Tropical storm Bonnie did virtually nothing to the Gainesville area, but Hurricane Charley looks like it will have the most direct impact on the University City in my 25 years of living here.
It certainly has ruined things for the Gator football team because they now have to miss their favorite event of the year….. that's right, MEDIA DAY has been cancelled!
As I wrote from SEC media days these get-togethers really serve very few purposes:
- Get media guys out of the newsroom
- Force players and coaches to answer the same questions dozens of times.
- Force sports information departments to put together packets of info that most media types (me included) are too lazy to bother opening/reading.
Thanks to "Charley" this year, there will be no media meat market in Gainesville, which means one more year without my fantasy interview taking place.
MEDIA DAY MOCK INTERVIEW
That fantasy interview, with an unnamed Gator Player (aka: GP) would go something like this: (Keep in mind, the player can not be identified because he, like this conversation, does not exist.)
LV: How excited are you about getting back on the practice field?
GP: Excited? Two-a-days in Gainesville in August are not exciting, dude.
LV: How do you feel the off-season program went?
GP: Mine went great. I showed up for morning "voluntary" running and lifting. I also ate about 50 pizzas and me and my roomies finished off three kegs in one weekend.
LV: How was the team chemistry?
GP: Who cares? When you are running wind sprints at five in the morning, all you're trying to do is keep that last slice of pizza in your gut.
LV: Are leaders on the team emerging?
GP: We got three kinds of leaders. There are your vocal leaders… The rah-rah guys who think this $#% is fun. The quiet leaders just go about their business and we're supposed to notice. You guys don't know about the third group. They're the corner-cutting leaders who find a way to shave some effort off almost any assignment. Those are my guys, and we have lots of them.
LV: Did the way last season ended provide motivation for the off-season?
GP: I guess so. It was hard to ACCept the way those crooked refs took away the FSU game and we're still pretty p$@d about it. I mean we still shoulda won the damn game, but how can they have all those quick whistles and then call a fumble on C-4 when every part of his body had hit the ground. Man!
LV: Actually, the season ended with Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
GP: Maybe your season did, but not ours. Man, nobody wanted to go to Tampa again. What kind of trip is that? Been to Mons Venus already and like they say, when you've seen one you've seen 'em both (laughter). Atlanta or Dallas would have been a lot more fun.
LV: You think you would have won the Peach Bowl or Cotton Bowl?
GP: Beats me, but it would have been a helluvalot more fun than another two hour drive down I-75. I mean think about it, my redshirt year we go to New Orleans. Since then, we haven't even left Florida. That sucks. I would think the front office would be sick of that too. Did you know the last seven years the Gators have played bowl games in Florida six times?
LV: No, I didn't know that. So what would make this a great season?
GP: Well, we got a lot of goals, but for me it would be All-SEC, winning the SEC East and beating those $#%^%*&S in Tallahassee. And going to a bowl outside Florida…. Except Shreveport that is… we ain't going there.
FROM THE E-MAIL BAG
This submission comes from Gatormain in Eustis: "I was wanting your take on the ESPN ranking of the greatest coaches which put Joe Paterno at # 8 and Bobby Bowden at #21. Paterno took over a strong program from Rip Engle while Bowden had virtually nothing at the girls' school. If Bowden is # 21, than Joe Pa is # 22 at best."
I agree with the ESPN rankings having Paterno over Bowden for two reasons.:
Paterno has five perfect seasons, Bowden just one.
Paterno has been national coach of the year by the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) a record four times. Bowden has never been chosen for this honor
Still, I consider Bowden's 14 year stretch (1987-2000) of ten-win seasons and top five national finishes to be one of the greatest coaching accomplishments in the history of college football. For what it's worth, my ranking of college coaches for the last 25 years would be:
- Joe Paterno
- Bobby Bowden
- Tom Osborne
- Steve Spurrier
- Lou Holtz
Let the arguments begin
Have a safe weekend. I look forward to more in the email bag.
If you want to talk sports, call me Sunday night from 6:00 - 8:00 on WSKY-FM 97.3 877/975-9825 (toll free). Email me anytime at email@example.com.