“Sweet Home Jacksonville” doesn’t have the same ring to it
As an erstwhile Florida resident, I grew up being told that the Gators were a terrible, terrible team that shouldn’t be touched with a ten-foot pole. As it happens, the people in charge of opinion-setting in my family were probably Canes fans. I was surprised to learn the Gators never sucked at all, which is exactly why I feel pretty bad about the anticlimactic end to a stunning straight 22 wins by the Gators. (Very shocked. Very stunned.) Sweet Home Alabama blasted through the speakers as the Tide celebrated, reminding Floridians that not only did Alabama take their precious championship title, they appropriated Lynyrd Skynyrd from them as well.
What gives, anyway? Why did the Gators collapse in the face of the Tide? Some would have you believe that they were simply outcoached and outplayed, Florida’s defense wasn’t up to snuff; Alabama—to borrow a cliché—just wanted it more.
All fair enough points. However, I know the real scoop. You know how Gators QB Tim Tebow likes to reference Bible verses on his eye-black? (Of course you do.) Usually, he’ll write innocuous verses like Mark 14:51, or Genesis 38:8; whatever, you get the idea. Athletes like to win.
Anyway, here’s the rub: one day he wrote Numbers 22:27 on his eye-black and I’m not quite sure why. I had to look this one up:
And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he smote the donkey with his staff.
I found this to be incredibly strange and confusing. I know certain transcriptions of God’s best-selling novel will use “ass” in lieu of “donkey” (back when God was edgy), so maybe Tebow was trying to be cheeky by saying he was going to whoop Alabama’s ass.
I read on:
Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said.
If this sounds familiar to you it’s because it’s basically the plot to Shrek. And everybody knows God regarded Shrek with the most extreme repugnance, primarily because he didn’t find the talking donkey believable enough and Jesus wouldn’t stop doing impressions of Mike Myers around the church.
Clearly irritated, the grand old deity rooted for ‘Bama instead.
So to the many friends I know who have passed through the halls of UF and tag their Facebook statuses with “GO GATORS”, please don’t cry. You just have to take the good with the bad. The hand of fate is fickle. Sometimes you just win every regular season game, and then blow it at the one game that matters.
Just ask Tom Brady (whose Patriots the Dolphins beat this past Sunday… so really, Florida, quitcherbitchin’ already).