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The streak is ending (kind of)

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports
The Voice of the Gators Mick Hubert, right, and in-game producer Jeff Cardozo, center, work in the radio studio on the UF campus.

The streak will end Saturday, but in a way it lives on.

In this ever-changing world we live in, the final number will be 394. Mick Hubert had been to the stadiums of America for 394 straight Gator football games.

"My record doing Gator games is 290 wins, 103 losses and one tie," Hubert said. 

So on the spotting chart he is busily working on this week in preparation for the game, he has written 395.

Game 395.

Bu he won't be there. Like so many of us who make a living bringing Gator games to life either on the air or in print, Hubert will be in Gainesville.

 So will Robbie Andreu. So will I. So will be color commentator Lee McGriff and sideline reporter Tate Casey and in-game producer Jeff Cardozo.

Another win for COVID-19.

"I take some comfort in seeing that in baseball, the announcers aren't traveling either," Hubert said. "I've been lucky. I've been healthy. I've never missed a basketball or baseball game. I was scheduled to cover either. 

"I'm satisfied this is the way we're going to do it. I'm looking at it as a challenge."

And that it will be. The crew will work from the second floor of Weimer Hall in the studio that was created two years ago for the talk radio shows that are generated there. 

Hubert and McGriff will be in one room together, socially distanced with plexiglass between them and two large TV monitors to call the game. The other two crew members will be behind glass where there is another large monitor and the wiped-down microphones used for radio shows.

"When I was first hired at Florida in 1989, I told them I wanted a monitor and they raised some eyebrows," Hubert said. "Why not just look at the field? But with the monitor, you see replays, you see different angles, you see graphics.

"So I'm used to it. I don't think we'll have any issues."

The staff at WRUF and the School of Journalism (especially engineer Bob Hasentufel and director of media Randy Wright) have been working with ESPN to have a special fiber optic feed that will make it sound like the crew is at the game.

 "I'll be able to hear the field," Hubert said.

 Of course, with a crowd limited to 25 percent of the stadium at Ole Miss, it will sound different.

Things will be closer to normal next week when Florida plays host to South Carolina and everyone returns to the booth. But Texas A&M the following week is likely a no-go and then, like everybody, we'll see where we are in November. 

"I don't have any fears of this, but I know it's real," Hubert said. "I follow all the protocols, wear a mask, wash your hands. But Lee and I are both 66 years old."

So it will be different. And different right from the start. 

Hubert's opening line at the beginning of the broadcast has always been, "We are live today at (fill in the stadium name)." Saturday, it will be something like, "Florida and Ole Miss are live today and we bring you the game from Weimer Hall on the campus of the University of Florida."

"We're not going to lie about it. But we're not going to beat it into the ground," Hubert said.

And so the streak will end. It hasn't been Cal Ripken, but it has still been pretty impressive.

The other streak continues.

Game No. 395. 

In. A. Row.

Hello again everybody. He's Mick Hubert.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.