Football fans' tribute to Tom Petty was AWESOME

Sam Cooper | Dr Saturday

Florida’s tribute for Tom Petty turned out awesome.

Petty, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Gainesville native, died this week, so his hit song “I Won’t Back Down” was played over the loudspeaker at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The entire crowd came together to sing.

How cool is that?

The song was played after the UF band’s traditional playing of “We Are the Boys from Old Florida” before the start of the fourth quarter Saturday against LSU.

The Gator's crowd were in full voice. Pic: Getty

In the story announcing UF’s tribute to Petty on the school athletics website, the idea of this becoming a tradition was floated.

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Perhaps a new tradition will be born.

“We encourage fans to sing along as a way to honor a local legend and share a special moment in his music,” said Alicia Longworth, assistant athletics director of marketing and promotions.

“Tom Petty is a beloved figure for so many Gator fans.”

It’d be a surprise if it didn’t catch on quickly for the rest of the season — and beyond.

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