There are truths and untruths in the world of sports. And there are also opinions that are worth discussing. You may agree or disagree. Just do it with decorum. So begins this occasional feature as Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun embrace the debate:
Item No. 1
Urban Meyer will be inducted into the UF Ring of Honor in 2020.
Andreu: When it comes to Urban Meyer, Gator fans need to take a giant chill pill. He took over a UF program that was a mess and won a national championship in his second year. He repeated that in his fourth. So, Meyer is more than deserving to be in the Ring of Honor. And that’s where he’s going to end up. It’s just a matter of when. Meyer has clearly stayed connected to UF and many of those who work there, and he still considers himself a Gator. If the UAA wasn’t concerned about a negative fan reaction, Meyer would have gone in a few years ago. The fans need to embrace Meyer and welcome him back to the family. That will come, but not in 2020. FICTION.
Dooley: There has certainly been a move in that direction by Florida’s athletic department and this might be the perfect year to do it. After all, the biggest concern is that it will be embarrassing if Meyer is booed because there are a lot of Gator fans who are still angry at the way he left. But one would think there is a lot of compassion for what we are all dealing with. There is no question he is as qualified as the other six who are in the Ring. FACT.
Item No. 2
Georgia transfer Brenton Cox will have a season similar to Jon Greenard’s 2019 season.
Andreu: The feedback from veteran players was that Cox was tearing it up on the practice field on the scout team last fall. Unblockable, they said. Unbelievable pass-rushing moves and quickness, they said. He’s going to be a stud, they said. After a year off, this former five-star recruit is going to be ready to light it up when he gets back in pads. He’s definitely going to have the chance to be a major contributor at that rush-end position. But everyone has to remember, he’s still a young player, with only one season of college ball under his belt. Greenard, on the other hand, was a fifth-year senior who had already proven himself before he got here. Cox will be good, but not Greenard good at this early stage of his college career. FICTION.
Dooley: The opportunity will be there, but I think Greenard was a really special player who knew 2019 was his last shot. Greenard, despite injuries, had a great season and I think his experience helped. Todd Grantham has a track record of getting the most out of the position, but it will be a bit of a learning process for Cox. Will he get to 10 sacks, 16 tackles for a loss, two TDs and countless plays at maximum effort? FICTION.
Item No. 3
The Swamp will play host to an NFL game this year.
Andreu: When that possibility came up a few weeks ago, it sounded good and got all of us football-hungry folks extremely fired up. But I just don’t see it happening, especially if the Gators get the green light to play their full season in 2020. I know the fans would like to see NFL games in The Swamp, but what a logistical nightmare it would be getting the stadium ready for games on back-to-back days. FICTION.
Dooley: I think with the moves to open states gradually and the concession that some NFL games will be played without fans may knock that out of the water. But there is no telling what could happen in the next 3½ months. Florida was just letting the governor know it was interested as a way to recoup some of the lost revenue. And with a brand new baseball stadium available, I could see that happening if Major League Baseball comes to its senses and has a short season. Football games are going to be difficult enough to handle for Gator games. FICTION.