Gator Bowl creates annual father-son tradition | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Thousands of people made their way to Everbank Field for the Gator Bowl, but many at the game weren't necessarily rooting for the teams playing. They simply came for the event.
That's just what Russell Crosby and his father, Ellis Crosby, have done for nearly four decades.
"My dad first brought me to the Gator Bowl in '76, when I was eight," said Russell. "I've been to 37 in a row now."
"I got him involved with football, like the other children, very early in life," explained Ellis. "He played a lot of football himself."
Russell said he thinks he got that first ticket as a gift back in 1976. Although that was Russell's first Gator Bowl, it wasn't his father's. "I came in 1946 to the first one," says Ellis.
That was 67 years ago! Ellis remembers it like it was yesterday: "The older one ran the other way, the stadium, and it was a lot smaller, but it still seemed good to me when I was that age!" he stated.
Although the game doesn't always bring the two to the stadium together, Russell said he plans to keep the streak going; a tradition that makes his father very happy. "It's great!" laughed Ellis.
Ellis Crosby mentioned the game was "smaller" back in 1946. To give you an idea of how much smaller: On January 1, 1946, 7,362 people attended the South Carolina vs. Wake Forest Gator Bowl game. Last year's game had more than 61,000 in attendance.