Tag Archives: Florida Gators Football

Making Death Threats Is Not A Part Of Being A Sports Fan

As their team sits at 3-3 and in 2nd-place in the SEC East, fans of the Florida Gators thought their season would be going better than it has up to this point. There was the season-opening 33-17 loss to a disappointing Michigan team. And they lost frustrating games to LSU and Texas A&M. None of these losses were bad losses but those games against LSU and Texas A&M should have been wins.

I’m here to tell fans of the Gators that it’s just a game. It’s. Just. A. Game.

But for a vocal, impulsive minority portion of the fanbase, it’s more than just a game. This is SEC football and everyone should dominate the way Nick Saban and Alabama do. So naturally (?) some Florida fans have resorted to making death threats against both Jim McElwain and some of the players.

If you’re a fan of the Gators, there are bigger things in life than the record of the football team. If you’re a fan of any team, there should be bigger things in your life. But this is SEC football. Remember? “It Just Means More.”

Except it doesn’t.

The success or lack thereof of your favorite sports team should not mean more. It shouldn’t mean more than your well-being, the well-being of your family, or the strength of your relationships with others. Most of us understand this. But sadly many don’t.

Your happiness and reason d’etre shouldn’t hinge on the success of a sports team. And when your mental sanity is tethered to the record of a sports team, you only appear more delusional when it’s a college team your psyche is tied to. If you’re a grown ass man or woman, stop worshipping 17-21 year old kids and go find a life. It’s a big world out there and Jim McElwain shouldn’t be the captain of your ship.

This attitude is nothing new, particularly in the SEC.

I’m not a fan of NCAA basketball referee John Higgins. When I say that, what I really mean is that I’m not a fan of Higgins as referee. He may very well be a great guy and great businessman. When the Kentucky basketball team lost to North Carolina in the 2017 NCAA tournament, some Wildcat fans blamed Higgins. And you guessed it, there were even threats made against his life.

These aren’t the only examples of fans going off the deep end but these are two of the most reason examples in the SEC.

Watch your team on television. Go to the games. Be an armchair quarterback on message boards. Have fun being a fan. But remember this. It’s all about fun for you. Your livelihood doesn’t depend on the success of your favorite team and neither should your happiness.

If you find a need to harass and threaten the lives of coaches and players then being a fan of a team isn’t for you. You need to put on yourself on probation for lack of institutional control and come back to sports when you’re mature enough to handle it.

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E-mail Seth at [email protected] 

Photo: Pixabay

Can the Florida Gators Rebound?

One of the most widely scrutinized teams heading into this season, especially looking at the SEC East, is the Florida Gators. The Gators had a surprisingly successful 10-2 season in 2012 under Coach Will Muschamp only to lose in the Sugar Bowl to Louisville. After that embarrassing loss, the Gators struggled to get their footing and ended up with an incredibly disappointing 4-8 record last season. And as if that record weren’t pitiful enough, the Gators suffered their first ever loss to an FCS team, Georgia Southern, in 2013. You can make excuses and point fingers in all kinds of directions if you’re a Gator fan.

Trainers tend to QB Jeff Driskel after he suffered a leg injury vs. Tennessee last season.
Trainers tend to QB Jeff Driskel after he suffered a leg injury vs. Tennessee last season.

The Gators were plagued by the injury bug last season. When I say this I don’t mean they lost one or two good players, but that they lost player after player to season-ending injuries. As the season dragged on, the Gators had to play without their No. 1 quarterback, the No. 1 running back, the No. 1 wide receiver, the No. 1 defensive tackle, and the No. 1 linebacker who was arguably the best player on the team. Due to other various injuries, the Gators lost the No. 2 or No. 3 players at these positions as well. Clearly with all those injuries the Gators were not going to have the 9-win season many predicted. But after only winning 4 games, the coaching staff was scrutinized as well.
Last season the Gators had a solid defense despite the injuries and the amount of time the defense had to spend on the field. I mention the amount of time the defense played because for most of the season the Gators had virtually no real offensive production. Muschamp himself is a defensive expert, there’s not doubt about that. But Gator fans were starting to wonder if he would know a good offensive coach if that coach came up and bit him right in the hindquarters. Well, it seems one may have bit him. Last spring the Gators hired former Duke Offensive Coordinator Kurt Roper. They also enter the season with a new Offensive Line Coach (Mike Summers, USC), a new Wide Receivers Coach (Chris Leak, Florida), and a new Special Teams Coordinator (Coleman Hutzler, New Mexico). It’s safe to say the Florida Gators have almost completely reinvented their offense this offseason.
With a healthy roster, the Gators have plenty of talent returning to help build that new offensive system this season. And the new up-tempo style that Kurt Roper has put in place seems to be an especially good fit for returning quarterback Jeff Driskel. Florida held a scrimmage this past Friday and the offense showed a great deal of promise. Though the tempo wasn’t quite as fast as Gator fans can expect to see during the season due to fatigue, the offense managed to put together some great plays. Driskel had a 97-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Ahmad Fulwood that quickly became one of the most impressive plays of the day. Fulwood struggled to really make a difference in the offense last season but has been solid in these past two weeks of camp. It looks like the Gators will have a talented group of receivers this season led by senior Quinton Dunbar and sixth-year senior Andre Debose. Florida also has a loaded backfield to start this season with Matt Jones, Mack Brown, and one of my offensive standout players Kelvin Taylor. As long as the offensive line can hold up, the Gators seem to finally have the right talent and the right system in place to create more offensive production and put points on the board this season.
So now let’s go back to the original question here: Can the Gators rebound this season? If you ask me, I’d say they have a real chance to come out strong this season. With a healthy roster, a defense that’s just as solid as last year’s and a new up-tempo offense, I expect the Gators to finish the regular season with an 8-4 record. It gives me extra hope remembering that the Auburn Tigers had an even harder season to bounce back from last year and ended up playing in the BCS National Championship Game. The only question this still leaves is whether or not that 8-4 record would be good enough to save Coach Muschamp’s job. The entire country will be watching him as he sits on what is likely the hottest seat in college football this season.