We don’t watch much football. Diane doesn’t like it much, and I’m not so much of a fan that I’d relocate to another part of the house to tune in. But this evening we turned on the game between the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the #2 University of Florida Gators. And I enjoyed it. The Gators and the Tide played a fairly close game until late, when UF pulled ahead and with the help of an interception made sure it stayed that way.
Both Diane and I did our undergraduate work at UF, and we both were residents of the East Hall dorm there. That was a contributing factor to football not being higher on our list of fun things, since East Hall was relatively close to the stadium. Come Friday nights in the fall, the loudspeakers would be on until late, since the local high schools played there then. Come various Saturdays, one could not really go anywhere, since any available parking space would be immediately seized and probably not relinquished until well after the end of the game. Another factor would have been the fact that the team wasn’t doing so well during the time we attended UF. This was in the closing years of Doug Dickey’s head coach tenure, and we often would have to say that the team had managed to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory.
It is an entirely different experience to see the Gators as a extraordinarily capable and coordinated team, ready to show that prowess against the best other athletes in the country. There was a point later in the game this past evening where the Gators were on third down and further from the goal line than expected due to a penalty call. The commentators were going on about how the game would be changed by the Gators not getting a touchdown and having to go for a field goal, when Tim Tebow completed a pass to a receiver in the end zone. That was a refreshing change for someone who suffered through a lot of late-game downturns in fortune for the Gators.