Georgia-Florida weekend is full of traditions in Jacksonville
From RV City, to fans gathering from near and far, to the game itself.
One more tradition has grown over the past 12 years, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel: the Desire Cup, a fundraiser for Wuerffel’s Desire Street Ministries.
For the past 11 years, a golf tournament has been played pitting teams representing both sides of the rivalry. In 2021, the Gators team won the trophy.
“Several years ago, somebody really pitched this idea of a competitive golf event between Florida and Georgia, former players, coaches and fans together competing,” Wuerffel said. “And so that’s been just a fun big hit every year now for 12 years.”
This year, there is another component to the rivalry competition: pickleball.
“This year, I started playing pickleball like millions of people in this country and I’ve fallen in love with it,” Wuerffel said. “I met some folks who are very well connected. And between their contacts and my contacts were able to put together an incredible celebrity Pro-Am event we have 12 teams, and each team represents a particular college. Drew Brees is playing for Purdue, I’m playing for Florida, we’ve got some of the best players in the world and some of the really unique celebrities playing.”
The pickleball event will be live-streamed at Picklebowl.net.
Wuerffel played in four games in the rivalry, two in Jacksonville, one in Gainesville, and one in Athens while the Gator Bowl was being renovated prior to the first season of the Jaguars. Wuerffel says he thinks the game should stay where it is.
“I love the game being in Jacksonville,” Wuerffel said. “I just love it. It’s a unique venue. You have a lot of opportunities in your college career to play home games, you have a lot of opportunities to play away games, but very few games do you play on a neutral site.”
With Kirby Smart voicing his desire to see the game played on campus, largely to bolster Georgia’s recruiting efforts, and with the contract with the sitting running through next year, with an option through 2025, the future of the game has once again become a hot topic.
“The crowd is a unique blend of fans for you and against you. The city is awesome,” Wuerffel said. “I’ve got to enjoy the city a little bit more since I played because I can get down there beforehand. And my brother lives in Jacksonville and I love that the game was there. And I think it adds an extra element to it.”