, Honorary Letterwinners. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Sports Briefs: UF inducts seven into Hall of Fame," The Gainesville Sun, p. 4C (April 3, 1992). Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Mr. Two-Bits to hang it up", Orlando Sentinel. Nov 21, 2008.