Pat Dooley

  • Pat looks at football expectations in the SEC and at baseball, softball, gymnastics and the NFL Draft.

    Podcast breakdown:
    01:45 Insignificance of spring game attendance (and performance0
    03:40 Knoxville’s […]

  • The Back Nine comes at you after a wonderful weekend in my old home town of St. Augustine that included time with family and a visit to Barley’s Pub in downtown. Try the lamb burger. And tip your w […]

    • Tough call, Mveal. Knowing what chronic use of steroids does to the human body, I’d have to opine that the rules should stay in place as-is. The issue with pay-for-play is more clear cut in my mind….if you’re going to call intercollegiate football a professional sport…..then fine, fire for effect. Otherwise, no.

    • #11. There was so much obvious dysfunction in the UT athletic department……starting about the time Phil Fulmer was fired in the first place…..that Butch Jones wouldn’t have had a chance were he the second coming of Bear Bryant. So he took the fall, not helping himself along the way with some silly comments that the fan base took issue with. Pruitt comes in with an honest appraisal of the problems, and now they want to hang him too?

      Well, if he can survive those fans, the man will get the job done. The big story though is that UT finally did something even smarter than hiring Pruitt…..they put Phil Fulmer back in charge, where he should have been all along. So now the Gators and the Vols are on their way back, and look out Georgia. And everybody else in the SEC. I for one am tickled to death about the future of the East.

      • Tennessee has to have the worst fan base of any sport in America. The Curse of Lane Kiffen lives on. Now we know why so many coaches said “NO” to UT when UT came calling. And they sacrificed their AD to deflect the blame from their own selves. I guess everyone needs a good rationalization to get through the day….or season.

      • I live in Knoxville and I can tell you that you and mkfgator are spot on. But I’ll add this, yes, Butch was in a almost un-winnable situation but he did cause many of his own problems. He was in over his head in the SEC and he did not play well in the locker room.

        Yes the fan base here is pretty ridiculous. But the problems started LONG before Lane Kiffin showed up. This fan base was fractured backed when Johnny Majors coached and Fulmer succeeded him (google that if you’re interested). Throw in a couple of big money donors who lord over the program…….well all I can say is….. it’s great to be a Florida Gator.

    • Roger copy, mkf…every time I think of some of our own “nuts”, I think of the Vols and they pale in comparison. Kind of makes you glad to be a Gator, doesn’t it?

      What I am looking forward to, though, is returning to very relevant games each season with UT. We were always better when that series meant something, and so were they.

    • You know Mveal, that is a tough one to call. My personal take on it is…#1, I follow the rules, whether or not I like them (except maybe driving too fast..) . But that’s just me, not a judgment call on anyone else. I personally believe that a person should be able to do what they want as long as it only affects themselves. So if a player wants to roid up and suffer the consequences few years later….knock yourself out. I’ll enjoy watching you play but will have little sympathy when you’re 50 with all kinds of health issues. It’s a personal choice.
      Now, the other side of that coin is, it DOES affect others in that the players that choose not to roid up are now at a disadvantage. That to me, is a problem.
      On the weed issue….again, do it in your own home, knock yourself out. But do it and get behind a wheel, then I have a big problem. I think there should be no second chances when it comes to driving under the influence as it can be a mortal danger to us all. You DUI…. you pay a stiff price…whatever that may be. My two cents.

      • I’d say your two cents is worth a million bucks, Rog.

        I went to school with John Matuzak in ’73……great guy, but you could see it coming from a mile away.

    • Steve….. your are correct… for the moment. But don’t worry. If UT has the worst fan-base in the SEC, then UGA isn’t far behind. Those guys are delusional about their place in history and it won’t take many hiccups from Kirby’s teams before they’re howling again, ready to run him out of town.

    • You speak the truth, even though it may earn you the label of “troll”, Steve. What has happened at UGA is nothing short of spectacular, and I don’t begrudge them any of it. Well, maybe a little……it violates the state constitution of Florida not to hate ’em just a little bit, just because (a little known legal fact even to Florida natives)…..but I’m confident that we will catch up again. Yes, it may seem at present like a remote probability, we’ve been sucking hind tit for at least 7 years of this decade…..but it’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

    • There’s one solution. WIN When that happens everything else will fall into place. One good upset this season can start things happening.

    • No te hagas pedo, nino.

  • Pat looks back on the spring game, talks baseball, softball and golf, and interviews Gator great Chris Doering.

    Breakdown of the podcast:

    00:50 Gator fans are energized
    03:59 Thoughts on the spring game […]

    • It’s fashionable now to bash McElwain and blame him for anything and everything. That’s to be expected. He is gone and can’t very well defend himself not to mention that his buyout conveniently forbids him from saying anything negative about the administration. Although I’m not sure it’s even in his genes to defend himself with his oft self deprecating style of humor.

      Dooley is right-on about McElwain inheriting a bad hand especially at QB and OL. AND YET, he found ways to win. In each of his first two years, he exceeded expectations, at least in terms of wins and winning the Division albeit not in terms of offensive production. His offensive production had major set backs from the suspensions of Will Grier and the knucklehead nine, not to mention the injuries to Del Rio and hurricane interruptions. He had a slow start in recruiting because recruits and the people in their ears aren’t familiar with him in this region. By the time he was fired, recruiting was humming on all cylinders. He is not as bad a coach as many jaded Gators fan like to believe.

      He probably did alienate himself from the administration. It’s been opined that he didn’t understand the UF culture, wasn’t a team player, wasn’t a good fit and this, that, and the other. I think that Stricklin’s decision to change the facility plans by delaying construction of the football all-in-one facility by a few years in favor of constructing a brand new baseball stadium first had something to do with it. McElwain probably felt betrayed after he had sold recruits on the commitment of the administration to football facilities. It’s also probably the same reason Chip Kelly backed out of his decision to coach UF after it was reported a done deal by multiple sources and the flight to New Hampshire certainly looked like it was a done deal. You don’t think Chip Kelly called McElwain to get the scoop before putting ink to paper?

      I don’t believe McElwain was fired because of wins and losses, the death threats, the lack of offensive production, nor recruiting. He was fired because his relationship with the administration had soured to the point of irreparable damage and they conveniently used the death threats as an excuse to part ways. I’m not saying Mullen is a bad hire or that we are not better off now with him. I just don’t believe in the popular narrative about McElwain.

  • Florida has won two SEC titles this year and may need some more to continue its stranglehold on the SEC All-Sports Award presented by Gatehouse Media.

    Florida — which won conference championships in men’s swi […]

  • The Back Nine comes at you after a busy weekend for fans, UF administrators, people working concessions, the police and everybody who had anything to do with one crazy Saturday on campus.

    10. So my colleague […]

    • Some of us couldn’t care less about the NBA during the season or during the playoffs. Yawn. Love college hoops though.

    • Oh, to answer your question, I think most of them pick up their dribble about half court. I can count 4 steps and a hop on most of them. I also can’t tell the difference between a charge and a blocking foul. I’m pretty sure it depends on who’s doing what to whom.

    • I also agree. If you want to watch an NBA game just tune in for the last five minutes and save yourself a lot of time. I haven’t been able to enjoy the NBA since the days of Russell and Chamberlain.

    • I feel good about the direction the football program is headed.

  • Dan Mullen must be tired of talking.

    He has spread the word like he spread his offense. If he was paid by words a minute, he’d be making way more than his hefty salary. If anyone even whispers that they might b […]

    • I think we learned more about players than team Saturday. Because the team was split, as well as the nature of the game, hard to tell much about the O linemen. But the positives I took is our receivers caught a lot of passes, including some tough ones. Toney looks good. Our RB’s are for real. Could not tell much about D because of the split and dummy down of the D. Kickers looked good overall. Felipe Franks impressed me with his run. He looked fast. I like how Trask moved his feet to buy time to throw the ball downfield or out of bounds. I liked the positivity. Coach Mullen is a genius . He knew we would not get a true picture of the team, whether ones went against twos or the team was split. He knew the players were still learning under a new staff and system and the learning curve was still in place. He kept expectations down and decided to make a picnic like atmosphere that was fun, get the former players involved and having fun and probably made the crown laugh with the trick plays to the old guys. He made a fun experience for the recruits. He separated himself from nut jobs like Harbaugh and Meyer, who make everything overly dramatic. I think he made recruits see UF in a different light.

  • Offense B-

    First half: Some of the scoring was manufactured (Lawrence Wright and Travis McGriff each scored TDs), but there was still some decent offense and Kadarius Toney looked like a real […]

    • One thing is for certain, the social media ‘dis’-information is an intangible that most coaches of the Gator past NEVER had to deal with. Two of the ‘dis’-informers are here on this site right above me, and it’s obvious who they are.
      Honestly, the offense looked better than I expected, even though they started out slowly.
      The player makers are there. Some positions, the depth may be a concern. But health is always a concern for every team. It’s how well people handle adversity that matters most. This 2018 team could be better than some of the commenters here project. I was there, and it was my 1st ”Orange & Blue game” since Muschamp’s days. And I was impressed with the excitement of the fan base. And even the very last play was a T.D. pass from the 4th or 5th string Q.B. Enough said! GO GATORS! DON’T BELIEVE THE NAY-SAYERS! Piss them off and win the East, BEAT U.G.A., and go the NEW Georgia Dome.
      But it starts now: in the film rooms and weight room!

    • Roger that tunaboat…..I know you were watching the respective O-lines as I was. Hard to really come to a conclusion with all the pulling of punches, etc…..but I did see enough to make me think it has more “moxie”. God, I hope so…..that will be the key to the offense.

    • I swear to God, TebowCurse, you could fall face first into a bowl of nipples and still find something to be negative about!

    • I came away hopeful.

  • By Pat Dooley

    Staff writer

    Wil Dalton might not have been a hero on a night like this a year ago. Or a couple of months ago.
    But he was Friday night.
    The sophomore drilled a two-run double in the […]

  • Florida is pulling out all of the stops to create a festive atmosphere for Saturday’s spring football game. That includes the stoppers keeping the beer from flowing.

    Before the Orange and Blue Game, one of t […]

    • I don’t think a beer garden is the sole key to increased attendance, but I love that Scott Strickland is trying something different. I think it will improve the game experience and I would love to see this on Saturdays. The idea that it will be out of control and that underage kids will be served in record numbers is ridiculous. The college kids are going to drink at their apartments, dorms, houses and walk over. They aren’t paying $6 for a beer, however alumni who just want to enjoy a few drinks in the pregame atmosphere will come. GPD and UPD will be checking IDs and the bartenders aren’t looking to ruin their gig by selling alcohol to underage patrons. I’m glad the University is finally giving us, as alumni, some credit that we can handle ourselves appropriately and will not just go crazy the minute we see a cup of beer. Most of us (including of-age students) do manage to function in our everyday lives and can enjoy a beer without becoming lunatics. I’m glad that the SEC and UF are realizing that they may not need to manage most of their patron’s impulse control. Jeremy Foley was a great athletic director (yes, we all know he made some mistakes) but I think Scott Strickland is taking that base and raising it to the next level.

    • I have been to so many Georgia-Florida games in the old Gator Bowl when ETOH flowed freely, but I cannot remember anybody getting hurt. Well, except for when my Dad got beat nearly to death by a Georgia lady and her high heal shoe. But it was his fault anyway since our tickets that year were in the Bulldog section.

    • Well, in my case my old man really was at fault, but he went down bravely and never laid a finger on her!

  • The practice was over but the kid was still out there on the Williston High School practice field. His dad, Jason, would throw pitch after pitch with scruffy balls that had seen better days and Austin Langworthy […]

  • The birthright thing was meant to reflect the athletic department as a whole. Sorry if that was confusing.

  • Every time Florida basketball coach Mike White sees a graduate transfer player pick a new school, he flinches a little.

    “We’re in a tough spot, because we can’t pull the trigger on anybody,” White said. […]

    • ”At times we looked like a top-10 team (last season) and at times we looked like an NIT team…” -Best quote in story, and in fairness, the last 3 reg. season games were EXCEPTIONAL for U.F. B-ball and Coach White and his staff.
      ”White knows that the expectations remain high at UF, where championship seasons are considered a birthright.” -Worst quote of story. ‘”Come on, man” Really, Pat? You must be confusing U.F. with U.K.
      We want ”exceptional” b-ball, but championships in basketball a ”birthright”. Lighten up, Francis!

    • The birthright thing was meant to reflect the athletic department as a whole. Sorry if that was confusing.

  • Pat shares his thoughts on Dan Mullen’s first spring game as Florida’s head football coach.

    Here’s the podcast breakdown:

    00:15 – Spring Game;

    03:25 – Mullen’s player-based planning;

    06:30 – B […]

    • V-Alex: is a multimedia site.

    • Rog replied 2 weeks ago


      • Totally concur, I’m totally resistant now more than ever. But lets face it, men, we’re in a minority here and it’s probably a major pain in the ass for them to do that anyway. Ojala que.

    • I’m a truck driver in the oil fields of oklahoma and the podcast is right up my alley… #hailpodcast dilly dilly

    • Jeez, Brad…..not ridiculous, not ridiculous…..just old and crotchety, that’s all. I already said I don’t expect it, what more do you want from me, you young whippersnapper? (insert smiling face here)

      Go Gators!

    • Some say we’ve earned the right……

    • Not begrudging your listening, Joe……but you do make some good points. Well, I’ve said my piece and Thursday is the day I change my underwear anyway. Just can’t remember who I change with, but it’ll come to me. Out here.

  • The Back Nine comes at you after catching my breath (also known as watching The Masters and other sports on my recliner) to get ready for what should be a fun-filled week around Gainesville.
    10. It is pretty […]

    • I think so too, mveal. Too many holes yet to be a championship team, too many unanswered questions yet, but that is not to say that significant improvement isn’t at hand. We’ll have a better idea of how much improved by fall camp, but it’s not going to take a lot to improve over 4-7. I still say an 8-4 season with a decent bowl win over a decent team is the right signal to set an uptick in recruiting, and if we improve every year to the same level then after year 3 we ought to be seeing a return to relevance. I believe it.

    • Now, I have to take you seriously, Eugenio—-you’ve made too many good posts here not too. And, I sure hope you’re right this time too. I’ll just ask–who beats us?

    • Too many times in the past we have had “SUPER STARS” emerge in the Spring Game, never to be heard from again. Spring games are meaningless when it comes to showcasing future stars or leaders. I’ll wait until the fall to form an opinion about the Gators. I do have tremendous faith that Coach Mullen can develop, or I should say re-develop, a winning culture in Ben Hill Griffin.

      • True enough, oldman……but it does give us an idea of where things are at, and that’s what I am most interested in seeing for myself. I was driving out from Texas this year, but now of course that’s out. Nevertheless, I WILL be glued in front of the TV, watching it on the SEC Channel as DM et al Re-develop that winning culture. Might even have some salt free popcorn (ugh!).

  • You kind of have to know Steve Spurrier to have heard it.

    You had to have had multiple conversations with him over time. You had to have heard him get excited and not-so excited.

    But it was there.

    All […]

    • A kid plays youth football from 7 to 13. He plays high school football from 13 to 17. He plays college ball from 18 to 22. Then it’s gone because he is .5 slower in the 40 than his peers. This league gives a bunch of young men to continue their football and it’s to be commended. Don’t know if it will compete well vs college basketball, but it gives us a station to flip to while watching the Gator BBall team. If you think SOS is doing this just to be a figure head, or for the money, you’re not a Gator.

  • There are a couple of themes to the football schedules in the SEC next season.

    There’s this: All but one team plays one non-conference game against a Power Five team (shame on you Arkansas).

    The rotating t […]

  • Pat covers the state of Florida’s QB contest after the first srimmage, UF’s outstanding baseball, softball and track programs, and more.

    • I’ll second that!

    • I think Trask could be coached to be dual threat. I think the kid is humble and coachable. We’ll see.

    • AA….we are old men, we are set in our ways, and we do not like anything new, including technology. So now I suppose you are going to tell me that podcasts aren’t new technology? Don’t bother, I ain’t listening anyway!

    • It may be that Trask is the most unheralded, unappreciated player on the team.

    • Agreed!

    • Now that makes sense, AA… time my grandkids are here, I’ll ask the oldest to show me how. He’s almost 5, no sweat.

  • Everybody with a laptop is coming out with their way-too-early Top 25s now that college basketball season is over and the SEC is getting some love in anticipation of another big season for the conference.

    Here […]

  • So we have a new national champion now and it is a familiar one, because Villanova won it two years ago.

    That national title wasn’t quite as dominating as this one. The 2018 champs won all six games by a dozen […]

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