Sunday, September 3, 2006

Time for the Annual Pilgrimage

To Florida Field to see the Gators take on UCF this Saturday. Back in the day I was there for all of them the big and the little games but now a days here in Big Ten country I'll take a dose of SEC mania whenever I can--and hopefully see a high scoring game is just right.
So leaving Notre Dame country, where the crowds are polite and orderly, I'll venture in to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium where the crowd will be frenzied and loud to see short time Notre Dame head coach George O'Leary take on Pope Urban's second year spread offense. It'll be a battle of unbeatens--the game of the century, #1 versus #2 in my pre-season poll (just as valid as the other fictions out there).
Pretty good seats this year too, from the UF athletic director Jeremy Foley. What's my connection? A friend who plays golf with a former Penn State classmate of Foley's (three degrees of separation).
So while the rest of you are watching Ohio State and Texas--I'll be immersed in Gator Heaven--hopefully seeing about 70 points scored by the good guys.
Yesterday's game, Steve Spurrier's appearance in the swamp and Mike Bianci's comments:

From the Orlando Sentinel:

The history books tell us that UF fielded its first team in 1906 with a coach named J.A. "Pee Wee" Forsythe, who doubled as the team's fullback and was paid a $500 salary that first season. A century later, Meyer makes $2 million a year -- and he doesn't even have to suit up. The least he can do is win a championship.
"Since I've left, the Gators haven't won an SEC title," Spurrier said recently when asked why UF fans still adore him. "When they win one or two, that coach will replace me."
But the thing is, if Meyer is to win a championship, he must go through Spurrier to do it. Spurrier was rightfully cheered Saturday on his return to The Swamp; he'll be booed when he brings his Gamecocks here Nov. 11. "South Carolina, that's my team," Spurrier said Saturday. "All my emotions are with South Carolina now."
On this day, Florida fans loved him as one of their own.
In two months, they'll hate him just like everybody else.