Christopher Yanes, a second-year urban and regional planning graduate student, was selected as the honorary Mr. Two when the Gators took on the University of North Texas in September. He was selected for the role after entering into a student Two Bits competition.
Q: What was the inspiration behind being Mr. Two Bits?
A: I have been a Gator Fan my entire life. I’m a fourth generation Gator and my experience at UF has yielded my unwavering love and passion for the University of Florida and of course the Gators! What made George Edmondson Jr. so great was his passion and loyalty for the University. It is what makes this tradition and its history so great. I felt like this was the ultimate way for me to show that.
Q: Can you explain the process you went through to get the nomination? What did you do differently from last year?
A: After my narrow defeat last year, I was pretty upset but I wanted to do it again. In life when you get knocked down, you got to get back up and learn from your failures. I made an even better video by having a friend help me tape and edit it. I campaigned, came up with a slogan (“Our Tradition, Our Legacy”). I released my video the moment the competition was announced. I wanted to show the judges I wanted this. Once all the videos were collected the judges selected mine over three others.
Q: Describe your experience as Mr. Two Bits.
A: It was the dream of a lifetime. I wanted to do the routine exactly how George did it for 60 years because that’s what the fans and tradition deserves. What made it even better was having my entire family including my parents and grandfather who were in school while George was leading the cheer from the stands and on the field.
Q: What would you recommend to someone who wants to be Mr. Two Bits next year?
A: Just to make sure you are doing it in honor of the original Mr. Two Bits and for the University. The tradition is about being loyal to this school and sticking by your team no matter what.
Q: What are the benefits to being Mr. Two Bits? Also, did you buy your Mr. Two Bit’s attire or was it provided?
A: George Edmondson used to say that what he did came from the heart. He didn’t get paid or get tickets out of it. The benefits are being able to do a cheer that comes from the heart. However, being on the field and running out of the tunnel was pretty cool! I put the outfit together myself, I wanted it to be close to the original.
Q: How loud is it being on the Steve Spurrier-Florida Field?
A: Really Loud! I can’t imagine being an opposing team during a big play or 3rd down.
Q: How has your time at DCP shaped your experience as a Gator?
A: My time in DCP has taught me the never give up attitude. As an architecture and URP student, you will be working hard toward an assignment and sometimes fall short. A lot of times you will not always get the answer you are looking for but persistence and hard work pays off. That’s the Gator way and that’s why Gators are changing the world.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about the overall experience?
A: It was the opportunity of a lifetime! If I could, I would do it again!