The story goes that Maurice Cherry looked out his Main Street office window the week after Christmas 1944 and found Jacksonville exceedingly dull and lifeless. His observation was neither unique nor new. What grew out of it was – The Gator Bowl and 70 years of Jacksonville tradition. Since the winter carnivals at the turn of the century, Jacksonville business and civic leaders had sought ways to liven up the dead business and social season after the Christmas holidays. Touring professional teams featuring Red Grange and Ernie Nevers had been New Year’s box-office duds in the 1920s. Mayor John Alsop had tried to begin a Jacksonville bowl game in the 1930s but was unsuccessful. The 1940s and the end of World War II offered an opportunity to try again.