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Utes fans smoke alligator before football home opener against Florida

Aug 31, 2023, 1:35 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – When you ask people what’s the most wonderful time of the year, some will tell you the holidays.

On Thursday outside Rice-Eccles Stadium, the answer is the college football season as the Utah Utes take on the Florida Gators for the first game of the season.

Two words: Tail Gaters!

Utah Utes fans set up their tailgates early Thursday morning and brought nothing less than gators to eat. 

“It’s been on ice!” Lec Holmes said. 

“Hoping we smoke them Gators, gonna take Mertz down, that’s the name of the gator,” Cody Smith said. 

Outside of Rice-Eccles Stadium, you will meet some of the biggest Utes fans.

“We ordered it from Florida. Seasoned it. Put some sausage inside of it. Wrapped it in bacon,” Holmes said. 

Fans were getting ready for the first game of the season taking on – or in this case – hoping to smoke and grill — the Florida Gators.

“Trimming all the fat out of the gator, trying to get the swamp flavor out of it,” Mike Chrisdiansen said.

Sitting beside the cooler it came to his door in, Chrisdiansen is a pro. He smoked a gator before the Rose Bowl. 

“We knew the gators were coming because we got beat last year. We want our revenge, so now we’re putting it on the smoker,” Chrisdiansen said.

For other long-time tailgaters, this marks their first time preparing and eating gator.

“This is our first trip!” Holmes said.

“I think Delilah sounds like a good gator name. I’ve never done this before, just kind of following a recipe,” Scott Bartlett said.

Thursday night, we will know who wins.

“Hopefully, we can get that W!” Cody Smith said. 

Based on these early predictions from these fans, the gators are not going to make it past the goal line, or out of the grill. 

“This year we’re gonna do it. It’s our turn! We still gonna eat the gator.” Holmes said.

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Utes fans smoke alligator before football home opener against Florida