Carter's Corner: Petty Family Cheers Gators' New Tradition
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you already know how I spent my Saturday afternoon of the bye week: attending the dedication ceremony of Tom Petty Park in northeast Gainesville.
— Scott Carter (@GatorsScott) October 20, 2018
A Gainesville native, Petty moved to Southern California in the mid-1970s to chase his rock and roll dreams. Those dreams became reality and turned Petty into one of the great songwriters in rock history. He often paid homage to his roots in the songs that serve as life’s soundtrack for millions of his fans around the globe. Petty returned to Gainesville many times over the years, including to play four concerts as the leader of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Petty’s unexpected death on Oct. 2, 2017, at the age of 66 happened five days before the Gators hosted LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. As the week unfolded, University Athletic Association officials devised a plan to honor Petty’s memory with a playing of his famous anthem “I Won’t Back Down” between the third and