Whitley's Believe It Or Not: Boo on you if you booed Jones

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun

It’s OK to boo a lot of things. The Yankees, Justin Bieber and the Taliban immediately come to mind.

It’s not OK to boo Emory Jones.

Florida’s quarterback was showered with boos this past Saturday in Tampa when USF almost intercepted a pass in the end zone. It would have been Jones’ third pick of the second half.

That was ample reason for fans to cringe, go “Ugh!” or gaze longingly at Anthony Richardson. But if you can’t resist booing Jones as he tries to become a good QB, please remember an old rule when it comes to booing.

Pros — OK. Colleges — don’t be a jerk.

I hope it’s still a rule, at least.

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Pros are paid with your hard-earned money, and often paid a ton of it. College athletes can get paid now, too. NIL deals are side endorsements, however, not money you pay to watch them perform. If you don’t like how Jones is playing, just don’t buy his autograph.

But even if Jones were raking in a percentage of every UF season ticket, there should still be a line of booing demarcation.

College athletes are still mostly “kids,” too young to legally drink a beer. They try their best, but they’re not always going to meet the crowd’s expectations.

Did you boo Trinity Thomas for falling off a balance beam in the NCAA Gymnastics Championship or Joseph Fahnbulleh for failing to win the NCAA 100-meter race?

Sure, those sports aren’t life-and-death like the one Jones plays. But try to remember, this is E-Jones struggling to become a college quarterback, not A-Rod striking out with the bases loaded. ...

Stud of the Week: Craig Cromer, the Miami fan who brings an American flag to every game.

He and some other fans used it to catch a stray cat that fell from the upper deck at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. If you missed the video, Google it up and see the greatest catch of the football season.

Dud of the Week: FSU, for losing to 20-17 to Jacksonville State — Jacksonville State — on the last play of the game.

FSU coach Mike Norvell makes $3.75 million a year. Feel free to boo him for not using a prevent defense on the final play.

Dud II – Evander Holyfield, for getting knocked out in the first round by a 44-year-old ex-MMA fighter Vitor Belfort. Holyfield is 58 years old. If he keeps up this nonsense, he’ll need to borrow a couple of lives from that cat in Miami. ...

Congrats to UF for making the top five public universities in the 2022 US News & World Report rankings released Monday.

“I know you guys aren’t done yet,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a ceremony. “Just imagine what a great week it would be if we could beat Alabama on Saturday?”

Try as I might, I don’t have that good of an imagination. ...

FS-Boo II – The Seminoles were 28-point favorites over Jax State. Since 1978, FSU was 97-0 when favored by at least 27 points.

To put that in perspective, the Dead Sea Scrolls had yet to be written and Georgia was still two years away from winning its last national championship. ...

A clump of Elvis Presley’s hair sold for $72,500 at auction last week. In related news, Anthony Richardson plans to start auctioning hair samples to Florida fans. Bidding is expected to start at $1,000 per strand. ...

In an exclusive interview with Erin Andrew of Fox Sports, Aaron Rodgers said he “100 percent” considered retiring before the season. He apparently decided to wait until the first quarter of Sunday’s opener against New Orleans. ...

Ranking Redux: UF is ranked No. 28 overall by US News & World Report. At No. 14, Vanderbilt was the only SEC school ranked ahead of Florida. But we all know the Commodores don’t really count.

Princeton, which has won as many SEC titles as Vanderbilt, was No. 1. ...

Novak Djokovic lost the U.S. Open final Sunday, but he gets two thumbs up for coming that close to completing the first Grand Slam since Rod Laver did it in 1969. To put that in perspective, Adam had yet to meet Eve and Georgia was still 11 years from winning its last national championship. ...

In an exclusive interview with Erin Andrews of Fox Sports, the Miracle Cat explained that the Hurricanes’ performance against Appalachian State drove him to jump off the upper deck. ...

At UF’s Top 5 ceremony Monday, House Speaker Chris Sprowls was given a blue No. 5 jersey. Contrary to reports, he did not say, “Thanks, but is there any way I can trade this in for a No. 15?”. ...

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Because I am a highly-paid professional, I hope you felt free to boo any typos, misspelled names or FSU jokes.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley