8:33 PM EST, January 4, 2013
Running off at the typewriter. ...
OK, the bowl games are over, the beer glasses are empty and the final plate of chicken wings has been reduced to a bunch of bones, which means I'm ready to answer the age-old question: Who had the better season – the Florida State Seminoles or the Florida Gators? After much consideration, consternation and the imminent castigation, I'm declaring that FSU had a more successful season.
Yes, the Gators went on the road and beat the Seminoles head-to-head and also recorded impressive victories over Texas A&M, South Carolina and LSU, but the name of the game in sports is winning championships. The bottom line is this: The Seminoles won their conference title and their bowl game; the Gators did not win their conference championship or their bowl game. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the loss to Louisville ruined Florida's season. The Gators still had a good year; it's just that the Seminoles have the hardware to prove theirs was better.
Short stuff: Did you see South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney ridiculous hit on that Michigan running back in the Outback Bowl? The last time I saw such a violent impact in sports was when Dwight Howard's last free throw collided with the backboard. … Can you believe in this day and age there's a high school in Utah that actually banned a school play because a parent complained that the Elvis Presley music was too sexually suggestive? I'm just wondering if the school dress code also prohibits girls from wearing those provocative poodle skirts? … Hey, Teddy Bridgewater just converted another third down against the Gators. … I've said it once and I'll say it again: For those who say the Jaguars shouldn't acquire Tim Tebow because he would turn the franchise into a circus, I say what the heck is wrong with the circus? People like the circus. People go to the circus. The circus is fun. And that's more than you can say for the Jaguars during their last decade of mundane irrelevance. Give me a circus over a cemetery. …
Scientists, in response to revelations made by Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, have found that, yes, it's OK to urinate in the pool. Whew, that's a relief. And I guess it answers the great Shakespearean question of our time: To pee or not to pee? … Andy Reid has been fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, and every cheesesteak place in town is flying its flag at half staff. … Six of the 12 starting quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs are rookies or sophomores. You want to know why? Because the rule changes in the NFL are so profoundly beneficial to the offense, it's much easier to be a pro quarterback today than it used to be. … Jay Leno: "Tim Tebow and actress Camilla Belle have called it quits. The rumor is, she caught him NOT having sex with another woman. Sources say Tim was unhappy because he felt she was using him — and coach Rex Ryan wasn't." … Did you see where the Dallas Cowboys are listed as the most valuable franchise in sports by Forbes Magazine? Just think how much they would be worth if they were actually any good. …
I see where Magic rookie Mo Harkless is upset that he has been replaced in the starting lineup and is no longer playing. A bit of advice for the young man: If you want to play more, play better. … Mikey likes: Notre Dame over Alabama by 10 for BCS Championship, Packers over Vikings by 12, Seahawks over Redskins by 8, Ravens over Colts by 3, Bengals over Texans by 8, Teddy Bridgewater over Braxton Miller by 100 (votes) for next year's Heisman. … "Twelve drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree!" No, knuckleheads, I'm not talking about the 12 Days of Christmas; I'm referring to UF's entire fan contingent at the Sugar Bowl!
Don't forget, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's a blog item from the Sugar Bowl on Darrin Kitchens, a reserve linebacker at the University of Florida.
"Got an e-mail from a Gator buddy of mine in the aftermath of the embarrassing loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. The e-mail was just two sentences long: 'My new favorite Gator. It's lonely out there.' Included in the e-mail was a link to an item about Darrin Kitchens at YahooSports.com
It has become a tradition in recent years for UF players to stand in front of the school band and sing the fight song after home games. It usually doesn't happen on the road and it usually doesn't happen after a defeat.
As you would expect, after Wednesday's humiliating 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, everybody on Florida's team quickly left the field for the sanctuary of the team locker room. Everybody, that is, except Kitchens.
Kitchens, a junior from Homestead, trotted over to where the band was playing, proudly held his Gator helmet in the air and stood alone while dutifully singing the school fight song. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call class personified.
So seldom do we hear the true song of sports anymore or witness a true show of sportsmanship. It's easy to stand out there after a victory at home and raucously sing the school fight song in front of a stadium filled with adoring fans. It's not so easy to stand out there by yourself, after your team has just been humiliated, and sing in a stadium where opposing fans and players are celebrating.
'So give a cheer for the orange and blue
Forever pride of old Florida
May she droop never.'
Such is the first verse of the Florida fight song – words Kitchens lived up to even in the face of a bitterly disappointing defeat.
We could all learn a lot from this kid from Homestead, who showed us that you can act like a winner even when you lose.
Most interesting reader retorts, radio rabble, tangy tweets and message-board mockery of the week:
On UF quarterback Jeff Driskel's game-opening interception for a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl: "Gators went off the Driskel Cliff."
On Gators losing to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl: "Bianchi, I can't wait to see how you spin the loss into being Urban Meyer's fault."
On FSU beating Northern Illinois in the Jan. 1 Orange Bowl: "Happy Nole Year!"
In honor of Notre Dame being back in the national title game, three of my favorite quotes concerning the Fighting Irish:
In 1953, there were two ways for an Irish Catholic boy to impress his parents: Become a priest or attend Notre Dame." – Talk show host Phil Donahue
"Lads, you're not to miss practice unless your parents died or you died." _ former Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy to his players.
"Drink the first. Sip the second. Skip the third." Former Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne on the art of drinking whiskey.
email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BianchiWrites. Listen to his radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on 740 AM.
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