Explaining why Florida football fans sing Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' at The Swamp

© Provided by Fansided

Florida football fans have started a new tradition of singing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t’ Back Down.”

In the years since his passing, Florida football fans have honored one of their own by singing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” in unison at Gators games in The Swamp.

Though Petty never went to the University of Florida, he was a Gainesville native and an international rock and roll icon.

He had fond memories of growing up in Gainesville and used to work for the university as a groundskeeper before The Heartbreakers made it big. Petty passed away at the age of 66 on Oct. 2, 2017, but his legacy lives on at Florida games with his song.

This has become one of the coolest new traditions across the college football landscape by far.

Before he became a Rock and Roll icon, Tom Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida.

His ties with the University of Florida ran deep and have created a lasting tradition for Gator fans. pic.twitter.com/4wvilLtGxR

— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 18, 2021

Florida football: Why does Gator Nation sing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”

Of the many hits Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers created over the years, “I Won’t Back Down” is right up there. It is a song about taking your problems head-on in the midst of adversity.

It is a simple message thrown atop some simple power chords, but like most Petty-penned songs, it is effective and catchy as hell.

Petty’s music remains a unifier in the years since his untimely passing.

You can stand Gator Nation up at the gates of hell, but they won’t back down.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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