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Must Be Football Season

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If Nike’s unveiling new unnecessary football uniforms for top college programs, the season must be close. This morning they revealed new togs for several teams, including the Florida Gators.

(Way to bring Errict Rhett out of mothballs, UF.)

Anyway, I don’t see a huge difference between this and what the Gators normally wear (last year’s Nike one-offs were a departure, and I liked the helmets, at least). Florida will wear these in the October 30 game against Georgia in Jacksonville.

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September 1st, 2010 at 7:32 am

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The Only Thing We Don’t Yet Know If Tim Tebow Can Do

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He’s obviously not counting the sensual massage he received from Thom Brennaman.

(Kudos to the excellent and I hope it’s at least slightly tongue-in-cheek Tim Teblog.)

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July 24th, 2009 at 9:54 am

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First Timothy

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Good cover story on Tim Tebow in this week’s Sports Illustrated.

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July 23rd, 2009 at 8:32 am

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Couldn’t Be Prouder

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Good reporting work by the Orlando Sentinel here and here.

As a Florida grad, I can say this is troubling to me. If this is the price of two national championships, you can have them. Don’t want them.

Breaking them down:

Felonies:

  • burglary (2)
  • theft (2)
  • obstruction of justice (2)
  • domestic violence by strangulation (1)
  • unauthorized use of a credit card (1)
  • larceny (1)
  • aggravated assault, battery and use of a concealed weapon (1)
  • purchasing marijuana (1)

Misdemeanors:

  • battery (4)
  • possession of marijuana (4)
  • affray (the threat of violence) (2)
  • assault (1)
  • criminal mischief (1)
  • disorderly conduct (1)
  • domestic battery (1)
  • driving with a suspended license (1)
  • failure to comply with a police or fire department orders (1)
  • knowingly driving with a suspended license (1)
  • larceny of a credit card (1)
  • property damage (1)
  • resisting an officer (1)
  • resisting arrest (1)
  • resisting arrest without violence (1)
  • theft (1)
  • violation of a city ordinance (1)
  • violation of a sexual restraining order (1)
  • violation of probation (1)

In seriousness, the misdemeanors in and of themselves aren’t that huge a deal. Their volume, though, is troubling.

I’m actually kind of surprised there weren’t more violent crimes. Maybe I’m just anticipating more violent behavior from football players than I should (perhaps based in part on this book).

To Urban Meyer‘s credit, he did suspend or dismiss several of the players. The questions could very well be asked about recruiting them in the first place.

Maybe it’s cyclical (the Sentinel story notes “UF rivals such as Miami, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, to name four, have zero arrests in 2009,” but Miami hasn’t been arrest-free historically). Maybe it’s systemic.

But someone should step up and do something more than just say, “No one here condones our players stepping out of line, and everyone here wants to get better. However, Urban Meyer and his staff are the best that I have seen in modifying behavior,” as AD Jeremy Foley (who I have always liked, and who I have always believed is a quality guy) is quoted as saying in the story.

This can’t stand. My school and its football team are not saints like Tim Tebow, nor criminals. But something has to be done.

If this is the price, I’m not interested in paying it.

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June 9th, 2009 at 10:47 am

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American Idolatry

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I have to say, I (largely) agree with this column by CBS Sportsline’s Gregg Doyel opining that the Tim Tebow worship has gotten out of hand.

Look, Tebow is an outstanding college football player. Best ever? There’s a lot of thought you’d have to put into that before you could even get close to that statement, but the trend in our culture is to make everybody and everything either the best or worst of all time as quickly as possible. I’m glad he plays for my alma mater, and I like watching him. I don’t really care if he’s the best ever or not, nor do I know why he would need to be a great professional player to be validated in any way.

It seems, just from what little you can really find out about a person from reading and listening to what others say about him and how the person conducts themselves, that Tim Tebow is certainly a fine young man. If your daughter married a guy like him, you’d probably be pretty happy about that. Humble, charitable, all-around good guy.

But let’s not canonize the guy already, okay? (Yes, Thom Brennaman, I’m looking at you.) Are we so bereft of good people that when we find one, we have to hyperventilate like the first teenagers to contract Beatlemania? And are we so cynical that when someone does go on a bit too long about what a great guy Tim Tebow is, we have to rip Tebow instead of the sycophant? Why does that happen?

I will take exception to one part of Doyel’s column, though:

“Look at it this way: If Tebow goes to Purdue or Auburn, does he win one Heisman or two national titles? I doubt he wins any of it. But put some of the other great players in college history — Herschel Walker, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Doug Flutie — at another school, and they’re going to achieve the same level of greatness.”

You have absolutely no way of knowing that that’s true. None. Zero. And if it IS true for those players, how is it impossible that it could be true for Tebow? Purdue has had great quarterbacks in the past, why couldn’t Tebow have played there? And Auburn has won a national championship before (they’ll tell you they deserved one in 2004, too). How do you know what he would have done somewhere else? What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?

Herschel Walker was the greatest college running back I ever saw, and he’d likely have been great anywhere.  But if Gerard Phelan doesn’t catch that ball, is Doug Flutie even in this conversation?

We’ll never know.

We’ll never know for sure what Tim Tebow would have done at another school. And you can’t say definitively that those guys would have been great anywhere they went, but that Tebow could only have excelled at Florida.

I’m just glad he chose the school he did. I like watching him play. Isn’t that enough?

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January 16th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Here’s How I Know The Cardinals Have A Chance On Sunday…

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Because Gene Wojciechowski says they have (virtually) no chance.

And Gene Wojciechowski is an idiot.

Other thoughts on Monday morning:

  • Glad to see Jack’s back. I spent much of last night’s two-hour premiere saying “Where do I know that guy from? Oh, he was in…..” There was the guy who was Billy the asshat director in Entourage and Dr. Neelix Phlox from Star Trek: Voyager Enterprise and my personal “Ah-hah!” moment, the guy who played the Christian ballplayer in Bull Durham. Among people I hadn’t seen before, I like this character and actress quite a bit.
  • Why people are losing their minds about Donovan McNabb‘s phone-a-friend routine yesterday is beyond me. Players aren’t robots. This wasn’t akin to planning something where you stick a Sharpie in your sock and pull it out after you score (as brilliant as that was). It was a spontaneous thing, a guy having fun. I’m sure Jason Whitlock will find a way to make it about race.
  • I won’t be riding Phoenix’s light rail system again if I can help it. Whoever heard of a rail system that’s dependent on traffic and traffic lights? It’s simply not a better (or even equal) alternative to driving or taking the bus, and something has to actually be at least one of those two things to be a real, viable alternative. Else people won’t do it.
  • Whoever was producing/directing Saturday night’s Titans/Ravens game was obsessed with showing injured Titans’ running back Chris Brown. Which was a story, yes. Once. But they cut to him (and other people who – hello – weren’t in the game, which was a pretty good game) at least 20 times in the second half. Idiocy.
  • On the flip side, whoever did Chargers/Steelers yesterday kept the shots of an injured LaDainian Tomlinson to a minimum. Kudos.
  • We could have a Super Bowl with two six-seeds in it. Would that make people STFU about the BCS? I’m thinking not.
  • The Broncos have a new head coach, and it’s a 32-year-old assistant from the Patriots. But, no, Paul Stewart, there aren’t any other coaches out there, so you’re just smarter than us when you say the Bucs can’t dump Jon Gruden.
  • Hey, Mets – nice commemorative patch for the opening of Citi Field. At least people won’t confuse it with the Yankees’ new stadium patch. Because, you know, you can actually tell what the hell the Yankees’ patch is about.
  • Photo shoot this morning, and then I have to put Plan B in motion for a project at work. Because our state’s Governor-in-Waiting is apparently into keeping people waiting.

Oh, and one more thing (courtesy of The Sporting News): Thom Brennaman’s home video of Tim Tebow‘s announcement yesterday that he’s returning to Florida for his senior year:

Third Time’s Pretty Charming, Too

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If only we were any good in baseball. :)

Look, Oklahoma had a great team. Utah has an outstanding team. Texas and Southern Cal are great teams. But the system has given us this: #1 vs. #2, and last night #2 used surprising (to me, anyway) defense and the grit of Tim Tebow to beat #1, 24-14.

This morning the voters concurred, with AP giving Florida the nod over Utah by 87 points in the final media poll, while it was nearly unanimous in the poll of coaches, with the Gators getting 60 of 61 first-place votes (even Texas’ Mack Brown, who said he’d vote for his own team, apparently didn’t).

Utah got 16 first-place votes in the AP poll, which isn’t unprecedented (hell, the media went against the BCS title game result for USC in 2003), but, as I said earlier this week (and I’ll update and augment here):

  • Utah plays in the Mountain West Conference, which is 10 years old. Florida plays in the Southeastern Conference, which has five BCS national championships in the last 11 years.
  • Utah won eight MWC games by a total of 173 points. Florida won eight SEC games (including the title game) by 271 points.
  • Utah averaged 36.9 points and 400.5 yards per game. Both impressive. Florida averaged 43.6 points and 445.1 yards per game.
  • Yes, Florida lost to Ole Miss (by one). The same Rebels who beat Texas Tech. Who beat Texas. Who beat Oklahoma. You see where this is going, right?
  • Utah beat four teams ranked in the final AP poll: #6 Alabama, #7 TCU, #18 Oregon State and #25 BYU. For some reason, people put a lot of weight on Utah beating Alabama in New Orleans, but not a lot of weight on Florida beating Alabama in Atlanta. Florida also beat four ranked teams: #5 Oklahoma, #6 Alabama, #13 Georgia and #21 Florida State (while losing to #14 Ole Miss).
  • Florida’s body of work is more impressive, even despite the one loss.

If you wanted to vote for Utah as a contrarian vote, to stick it to the BCS or whatever, then, fine (as long as you didn’t vote for them for the reasons John Feinstein told you to, because, quite frankly, he was completely full of it.)

I remain in favor of a playoff – always have been. And had Florida not been picked for the BCS title game, I’d have said, “Fair enough – don’t lose at home to Ole Miss.” Had it been Oklahoma/Texas, Oklahoma/USC, Texas/USC, Florida/USC, Florida/Texas, whatever. Fine. Those are all outstanding teams.

But Florida’s the champion (as unofficial as these things are – hey, you bought Richmond Spiders championship merchandise, right? They won a playoff, they must be good.). You can rant and rail and complain all you want.

Just, please, Mr. President-Elect: sort out the economy before you tackle this issue, okay? People have real problems. A tempest in a teapot about Utah not getting their just desserts can wait.

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January 9th, 2009 at 10:18 am

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OK, Then

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I honestly didn’t expect that

Boy, the “fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12” sure stuck it up your ass on that last drive, there, didn’t he, Dominique Franks?

In a related story, Tim Tebow may have had his first sexual experience tonight, with Thom Brennaman. I went to Florida and Brennaman’s man-love for Tebow was embarrassing to me. As a broadcaster, even moreso.

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January 8th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

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Ah, The Unbridled Enthusiasm Of Utes

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I realize that Utah is the favorite of the BCS-bashers now (with SI’s Rick Reilly – who used to be really, really good at this – chiming in now that we should just crown their asses), but here’s my point, after looking at things a little more deeply:

Oklahoma has a much, much, stronger case to be the national champion than Utah does. And IF Florida beats Oklahoma tomorrow night, that, to me, is akin to knocking out the champ. That’s how you get the belt.

Consider this: Yes, Utah has beaten four teams that finished ranked in the AP Top 25*: Oregon State (#24), TCU (#11), BYU (#17) and Alabama (#4). Florida has only beaten two: Georgia (#16) and Alabama (#4). The Gators also lost to #20 Mississippi, by a point. IF Florida beats Oklahoma, they’ll have three victories over ranked teams, including the #2 team (the Sooners were #2 in AP, but #1 in the BCS), and will be basically a blocked extra point away from being 14-0 with a much, much better body of work than the Utes.

But Oklahoma has beaten five ranked teams and would make it a sixth by beating Florida. (The Sooners beat #12 Cincinnati, #11 TCU, #8 Texas Tech, #13 Oklahoma State and #25 Missouri, while losing to #3 Texas.) What’s more, they crushed almost everybody. OU rang up more points than any team in modern college football history. They’ve scored more than a point a minute for the last five games and in the game before that they scored 58.

Reilly’s just pandering and practicing columnism. He’s being contrary just to be contrary.

No, Rick, you can’t crown Utah’s ass already. They’re not who you think they are. A very good team, yes.

“Find me anybody else that went undefeated,” you say. I should surely hope they’d go undefeated with that schedule. Not all undefeated teams are created equally. Oklahoma is a far, far better candidate despite their 10-point loss (to Texas, which is also one of the darling “We Should Be There” teams people are latching onto) on the basis of their body of work, which is far more impressive than Utah’s, despite the Utes’ unblemished record. (Weber State? Seriously? And you beat New Mexico by three? Wow, I didn’t know Bud Wilkinson was coaching the Utes now.)

If Oklahoma beats Florida, they’ll have earned the title, no question. That would be one hellaciously impressive season. If Florida beats Oklahoma, what a run that is to end the season for the Gators.

Sorry, Rick. The national championship game is tomorrow night, even though it’s trendy to extoll the virtues of the Utes.

*Showing my age here: Remember when the rankings only went to 20? Seriously, who are we kidding here? Are 21-25 worth more now than 30 years ago?

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January 7th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Whine And Song

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It’s funny that so many say they want college football’s national championship decided on the field, yet they threaten to go through the courts to accomplish it.

Florida and Oklahoma play tomorrow night in Miami for what either will or won’t be the brass ring, depending on the state in which you live, and yet another elected official is whining and puffing out his chest while warning of legal action.

This year it’s Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff with the saber-rattling. Oddly enough, fans of a school in his state feel their team was wronged by the BCS!

Sound familiar? Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie put the “wah!” in wahine last year (and his home-state Rainbows, who were 12-0 yet were – wah! – left out of the championship game, got smacked 41-10 by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, so I’m not sure Abercrombie’s proposed legislation ever got anywhere). Tulane’s president, Scott Cowan, was bent out of shape after the Green Wave (who didn’t play anybody in going 12-0 in 1998) didn’t get more BCS love.

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January 7th, 2009 at 9:06 am

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