I've spent much of the past two days constantly refreshing the message boards of Gatorcountry trying to find some news, any news on Marcus Thomas' suspension. Well, that and banging my head against my keyboard over the thought of losing Thomas for the toughest stretch of football the the University of Florida has seen in many, many years. Not only is Thomas arguably the most indispensable player on the Gator defense, he also happens to occupy the position that I personally feel is most essential to a dominating defense. While there are plenty of different ingredients that make up a dominant defense (and surely more than one recipe for said defense), it is next to impossible to have a truly special defense without pressure from the interior of your defensive line. While the 2006 Gator defense possesses a number of weapons, none are as effective without Marcus (and Scoop) commanding a double team from the opposing O-line. We learned this much in the season opener against Southern Miss. Hopefully, the next thing we learn is that Marcus is returning for the October 7th tilt in Gainesville versus LSU. I'm going to be in Gainesville for this game and will gladly supply Marcus with anything he needs in order to be ready to play against the Tigers. Well, not anything...that's kind of what got us in this predicament in the first place.
Speaking of Gator games that I'll be attending, Florida takes on Kentucky tomorrow @ 7:45 and I'll be there. Normally I wouldn't even dream of attending a game of such little national prominence. However, I'm attempting to make up for lost time this year since last year was the first year since 1996 that I didn't attend one single Gator game. Tomorrow's game will be the first of a four (and possibly more) game tour for me this year that includes LSU, UGA and FSU. I'm hoping that tomorrow will serve as a nice "walk through" for me and my liver. You just can't jump right into a game like LSU or the WLOCP after a year off without a little preventive medicine. (Note: By "preventitive medicine" I mean Jack Daniels). With all of this in mind, I'm leaving work a little early today so I'm going to keep today's post short and limit it to some loose ends and random thoughts that have slipped through the cracks recently.
- A belated "thank you" to Jerry is in order. Jerry brought up his surprise last Saturday that I didn't possess a"go to" shirt for Gator games. I responded by referencing the Ron Zook era and citing it's destruction of most of the "lucky" Gator paraphenalia that I once owned. Of course, with Tennessee looming at 8 pm, this got my wheel's spinning. I realized that I did have a shirt that was, possibly, lucky due to it's absence during my second stint in Gainesville. I decided to bring it with me to Vitas'. With things still tight but looking less than promising at halftime of a 10-7 game I decided to make the switch for the second half. We all know what happened from there, Florida outscored UT 14-3 in the second half and pulled out the victory in Neyland. All thanks to Jerry and my awesome shirt.
- During last week's ND-Michigan game, Tom Hammonds mentioned that Mike Hart's actual first name was Leon. I haven't been that disappointed in an athlete since I found out that Troy O'Leary was black. There are millions of Mikes but so few Leons, Mr. Hart. It's time for you to take a page out of Albert/Joey Belle's book...no, no not that book.
- Who's the biggest douchebag on TV right now? I'll tell you who. That fat guy from the Glidden paint commercial. He's obviously a huge sports fan because he wants to paint one of his rooms in the colors of one of his favorite teams (By the way, what is he 12 years old?). However, I'd like to hear the rational explanation for why his favorite teams include Oregon State, the Oakland A's and the Washington Redskins. Who's his favorite hockey team, the Blackhawks? I really wish Tony Stewart would just do us all a favor and reach up from the back seat and choke him out with some piano wire like a mafia movie.
- I know that it's been done a few times before but why isn't anybody, and I mean anybody, making a big deal out of Alfonso Soriano joining the 40/40 Club? I mean, he certainly has plenty of flaws (strikes out too much, poor defensively, bad tipper) but 40/40 is a pretty damned impressive accomplishment where I come from (the early 80s) and he managed to do it while playing his home games in RFK. I should probably just be quiet about this. I'm sure that most sports fans are much more interested in T.O.'s finger anyway.
- Am I the only guy who thinks that the name Prescott Burgess should only be given to people who are going to end up in a frat at UVA? When it becomes clear that isn't going to happen there should be some type of law that changes your name to something more appropriate. In this case I'm thinking something along the lines of...Damarneus Wilcox.
- When you're watching the 12:00 noon ESPN game tomorrow ask yourself if you think Pam Ward tucks her bird in between her legs or tapes it to the inside of her thigh when she wears skirts? I say tuck.
- During the Iowa-Iowa State game last Saturday, multiple stroke victim Mike Gottfried said this about Iowa tailback Albert Young, "He will tell you anything you want to hear." Up to that point I had been unaware that Albert Young was a prostitute. Knowing is half the battle, I guess.
- He doesn't get enough pub because, well, he plays at perpetually 7-5 Boston College, but linebacker/fullback Brian Toal is one of the more underrated players in the nation. He's the kind of guy who ends up going in the 4th round b/c of somewhat unimpressive measurables but still ends up starting by the middle of his rookie year. Seriously, if you can take the boredom of watching ACC Football this year (the conference is even more mediocre than normal, which is saying something) sit down and just watch Toal for a series or three. He's good.
- Direct quote from ABA Owner Ann Iverson on her team's new name (Richmond Ballers), "All our players better be Ballers because if they're whack, they're going home." Wow, who wouldn't want to suit up for an organization with a leader like that? Can't you just see Art Modell saying the same thing to Ozzie Newsome?
I probably won't post on Monday because I'll be pretty busy with meetings and such while also more than likely handicapped by the hangover that I'm sure to bring home as a souvenir from the long weekend in Gainesville that will conclude in Orlando on Sunday night at a concert I'll be attending at the House of Blues. The trip to Gainesville is exciting enough but when combined with the concert, this weekend has the potential to be one of the all-time greats. At this point you may be wondering who it is that I'm going to see in Orlando on Sunday. Frankly, I'm not really sure that any of you will have ever heard of them. Well, maybe a few of you. It's this little hip-hop group from NYC who call themsleves A Tribe Called Quest. See, I knew you guys wouldn't know who I was talking about.
I'll be back tuesday. Until then, Greg's new blog is sure to keep you entertained with his witty insights. Have a good weekend.