I was thinking about this last night while we were sitting around talking about how lucky we are as sportswriters to be covering the University of Florida. Every year, we get a bowl trip. There are great ones and there are good ones. There have been no bad ones. And for 10 of the last 12 years, we’ve been able to cover the NCAA Tournament because Billy Donovan’s team made it. That has included three trips to the Final Four.
As we talked about it, I started to think about all of the bowl games I have seen. As a kid I went to a couple and as a student I went to a couple. And then I got into this profession and have seen just about everything there is to see in bowl games.
I have seen one of Florida’s best teams ever lose 13-0 to Maryland.
I was on the Clemson sideline when Woody Hayes ended his career by punching Charlie Bauman. “The old man hit me,” he said to me as he ran off the field.
I have seen confetti rain at three Gator national championships.
I have seen players who would go on to become NFL icons.
I have seen some bizarre press conferences, the most amazing probably the day after Darren Hambrick assaulted Anthony Riggins at a team meal and Steve Spurrier was trying to explain it.
I have seen the Cotton Bowl with the last remnants of food poisoning and the Sugar Bowl with the lingering remnants of another kind of poisoning.
I have seen a Gator Bowl and a Tangerine Bowl played in Gainesville.
This will be my 30th bowl game Saturday. That means I’m very old and very lucky.