Well, the mystery is solved.
After Florida players were spotted with what appeared to be an animal skeleton draped in purple and gold Mardi Gras beads on the sidelines during a 40-14 victory against Missouri on Saturday night. The creature made an appearance on the SEC Network broadcast of the game on more than one occasion, sparking discussion among onlookers about what the item was and what it was supposed to signify.
Anyone want to tell me what this is, exactly? pic.twitter.com/W1d9DfVooP
— Thomas Goldkamp (@ThomasGoldkamp) October 16, 2016
Florida decided to nip the speculation in the bud on Sunday, releasing an official statement on the origin of what we now know is a “Halloween cat”:
The Halloween cat seen on the field after last nights game was thrown onto the field by a fan. It has no significance within our program.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) October 16, 2016
This screenshot from the telecast seems to support that statement, as the “Halloween cat” can be seen in the crowd during the fourth quarter of the game:
So the cat skeleton Florida players were photographed with apparently belonged to a fan in the audience, as noted in the 4th quarter: pic.twitter.com/FVLKkVXot9
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 16, 2016
Though it was a new acquisition that has no significance to the program, accord to the release, Florida players seemed to adopt the creature as a mascot of sorts on Saturday night:
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) October 16, 2016
Now in the driver’s seat in the SEC East race, Florida will head into a bye week to prepare for an Oct. 29 meeting with Georgia. No word on whether “Halloween cat” will make an encore appearance at a game that will be played just two days before the holiday.