Dummies learned Meyer wasn't smart enough to change his stripes

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun

Urban Meyer has apologized for being one of the worst coaches in NFL history. I’d like to apologize for writing the dumbest sports column of 2021.

Meyer will raise Jacksonville from the ashes.”

That’s what I wrote in August. In case you haven’t heard, the Jaguars are still in the ashtray.

Owner Shad Khan fired the franchise’s would-be savior last week. I haven’t been fired yet, but I should probably enter Stupid Columnist protocol for thinking Meyer could overcome himself.

We all knew he could be devious, arrogant, unscrupulous, dictatorial and an overall strange bird. But Meyer was undeniably smart.

Learned from Bill Belichick

Smart enough, I thought, to have been mentored by the likes of Bill Belichick and learned what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Instead, Meyer was the same Mr. Know-It-All he was in college.

He tried the same hardcore motivational ploys. He hired a bunch of yes-men. He (allegedly) kicked his kicker for missing field goals. He got caught on video fondling a woman (not his wife) who was giving him a lap dance at his Ohio bar. He went 2-11. He ruined what was left of his coaching reputation.

Otherwise, it was a great hire.

"“I just apologize to Jacksonville,” Meyer told NFL Network. 

I still think a great college coach can succeed in the pros. He just has to be smart enough to know he doesn’t know it all. And dummies like me should remember that certain people will never learn that lesson….

Gators in Transactions:Jets sign kicker Eddy Pineiro

Gators in NFL:Jets' Perine stays patient, confident despite limited snaps

Okay, enough negativity. Tis the season to be jolly, so let’s tip our Santa hats to….

Stud of the Week: Houston guard Jamal Shead. He became an internet sensation after a fan posted a video of him after a controversial loss at Alabama.

A Houston assistant coach kicked over a chair and a player knocked over a trash can on the way to the locker room. Teammates walked through the debris, but Shead stopped and picked up the mess.  

Note to Urban: That’s a proper use of hands in a viral video….

Urban Meyer:From bar video to kicking kicker, Urban Meyer era with Jacksonville Jaguars riddled with controversy

Iowa lineman Tyler Linderbaum

Stud II: Iowa offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum. The All-American donated $30,000 of his NIL money to the Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Scrooge of the Week: North Korea, which has officially banned fun to commemorate the 10th anniversary of ex-dictator Kim Jong Il’s death. Radio Free Asia reports that from Dec. 17-28, citizens will not be allowed to “drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities.”

To make sure they are properly depressed, North Koreans also will be forced to watch replays of the Jaguars’ first 13 games….

Speaking of NIL, a special Stud of the Week shoutout to Deion Sanders. Coach Prime flipped the nation’s No. 1 recruit, cornerback Travis Hunter, from FSU to Jackson State last week.

Sanders says an NIL payoff had nothing to do with the shocking move. Hunter could not be reached for comment since he was cruising the Greek Isles on his new 220-foot yacht….

Billy Napier’s old team, Louisiana, beat Marshall 36-21 in the New Orleans Bowl Saturday night. As of Monday, 11 bowls have been played and we still have 31 to go, at least three of which will actually mean something.

I don’t want to say things have gotten out of hand, but I’m pretty sure I saw Central Michigan and Arkansas State teeing it up in my backyard over the weekend….

Speaking of my backyard and yours, a friendly word of warning. The Nevada Board of Parole gave O.J. Simpson an early discharge on Dec. 1, meaning he is free to leave the state. Simpson has said he wants to move to Florida since it doesn’t have a state income tax for unconvicted murderers….

Deron Williams vs. Frank Gore

Ex-NBA All-Star Deron Williams knocked out ex-NFL All-Pro Frank Gore on Saturday night in Tampa. I initially cringed at the “celebrity boxing” craze, but watching two famous people with rudimentary skills battle is as compelling as watching two real boxers I’ve never heard of duke it out.

All of which is my way of saying, “Bring on Justin Beiber vs. Tim Tebow!”....

Speaking of oddball fights, two Brazilian politicians decided to settle things in a three-round MMA-style fight last week. In an upset, 45-year-old Erineu Alves Da Silva won by decision over 39-year-old Simao Peixoto.

All of which is my way of saying, “Bring on Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump!”....

Clarification: During the Kim Jong Il mourning period, North Koreans will be allowed to laugh if they watch a replay of Florida’s first-half defense against Samford….

Pass of the Week: Tom Brady, who was so fed up during the Bucs 9-0 loss to New Orleans he chucked a Microsoft Surface tablet against a nearby bench. Displaying his typical superhuman skill, Brady threw the computer with his left hand and still hit the target.

The tablet was damaged and is listed as doubtful for next week’s game against the Panthers….

Prediction: If a Bernie Sanders-Donald Trump fight went to the judges, the Supreme Court would give it to Trump….

Khan Job: The Jaguars are an NFL-worst 41-117 since Shad Khan became owner in 2012. He’s hired Mike Mularkey, Gus Bradley, Doug Marrone and the Urbanator. Here’s hoping nobody tells him O.J. is available and looking to relocate to Florida….

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Until we meet again, have yourself a merry little Christmas. And if a white Ford Bronco slowly drives through your neighborhood looking at houses, you might want to move to North Korea.

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