Category Archives: Gators

Wow! Tebow scared me!

I found a way to watch Gator football here in China, which is a HUGE blessing for me.  College football has been one of the ‘luxuries’ from home that I’ve missed most in my 9 years living in East Asia.  The only downside – the games are all on in the middle of the night or early Saturday morning!  Oh well, I can make sacrifices!

If you are reading this, you probably already know that I am a huge Gator fan (class ’96) and also a big fan of Tim Tebow, arguably one of the best to have ever played college football!  So this morning I’m watching Florida put the finishing touches on a Kentucky Fried Blowout and then my heart stopped when I saw this;

Tebow_Motionless

I mean, I’ve seen Tebow hit people, and get hit by people so hard that it makes you start to believe some of the ‘Chuck Norris’ and ‘Superman’ quotes (aka Tebowisms) that always seem to float around Tebow.  So to see him laying motionless on that field made me go numb.  My brother, who was listening to Gator radio (via the internet), and I were discussing what might have happened – both of us stunned.  Then after coming back from commercial I got to see a visibly dazed and wobbly Tebow walk off the field.  Whew!

Tebow walks off under his own powerI felt better about things, but was still unsettled.  It was obvious that the ‘worst’ had not happened and that Tebow was not paralyzed or otherwise seriously injured, but it was also obvious that he was not right.  My brother joked that they were going to have to hide Tebow’s helmet to keep him from coming back into the game.

I didn’t come to that, in fact he was taken out on a golf cart and then eventually left the stadium in an ambulance while the game was still on-going.

Tim Tebow has been known to put a favorite quote from the Bible on his eyeblack that he wears in the games.  In this game, he wore Isaiah 40:31 which says

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I’m not exactly sure of all the reasons that this passage is meaningful to Tebow, I can take a few guesses considering his background.  What is interesting to me is verse 30 that precedes this quote;

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

I’m confident that Tebow will play again, but even if he did not, he’s the kind of person who has more going for him than just football, and he’d be okay.  He seems to have the proper perspective on what is important in life, and while everyone else might have been calling him ‘Superman’, I have a feeling he understood the truth in Isaiah 40:30!  Let’s pray for ‘renewed strength’ for Tebow in the next few weeks as he recovers.

Integrity & Character Return to the White House

Tim Tebow and the rest of his national championship team went to the White House on Thursday so that Mr. President Obama could congratulate the team on their second national championship in three years.

President Obama invoked the words “playoff system” Thursday when the Florida Gators, college football’s national champions the past three seasons, visited the White House.

The president spent eight minutes congratulating the Gators, mentioning several players by name. Near the end of his remarks, as he has done before, Obama again called for a playoff system:

“I don’t want to stir up controversy.  You guys are the national champions — I’m not backing off the fact we need a playoff system.  But I have every confidence that you guys could have beat anybody else.  And so we’ll see how that plays itself out.”

After what surely must have been an awkward pause, Obama added: “I noticed they got all quiet after that.”

According to the White House transcript, that was followed by laughter.

Apparently there was a bit of controversy stirred up by Obamas ‘playoff’ comment as sports announcers on ESPN and other places seemed to feel that Mr. Obama has more pressing matters and that he should keep out of the business of college football.  There has been talk of Congress getting involved, at the encouragement of President Obama, in forcing the hand of college football to develop some sort of playoff system.

ObamaWhile I personally would love to see a playoff, I absolutely agree with the guys at ESPN that Mr. Obama has bigger fish to fry and he needs to stick to things that matter a lot more than college football… like people’s livelihoods, their homes, and the safety of American troops deployed around the world.

Obama recognized Tebow by specifically mentioning him during the brief visit.  (I really wish Tebow could hang with Obama for a day or two, maybe Obama could benefit from having a little bit of Tebow in his life…)

Obama called Tim Tebow, the Gators’ quarterback, an inspiration for many people. Tebow is a Heisman Trophy winner who speaks openly about his Christian faith.

“He puts faith, family and academics above football. And that’s incredible when you think about what he’s done on the field,” Obama said.

Tebow said in an interview after the ceremony that he appreciated the president’s remarks.

Isn’t he gorgeous!?

Funny the things you remember.  I can clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard that the passionate and always energetic “Crocodile Hunter” aka Steve Irwin had passed away.  That was a little over two years ago (Sept. ’06)

I was looking for some media to share in my Society & Culture class for a lecture on Australia and I came across this funny ESPN Sportscenter commercial with  Steve Irwin and Albert, the mascot for the Florida Gators!

a mosh pit of disrespect

“It was a mosh pit of disrespect and ignited enough debate and controversy to last an entire year. Pictures of the end-zone celebration were hanging from the Gators’ weight room bulletin board before the season even started.”

The Gators are ‘officially’ downplaying the Bulldog’s antics from last years defeat in Jacksonville, but you gotta believe they will ALL be thinking about it this Saturday when the Gators have a chance to avenge the ‘disrespect.’

(For those visitors who are viewing this from a RSS reader, there is a poll in my sidebar on who you think is gonna win this Saturday’s matchup.  Put in your vote!)

Gator’s Rank Low on Initial BCS Poll

Someone explain to me how the Gators are ranked #10 in the BCS poll!

The polls done by people (AP) only have 4 teams ranked above the Gators, yet the computer polls, that factor heavily into the BCS equation, have the Gators ranked 12th!

Here is where the Gators ranked in the six computer polls:

  • Sagarin: 9th
  • Anderson & Hester: 16th
  • Richard Billingsley: 18th
  • Colley Matrix: 14th
  • Massey: 15th
  • Peter Wolfe: 6th

Average computer ranking: 12th

The Gators only loss was by ONE POINT.  Admittedly, they should have won that game against Ole Miss, but come on, someone fix the computers!

Hurricanes Downgraded To A Tropical Depression

The Gators broke a 6 game losing streak (spanning 23 years!) with the Miami Hurricanes today with a respectable 26 to 3 final score!

I was not able to see the game, but I heard much of it via the internet and despite their success, it seems the Gators still have a lot of room for improvement if they are going to be ready for their SEC opponents!

I love Gator football!

Go Gators!

Time for a ‘lu’au’ in The Swamp?

The University of Florida Gators started the 2008 football season against the University of Hawaii’s Warriors.

Hawaii was expecting a “lu’au in [the] Swamp” – uh, I don’t think so!

I thought they had already learned their lesson about SEC football…  I guess this time they’ll have to take their lesson from the Gators!

 

Hawaii, consider yourself schooled!

 

Go Gators!

 

The final score, Florida 56, Hawaii 10.

The Swamp (aka Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field)

It wont be long now and things will begin to get steamy in The Swamp again!

When I was a student at UF, a long, long time ago – back when they were going for their FIRST national championship and the golden armed, Heisman winner was known as “Danny Wuerfell”, I never missed a home game at The Swamp.

I have never experienced anything quite like The Swamp since that time, and if you have not experienced a Gator football game in that stadium, I don’t know what would be a good comparison to suggest to you.

What makes this stadium so special compared to others?

Here are a few reasons from the Bleacher Report

The name: The official name of the stadium is actually Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field, but since former Head Coach Steve Spurrier tagged it ‘The Swamp” in the early ’90s, the name has stuck. Coach Spurrier said: “…a swamp is where Gators live. We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous. Only Gators get out alive.”

The stadium: The Swamp isn’t the largest stadium in college football, but the stadium does hold over 90,000 fans. The stadium design gives a distinct advantage to the home team. A portion of the stadium is below ground level, and the stadium is completely enclosed. This design traps noise extremely well while cutting off any breeze that could flow through the stadium. The stands are also 10 feet away from the players on both sides, and combined with the 90+ rows of stands behind them give the stadium a claustrophobic feeling.

The fans:   Gator fans are loud, loud, and loud some more, all game long. From the time the Orange and Blue chants quiet down before kickoff to the end of the 4th quarter, Florida fans are notoriously vocal. Make a big play on the field, and the the crowd doesn’t just cheer. It erupts. Sometimes the crowd is so loud the stadium will shake. Look around during a game and count the number of opposing fans covering their ears.

The team:

The Florida Gators have not had a losing team since 1979, and have been relevant on a national level since the 1990 season. There were sporadic appearances on the national radar before, but nothing major. It is no coincidence that in this time frame people have started taking The Swamp into consideration as a tough place to play. The progress of the football program combined with rabidness of the fans and the confines of the stadium, and it makes for a daunting task to play in Gainesville. 

 

There are others, people with a great deal of perspective on the matter who also feel the Swamp is a tough place for non-Gators to play football:

 

“The loudest, most obnoxious and notorious piece of real estate in all of college football.”

– The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on The Swamp

 

“BEN . . . HILL . . . GRIFFIN Stadium . . . at Florida Field, has the longest name in college football . . . and it has the loudest fans!  Trust us!”

–  Chris Fowler, ESPN College Gameday Host on The Swamp

 

“There is no better place than ‘The Swamp’! That opening on the big screen with the alligator, it’s the best ever. When the Gators run out of the tunnel, it is absolutely the moment of moments in college football.”

– Lee Corso, ESPN College Football Analyst on The Swamp

 

“The Swamp,” as it was nicknamed by Steve Spurrier, can prove to be a rough place for the opposition. It is super loud, and the intensity of the fans remains the same from start to finish.

–  Mel Kiper, ESPN Football Analyst about The Swamp

 

“The Swamp” is incredibly loud and combines with the Gators’ superior talent on the field to overwhelm almost every visiting team.

–  Mel Kiper, ESPN Football Analyst about The Swamp

 

“Florida Field is the nation’s loudest stadium. Take any heavy metal album, crank it, then place your speakers in a tin basement. That sounds like a library compared to ‘The Swamp’.”

— The Sporting News

Florida Gator Football 2008

 

  • Aug. 30th   Hawaii 12:30 P.M.
  • Sept. 6th   Miami (Fla.) 8:00 P.M.
  • Sept. 20th   at Tennessee 3:30 P.M.
  • Sept. 27th   Ole Miss
  • Oct. 4th   at Arkansas
  • Oct. 11th   L.S.U. 8:00 P.M.
  • Oct. 25th   Kentucky (Homecoming)
  • Nov. 1st   Georgia (at Jacksonville FL)
  • Nov. 8th   at Vanderbilt
  • Nov. 15th   South Carolina
  • Nov. 22nd   The Citadel (Senior Day)
  • Nov. 29th   at Florida State 
  • Dec. 6th   SEC Championship Game (Atlanta Ga.)
  • Jan. 9th   BCS Championship Game 

 

It’s not the toughest schedule out there, but it certainly is no walk in the park either.  It will be interesting to see what the BCS ends up ranking their “Strength of Schedule” at.

It’s great playing in the SEC where there are so many caliber football programs!