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Jeff Eisenberg

Xavier flew in a special treat for fans for Friday's Florida game

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Instead of handing out standard giveaway T-shirts, signs or noisemakers to fans on Friday night, Xavier has concocted a more creative way to commemorate its matchup against Florida.

One of the concession stands at the Cintas Center will be serving fried gator.

"We wanted there to be a special at a certain concession stand at each game tailored to opponent, game time, the time of year," said Brian Manning, Director of Concessions for Xavier Dining. "It's something different that will offer fans some variety."

Friday's fried gator promotion is one of about a dozen non-traditional concession items Xavier concession stands will serve fans this season.

Guinness was available on Dec. 18 when Xavier hosted Wake Forest because that was the late Skip Prosser's favorite beer. French toast sticks will be sold Feb. 5 against St. Louis because the game is an 11 a.m. tipoff and fans will begin streaming in 90 minutes beforehand. And peanut butter & jelly sandwiches will be the special item on Feb. 22 because it's a weeknight game and Xavier expects plenty of kids on hand.

For the fried gator promotion, Manning ordered more than 30 pounds of alligator from a Louisiana company earlier this week. Fans can purchase four gator wings for $10, perhaps a bit pricey in Louisiana or Florida but not in Cincinnati where such a delicacy is rarely available.

Reporters who cover Xavier basketball had a chance to sample the fried gator and reviews were encouraging so far.

Wrote the Cincinnati Enquirer's Shannon Russell, "It was delish."

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