Archive for Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Juggernaut Florida must be stopped

August 25, 2009

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I want chaos this college football season.

Anarchy. Mayhem.

I want the University of Florida Gators to lose. Stumble on their road to immortality.

Perhaps this is just cause to burn my Gators boxer shorts, for indeed, as a loyal alumnus, this is treason.

But I must think decisively and objectively. And so, with a clear conscience, it makes perfect sense to root for another team to derail Florida’s hopes of a third national title in four years.

Most fans loathe dynasties.

Big shots annoy us flashing that bling-bling in our faces. Catch-phrases like “three-peat” and “one for the finger” sound like fingernails scraping across a blackboard.

The Gators fit the bill. They’ve got the smarty-pants football coach. They’ve got the pretty-boy quarterback who works on making the world a better place in his spare time. They’ve got more speed than the Legion of Super-Heroes.

They’ve reduced their once-feared rivals, Florida State and Miami, to the equivalent of a scrimmage against the junior varsity.

They must be stopped.

It’s the best thing that could happen to college football.

The best story isn’t about the Gators going wire-to-wire. It’s about them losing along the way.

It’s the changeup nobody expects.

Everywhere you turn, it’s Gators, Gators, Gators. The preseason hype continues ad nauseam, as if the other 119 teams in Div. I-A football didn’t exist.

I clicked onto ESPN.com Monday morning and saw this column by Bruce Feldman: Florida fans have been doing a lot of speculating in my mailbag submissions that this Gator team could go down as the best ever. Let’s discuss.

Or let’s not.

Dynasties are all about the dark side. Fans lose total perspective. They’re blinded by the pursuit of perfection. Winning isn’t enough. You have to crush opponents.

And should the Gators lose, the trail of tears will stretch from Kissimmee to Key West.

Besides, Florida fans may only be setting themselves up to get their hearts broken.

The 1983 Nebraska team lost to the Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl in 1984 by missing a two-point conversion. Then the Hurricanes stepped into the desert in Arizona in 1987 wearing combat fatigues, only to wave white hankies of surrender against Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. USC was touted in that esteemed category until Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush lost to Vince Young and Texas in the Rose Bowl.

Most recently, the Georgia Bulldogs were the preseason No. 1 pick in 2008. How well did that work out?

I have no vendettas or quarrels against the Gators. It could be any team with this much preseason hype.

A one-loss season will not crush Florida. The Gators can still likely play in a BCS matchup. They’ll still make oodles of money in merchandising. The Gator Nation will remain strong.

Let some other team get a taste of a sweet national title run.

I know these words will resonate harshly in the Gator Nation. Blasphemy is an unpardonable sin. I am prepared to suffer the consequences.

The boxer shorts have already been torched.

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