Two national championships, yes. But the ignominious exit, and leaving Tim Tebo (UF’s all-time greatest sports figure) needlessly exposed to injury that ruined his football career, and likely cost UF an SEC title, and a third NC title shot, are hard to forget.
Today being Memorial Day, I’ve come up with an analogy for all Gators to consider. To me, the Ring of Honor is to University of Florida Gators what the Congressional Medal of Honor is to the United States of America.
Has the USA ever awarded its Congressional Medal of Honor to a pure mercenary? That would be someone who had no prior allegiance to America before joining our military and whose brilliant military exploits for America were accomplished strictly for fame and fortune, before moving on to doing a similar thing for a competing nation? I don’t know, but that wouldn’t seem right to me!
Steve Spurrier moved on to the NFL and South Carolina in his coaching career. But, SOS was the FIRST Gator Heisman Trophy winner as a player and bleeds orange and blue to this day! His lifelong allegiance to the University of Florida and body of work as a Gator player and coach is more than deserving of membership in the Gator Ring of Honor. Urban Meyer’s body of work as a Gator coach is more impressive than SOS’s, but he has no legitimate allegiance to the University of Florida and never really did.
If “the” Ohio State University has a Ring of Honor, maybe they should consider putting Urban Meyer on it. At least he was born in Ohio and claims to have carried a buckeye in his pocket for “good luck” when he won BOTH Gator NC’s, before moving on to winning one for Ohio State. He has a more legitimate claim to their Ring of Honor than to ours.