‘World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party’ Explained: How Florida-Georgia Rivalry Game Got Its Quirky Name

“The World’s Greatest Outdoor Cocktail Party” may have left Georgia, Florida and CBS, but its legacy lives on in the annual SEC East game.

Arguably the main event of the year, the rivalry has a tradition. Jacksonville, Florida becomes a college football town once a year due to a rough renovation at TIAA Bank Field.

In fact, it’s so loud that you won’t even hear the cocktails being mentioned on air. Many fans in attendance took the name too literally and failed to handle their alcohol, leading to many arrests. It is now called the “War for the Oar”, a reference to the Okefenokee oar that the winner receives after the game.

With that being said, don’t expect students or those who follow these schools to label it as anything else. Habit is an iron shirt. Old rivalry names seem to die harder.

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Why Georgia Vs. Florida called “the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party”?

Georgia vs. Florida was first given the nickname by the late Florida Times-Union sports editor Bill Kastelz in 1958.

As the story goes, Kastelz saw an inebriated fan sway toward a uniformed police officer on duty and offer him a drink. And since the 1958 game was, frankly, boring, Kastelz decided to romanticize the event.

“It was just one of those things that writers do when they can’t think of anything to say about the game,” Kastelz told The Tampa Bay Times in 1974. I looked around for a phrase to describe this brawl that continues… no, you see it’s not a fight. It’s a social event. People don’t come here to watch the game so much as to cheer on anything that wears their colors. It’s really fantastic. All these people come with booze or whatever.”

From there the name lived on.

Why Georgia vs. Has Florida lost its nickname?

When something is called “the world’s biggest”, the pressure increases to live up to the hype. Georgia vs. Florida was no exception.

The city of Jacksonville was the first to drop the name in 1988 after countless alcohol-related incidents during the 1980s. Florida and Georgia fans tore down the guardrails after storming the field in back-to-back seasons, which is clearly bad form at a neutral site. From there, the city decided to lose the branding.

The SEC and schools followed suit in 2000. They asked CBS to stop using the nickname in 2006, and several other names have appeared since then. Schools call it the War of the Paddle. Others call it the River City Showdown.

However, college football fans will probably never lose the drunken version of the name.

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What is the history of the rivalry between Georgia and Florida?

The rivalry between Georgia and Florida dates back to 1904.

Georgia leads the streak 54-44-2 and has won four of its last five games after Florida won three in a row.

date Location Winner Score
October 15, 1904 Macon, Ga. Georgia 52-0
November 6, 1915 Jacksonville, Florida Georgia 37-0
14 October 1916 Athens, Ga. Georgia 21-0
25 October 1919 Tampa, Florida Georgia 16-0
November 13, 1920 Athens Georgia 56-0
October 30, 1926 Athens Georgia 32-9
November 5, 1927 Jacksonville Georgia 28-0
November 10, 1928 Savannah, Ga. Florida 26-6
October 26, 1929 Jacksonville Florida 18-6
November 1, 1930 Savannah Tie 0-0
31 October 1931 Gainesville, Florida Georgia 33-6
29 October 1932 Athens Georgia 33-12
November 4, 1933 Jacksonville Georgia 14-0
November 3, 1934 Jacksonville Georgia 14-0
November 2, 1935 Jacksonville Georgia 7-0
November 7, 1936 Jacksonville Georgia 26-8
November 6, 1937 Jacksonville Florida 6-0
November 5, 1938 Jacksonville Georgia 19-6
November 11, 1939 Jacksonville Georgia 6-2
November 9, 1940 Jacksonville Florida 18-13
November 8, 1941 Jacksonville Georgia 19-3
November 7, 1942 Jacksonville Georgia 75-0
November 11, 1944 Jacksonville Georgia 38-12
November 10, 1945 Jacksonville Georgia 34-0
November 9, 1946 Jacksonville Georgia 33-14
November 8, 1947 Jacksonville Georgia 34-6
November 6, 1948 Jacksonville Georgia 20-12
November 5, 1949 Jacksonville Florida 28-7
November 11, 1950 Jacksonville Georgia 6-0
November 10, 1951 Jacksonville Georgia 7-6
October 25, 1952 Jacksonville Florida 30-0
November 7, 1953 Jacksonville Florida 21-7
November 6, 1954 Jacksonville Georgia 14-13
November 5, 1955 Jacksonville Florida 19-13
November 10, 1956 Jacksonville Florida 28-0
November 9, 1957 Jacksonville Florida 22-0
November 8, 1958 Jacksonville Florida 7-6
November 7, 1959 Jacksonville Georgia 21-10
November 5, 1960 Jacksonville Florida 22-14
November 11, 1961 Jacksonville Florida 21-14
November 10, 1962 Jacksonville Florida 23-15
November 9, 1963 Jacksonville Florida 21-14
November 7, 1964 Jacksonville Georgia 14-7
November 6, 1965 Jacksonville Florida 14-10
November 5, 1966 Jacksonville Georgia 27-10
November 11, 1967 Jacksonville Florida 17-16
November 9, 1968 Jacksonville Georgia 51-0
November 8, 1969 Jacksonville Tie 13-13
November 7, 1970 Jacksonville Florida 24-17
November 6, 1971 Jacksonville Georgia 49-7
November 11, 1972 Jacksonville Georgia 10-7
November 10, 1973 Jacksonville Florida 11-10
November 9, 1974 Jacksonville Georgia 17-16
November 8, 1975 Jacksonville Georgia 10-7
November 6, 1976 Jacksonville Georgia 41-27
November 5, 1977 Jacksonville Florida 22-17
November 11, 1978 Jacksonville Georgia 24-22
November 10, 1979 Jacksonville Georgia 33-10
November 8, 1980 Jacksonville Georgia 26-21
November 7, 1981 Jacksonville Georgia 26-21
November 6, 1982 Jacksonville Georgia 44-0
November 5, 1983 Jacksonville Georgia 10-9
November 10, 1984 Jacksonville Florida 27-0
November 9, 1985 Jacksonville Georgia 24-3
November 8, 1986 Jacksonville Florida 31-19
November 7, 1987 Jacksonville Georgia 23-10
November 5, 1988 Jacksonville Georgia 26-3
November 11, 1989 Jacksonville Georgia 17-10
November 10, 1990 Jacksonville Florida 38-7
November 9, 1991 Jacksonville Florida 45-13
October 31, 1992 Jacksonville Florida 26-24
October 30, 1993 Jacksonville Florida 33-26
October 29, 1994 Gainesville Florida 52-14
October 28, 1995 Athens Florida 52-17
November 2, 1996 Jacksonville Florida 47-7
November 1, 1997 Jacksonville Georgia 37-17
October 31, 1998 Jacksonville Florida 38-7
October 30, 1999 Jacksonville Florida 30-14
October 28, 2000 Jacksonville Florida 34-23
October 27, 2001 Jacksonville Florida 24-10
November 2, 2002 Jacksonville Florida 20-13
November 1, 2003 Jacksonville Florida 16-13
October 30, 2004 Jacksonville Georgia 31-24
October 29, 2005 Jacksonville Florida 14-10
October 28, 2006 Jacksonville Florida 21-14
October 27, 2007 Jacksonville Georgia 42-30
November 1, 2008 Jacksonville Florida 49-10
October 31, 2009 Jacksonville Florida 41-17
October 30, 2010 Jacksonville Florida 34–31 (OT)
October 29, 2011 Jacksonville Georgia 24-20
October 27, 2012 Jacksonville Georgia 17-9
November 2, 2013 Jacksonville Georgia 23-20
November 1, 2014 Jacksonville Florida 38-20
October 31, 2015 Jacksonville Florida 27-3
October 29, 2016 Jacksonville Florida 24-10
October 28, 2017 Jacksonville Georgia 42-7
October 27, 2018 Jacksonville Georgia 36-17
November 2, 2019 Jacksonville Georgia 24-17
November 7, 2020 Jacksonville Florida 44-28
October 30, 2021 Jacksonville Georgia 34-7
October 29, 2022 Jacksonville TBD

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