A different 30 for 30


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.


  1. Pat says:

    “I have seen one of Florida’s best teams ever lose 13-0 to Maryland.”

    If my memory serves that must be the 1975 team that choked away a chance at UF’s first SEC title in Jax.

    Earl Carr?

    4rth and dumb?

    One of Florida’s best teams????

  2. RE: your Galen Hall column. He has a valid gripe against the UF administration. Not only was he unfairly canned by Arnbparger, but lets not forget, that Criser did him (and the Gators) out of an almost certain national championship in 1984. After the Tennessee shenanigans, the Gators were ineligible for the Sugar Bowl but would still have been ok elsewhere, if only they had filed a perfunctory “appeal” of the NCAA sanctions. Criser, instead, opted not to appeal, for the stated purpose of getting the sanctions over quicker and being bowl-eligible two years later, instead of three.

    Had they appealed, the only bowl slot left would have been against undefeated BYU in, I think, the Holiday Bow., where BYU beat, I think, a four -loss Michigan for the title. Had the Gators gone there and, almost certainly, won,they very likely would have been declared national champs by other than the New York Times computer.

    The ultimate irony is that two years later they were not good enough for a bowl invite. ,

  3. I’ll never forget losing to U Md 13-0 in my junior year at UF, 1975, in the Gator Bowl, because I WAS there. What a miserable night – cold, damp, somewhat foggy, and the players just didn’t show up. The whole game felt like the other game that year in that stadium – Appleby to Washington 10-7 loss to UGA, which was cool, damp, but during the daytime.

    One of the BEST Gator teams ever, led by Gaffney/Fisher @ QB, and Jimmy DU Bose @ TB. They missed a perfect regular season by just FOUR points. I believe that they were the best we ever had until Spurrier came along, and nearly rank up there with the 3 NC teams, indeed, maybe they rank 4th in Gator lore behind the three of them.

  4. When you think you’re old, think of Mr.2-Bits, indeed; not because he’s older, though, but because he’s young at heart!
    Thanks for your loyalty, Pat.
    Love the personal touch with your music suggestions!
    Keep on keepin’ it real x30 more!