Texts were flying into my cell phone and calls coming rapid-fire Sunday night after Ali Gardiner’s dramatic walk-off grand slam to beat Alabama. My wife said she has never screamed so loud in her life, so loud that it scared my 8-year old.
It was that special. And it got me thinking about where it would rank among my favorite moments covering Florida athletics.
OK, so I’m list-obsessed. But here they are:
1. Terry Jackson’s sprint to the end zone and dive over the goal-line to secure Florida’s first national football title.
2. Brad Wilkerson’s grand slam to beat Florida State in the 1996 College World Series. He also got the save.
3. Gardiner’s slam, made even more special by her emotions in the postgame press conference. Her father Wally played baseball at Florida 35 years ago and dreamed of his daughter wearing a Gator uniform. But who could have dreamed of this?
4. Mike Miller’s shot at the buzzer to beat Butler in the 2000 first-round NCAA game in Winston-Salem.
5. Kerwin Bell’s two-point conversion against Auburn on a bad knee in 1986.
Second five: Corey Brewer’s three-point play to beat Georgetown in the 2006 Sweet 16 game; Tim Tebow’s jump pass to David Nelson to secure Florida’s national title in Miami; the Oh-Fours announcing, “We back, baby!”; Derek Nicholson’s walk-off hit to send Florida to Omaha in 1998; Danny Wuerffel to Jacquez Green against Alabama in the 1996 SEC title game.