We've come to terms with something: we're in a damaging relationship with our fandom. In fact, if we equated our relationship with the Florida Gators, we'd be the abusive husband to their well-meaning abused wife--not the controlling Ike Turner type, but the demanding, mind-bending delusional type who brings flowers one day and throws the toaster at their head the next.
This pattern was in full effect yesterday during the Iowa game. Vernell Brown steps into a pass for an INT and return for six, and we're gushing over Meyer's dedication to building the program around character players. The offense sputters twice in the redzone and we're grumbling about the failures of the spread and rubbing our knuckles menacingly. Leak needs a dive for a first down and he slides like a pretty little lady in a sundress, and we're pounding the floor and swearing a smoking hole in the wall. Or perhaps shooting...we're not too sure, since all we remember were blue lights and sixteen cops on our back tasering the daylights out of us.
Our sponsors for the Outback Bowl included Outback Steakhouse and the Dekalb Police Department.
Fortunately the Dekalb county jail has most comfortable facilities this side of Club Fed, so we caught the remainder of the game in restraints, which served us well as Drew Tate stood behind a wall of Iowa beef and ate cucumber sandwiches while tearing apart the Florida secondary in the second half. The Florida offense--at the bowl game, no less--still can't end opponents like it should, and the defense gets awfully generous in the second half, particularly when the opponents utilize a recently legalized method of moving the ball by throwing it through the air.
And yet...Urban claimed the balls crown for the day (temporarily see: Rich Rodriguez in the Sugar) by calling a fake punt from the Florida 18 and making it, proving again that if you needed anything from a sure hard yard to complex emergency brain surgery, call on Billy Latsko, the Gator's lucky talisman of a fullback, a player of such quiet, inexplicably infectious charisma that he ended up on the field despite beginning the season without a position on the offense. The offense pushed Iowa back; they counter with a field goal; and we get a dose of long delayed karma (Tennessee '04? FSU any year?) with a phantom onside kick penalty that gets Florida the rekick and the three kneeldowns to victory.
And just like that, we're bringing her flowers again and promising never, never again.
We promise to be good, baby--you've been so good to us this season, you deserve it.