Season is here; are you ready?

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports

OK, here we go.

Sorry we're late.

We were kind of busy. There has been a lot going on and, we almost got lost a couple of times.

But here we go.

The reveal. The debut. The unveiling. 

The opener.

You know that this won't be the best game Florida's football team plays this season and if you were in Orlando last August you've prayed that it will not be that bad.

But your first impression comes today. You're 2020 Florida football team will be introduced to you far away from home, a strange way to open a strange season.

I'm not sure there has ever been a team cloaked in more secrecy in terms of such a limited number of people seeing practice. So today will be kind of a surprise party. And talking season in this neck of the woods is officially over at noon Saturday.

It was the longest talking season ever and it was rare when one of those conversations did not go to the saddest scoreboard of the millennium, the one wear COVID-19 leads both the Coaches and the Associated Press polls.

For a day, we will all try to put it off to the side (while still following protocols) and watch a team that has high expectations, only to be surpassed by the fans' expectations. Even though there will be a ready-made excuse for any team that loses a game this season, the goal is to leave them in the dumpster fire of rationalization.

More than any question that has come my way this summer (other than will we play?) has been about whether or not this is the year for coach Dan Mullen.

You know, you'd think Florida had never won anything to hear how some fans act as if they are starving for confetti and bling. But that's the way it works in college football — no matter the circumstances, show me the trophy.

It's kind of crazy that so many people are looking so forward to a game in Jacksonville that — at best — will be played in November. But that's the extra pressure on Mullen and this team. Today, I know this — Florida can't beat Georgia.

Instead, its the Fighting Kiffins and it's hard to check the pulse of a team that has nine wins to Florida's 21 over the last two years. No, Mississippi has not been good at many things except improv work (dog meet fire hydrant).

But the IV has been hooked up to a new hope, which was also the name of the first Star Wars movie after it became the fourth one thanks to prequels and ... whoa, this column took a turn.

Back to football where we will find out a lot about this team once we figure out which player is wearing which number. These Gators received a lot of summer loving and it only increased as Georgia's quarterback situation took some strange turns.

But again, forget Georgia. 

Just let the butterflies with asbestos wings flutter around in your stomach while you try to force down Lucky Charms this morning (they're magically delicious). Turn your phone off, make sure the dog has been walked and pull the curtains.

You all deserve a day of SEC football and especially a day of your team running out on the field with their white jerseys and bright orange helmets.

You are ready to stop being Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." 

We weren't sure if we'd make it here. We aren't sure if we'll make it to next week. And we sure as heck don't know if we'll ever stop hearing people talk about the "new normal."

You still should buckle up, keep your hands inside the ride and wear a mask when the wing guy comes by to drop them off.

Because here we go.


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