What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
My blog brother from another mother SportsChump has a problem. As an alum of the University of Florida, his football fandom of his alma mater has been on a 30-year roller coaster. Those oscillations are continually ramping up his angst on autumn Saturdays to the point I’m concerned he’s headed for an ending like when the “Yodel Guy” from The Price Is Right marches right off the cliff.
Before the “Head Ball Coach” hit Gainesville in 1990, Gator football was largely relegated to the backwaters of the Southeastern Conference and led by moderate-to-mediocre head coaches like Charley Pell and Galen Hall. In other words, even if there were expectations surrounding Gator football, coming up short wasn’t that big of a deal.
But it was Steve Spurrier who changed all that. Once he started bringing championships to Gainesville, the Gator faithful came to expect that sort of success as a given…and therein lies the rub.
Its only fitting it was Steve Spurrier who started the Chump’s roller-coaster ride; after all, before he was the “Head Ball Coach,” it was Spurrier who put Florida football on the map by winning the Heisman trophy in 1966. It was Spurrier who the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought in to be the “hometown hero”…and ticket-selling attraction…in 1976. So, it only makes sense that Steve Spurrier is the one who launched SportsChump “Evel Knievel”-style into three decades of football chaos.
The problem is that I suspect the Chump is too close to Florida football to see the last thirty years have been like one long episode of Let’s Make a Deal. Just like when you watch somebody dressed as a ear of corn swap a brand-new car for a goat, you could see the warning signs Gator fans always miss when they trade an SEC Championship for a homecoming loss to Vanderbilt.
Every one of the seven Gator head coaches since 1990 has offered a clear warning that a) they were leaving or b) Florida just hired the goat behind door #2.
Now that Billy Napier is the new man in charge in Gainesville, only time will tell if he a) succeeds to the point that he moves on to another opportunity (that USFL re-boot is right around the corner) or b) does something to foretell another ignominious end for a Gator head coach.
The trick for the rest of us in the blog-o-sphere is to help fill in the SportsChump’s inherent Gator fan “blind spot.” The best way to do that lies in another 70s game show reference. Much like Gene Rayburn milking an answer out of a housewife to match six “D-list” celebrities, we all need to help the Chump by filling in the blank whenever we spot a potential warning sign.
Sure, we’re just entering the off-season, but the lack of action on the field doesn’t mean shenanigans off it. After all, let’s not forget how Mike Price got run out of pre-Saban Alabama before he coached a single game for charging lap dances to his expense account.
Now, I’m not saying Billy Napier is that stupid, but pretty much anything is possible in the wacky world that is the Southeastern Conference.
Does anybody know if he owns a Darth Vader outfit?
P.S. This should in no way be construed as a thinly-disguised troll-job in advance of the seal-clubbing my Philadelphia Eagles are going to take on Sunday at the hands of the Tompa Bay Chumpaneers.