Locals get chance to share in Wuerffel's big moment
"Two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar, all for the Gators stand up and holler" rang throughout the Swamp Saturday as Destin native Danny Wuerffel led the cheer that has been the battle cry for more than half-a-century at University of Florida football games.
"It gave me goose bumps to hear him do that," said Carter Liufau, who was in attendance at Saturday's Florida vs. Tennessee game. "It was the coolest thing … the crowd went nuts."
Watch Danny Wuerffel rile up the crowd at Saturday's game, click here.
Destin's Liufau, who is a 2010 graduate of Fort Walton Beach High and former Viking, was just one of a few that traveled on Southern Airways Express out of Destin for the game day experience. Liufau is studying Agricultural Business at UF but is currently spending his days in Destin doing an internship.
Not only did Liufau go down for the game, but to see first hand Wuerffel be honored for his recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Wuerffel, whose family still resides in Destin, led the Fort Walton Beach Vikings to a state championship in the mid-90s and then went on to lead the Florida Gators to a National title and then win the Heisman Trophy in 1996. Since then he has been honored at the local level many times and even has a street named for him in Destin.
"Danny is like a super hero down there," Liufau said. "He has like a celebrity status down there. He's still a big deal here, but down there …"
When the Destin contingent landed in Gainesville, officials had literally rolled out the red carpet and the UF fight song was playing through the speakers.
"When we learned Destin native, Danny Wuerffel was going to be honored, we made a game-day flight available so fans from his hometown could be on hand to celebrate this tremendous honor with him," said Heidi LoCicero, marketing director of the Gulf Coast Region for Southern Airways Express, a Memphis-based air transportation company, serving eight cities in the Southern United States, with hubs in Memphis and Destin.
The Destin contingent left at 8 in the morning and returned more than 12 hours later to Destin Airport.
It was a day to remember.
"He got a standing ovation at halftime," Liufau said. "Even the Tennessee folks were standing up."