Term used to describe the supporter
s of the University of Florida
's athletics teams, especially the football
In the region of Florida around Gainesville, Gators football is a sort of religion. Everything shuts down in the area on football Saturdays. Thousands and thousands of fans, alums, and others descend on the smallish town for the weekend. Gator clothing, bumper stickers, car flags, and anything else that's blue and orange (the school's colors) flood the scene.
While this is similar in some other college towns, the intensity of it in north central Florida is extreme. If you ride a bus in town, 80 year old ladies, 6 year old kids, and everyone in between ask "How 'bout them Gators?" and can tell you about the team and their next opponent. It's rather freaky.
The headquarters of Gator Nation is "The Swamp", Florida's 83,000 seat stadium, regarded as one of the loudest and rowdiest places to see a sports event in the nation. The pure energy and emotion in the stadium is scary. The emotions of the whole region of the state depend on the fortunes of the Florida football team.
A few other sports teams' fans have their names associated with "nation" too, most notably the (Oakland) Raiders Nation. However, as far as size and intensity, Gator Nation's at or near the top.