The Back Nine: Be patient on UF ticket policy

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports

The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that included a lot of rain and a great birthday for my legendary father (how many of you got a call from Billy Donovan and Laura Rutledge on your birthday?) Happy 93rd, Dad.

10. For the schools in FBS that are playing football, there have been almost daily stories about how many people while be allowed to attend home games. Most of the SEC teams have announced a plan and they have varied between 20 percent and 30 percent capacity. Florida has not announced how many fans will be let in and athletic director Scott Stricklin has sound reasoning why UF is waiting. It's still almost five weeks until the Gators have a home game. "We want to see what with the students back on campus, see what happens after Labor Day," he said. "We want to see what happens when the NFL plays the first week and what happens when some college teams play. I don't want to announce one thing and then back off it." Makes a lot of sense. It's not like people are panicking about whether or not they will be able to attend the South Carolina game Oct. 3. Many moons ago, all season ticket holders were given the opportunity to get a refund or apply their deposits to something else. About 25 percent have taken that route. The rest are simply waiting. 

11. We did get the first game of the season Saturday night (to paraphrase Col. Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, "You're damn right I watched!") and the 75-yard touchdown run on the first play made people smile everywhere. Football was back. Not the football we are used to, but we all know the atmosphere will be on vacation this season. Now, this week it ramps up a little more with several FBS teams in action. And then we dip our toes into the water a little more before we go for the deep dive with the SEC. The students are back and we're all holding our breath, but eventually, we all have to breathe (hopefully into a mask).

12. You know, I can't help but wonder how the news of the weekend might have changed the way we are looking at teams in the SEC West. LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase opted out and he was probably the best player on a team that lost an NFL roster of good players. And with Auburn missing practices because 16 players tested positive, does that second week game against Georgia look any different? This is the world we are living in and the bottom line is we have no idea what that world is going to look like in November. All I want for my birthday that month is for games to be played (other gifts are optional).

13. I still have no idea what the Big Ten is doing. And why the Pac-12 can't make a decision without asking the Big Ten if it's OK. Look, I don't know what the right answers were or are about playing football. But those two conferences thought they could strong arm the other three Power Five conferences into canceling. The truth is that if they had waited and say, decided to cancel after Labor Day, it would have been easier to get the other conferences to throw in the towel. 

14. It was a bang-up weekend for that team up north and I'm looking at you Jacksonville. The track record for high first-round picks the last few years is embarrassing. In fact, with the release of Leonard Fournette, Jag-sonville has had top five picks each year from 2012-17 and none of them — Zero-point-zero — are still with the team. The Jags coach Doug Marrone said they have been trying to trade Fournette for a few months but nobody would give them anything in return. 

15. Memo to Trevor Lawrence: The best way to find your way around Jacksonville is to understand which bridge goes where. The Clemson quarterback might as well start studying the city because it's difficult to believe the Jaguars will win enough games to avoid the first pick in the next NFL draft. ("We're Tanking for Trevor" T-shirts available now.) It's remarkable to see how a team can be gutted so quickly and a lot of it I will blame on a front office that didn't do a very good job of vetting the players for attitude. A good example of Fournette was that he refused to wear a tie on flights to away games and took the fine each time instead. 

16. A decent part of my Sunday was spent watching golf — which had a spectacular finish — and riding the roller coaster with Billy Horschel. All day he was in, then out of the Tour Championship. Then back in. Then out. And finally in. The former UF golfer finished 30th and we'll be watching next weekend (a Friday start, by the way) although we're not counting on Horschel to win. The way it is set up for the Tour's last event of the season (even though we have the U.S. Open next week and the Masters in November) Dustin Johnson starts out at 10-under and Horschel at even. I wouldn't give Johnson 10 shots  if he had to play left-handed while swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels between shots. Oh, and he's giving up eight shots to Jon Rahm and seven to Justin Thomas. But Horschel can still make a lot of money.

17. The Tweet of the Week goes to the great Mike Wilbon. I knew he'd have the best take on the passing of John Thompson — "The world, not just the sports world but the whole world, has lost one of the truly remarkable, complex, brilliant, committed, fascinating men ever. The impact he had on so many lives cannot be overstated and likely not adequately appreciated or even fully understood." If you haven't seen the "30-for-30" on the Big East, you need to do so right now.

18. My Beats headphones will not charge. I can't explain why they won't. That's my excuse for not working out this week. And I didn't even get to listen to this playlist:

• "Peace Like a River" by Paul Simon.

•"Are You Bored Yet?" by the Wallows with Clairo.

• This song is not for everyone and lasts more than 16 minutes. But it made me not want to get out of my car. I can't wait to hear it multiple times. "Murder Most Foul" by Bob Dylan.

• "Lay Your Head On Me" by Major Lazer and Marcus Mumford.

•And for an old one, Kelsey and I were having a long discussion about The Beatles the other day and I had the audacity to say that Sgt. Peppers is overrated but would have been the Beatles best album if they had included "Penny Lane" and Strawberry Fields", which were recorded for the album but instead were released as singles. And I told her that "Revolver" was my favorite and we went through it song by song. It was a great day. And this is a great song — "Here, There and Everywhere" by The Beatles.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at