Few things are more sacred than college football rivalries. Florida men's basketball player Phlandrous Fleming Jr. just learned that timeless lesson the hard way.
Fleming, a native of Athens, Ga., went on Instagram Live after Georgia's thrilling 33-18 win over Alabama in the national championship game sporting a bright red Georgia hoodie and reveling in the Bulldogs finally toppling the Tide. The graduate student, who spent his first four seasons playing at Georgia Southern, concluded the video with "Go Dawgs!" followed by a few enthusiastic barks.
Unsurprisingly, Florida fans weren't too thrilled by Fleming's donning of enemy colors, and weren't shy about letting him know. On Tuesday, Fleming even issued an apology, explaining his Georgia ties and saying how grateful he was to be at Florida.
“I apologize for the uproar that my actions have caused. I grew up in Athens my entire life rooting for Georgia Football, and last night was an over joyed reaction to the ending of the game," Fleming wrote. "I am very grateful for the opportunity that the University of Florida granted me and I am totally committed to the Gators. Again I am deeply sorry to the fans, the school, and the athletic department for any disrespect that my words or celebration have caused.”
The rivalry between Georgia and Florida is so contentious that, depending on which side of state lines you're on, the fan base gets angry if you refer to the rivalry in the wrong order (Georgia-Florida or Florida-Georgia), so it's not a surprise that Florida fans were so irked by Fleming's reaction to the Bulldogs finally winning.
The two sides will square off on Feb. 9 in Gainesville, followed by a meeting in Athens on Feb. 26, so this will likely not be the last time Fleming hears about this incident for the rest of the season.
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