Fee Bartley On Why We Can’t Have Nice Things with the Florida Gators

I love my Florida Gators! I swear I do but right now they make me want to punch a wall. We can never have nice things in Gainesville anymore!

#‎DamnItMan!

The above is what I posted on my Facebook page on Wednesday about a week that is absolutely sucking. The bad part is that it is still ongoing. I am not even going to think of what could make it worse. So much has happened it’s unbelievable. I don’t know where to start. Excuse me as I may jump around a bit. I think I am going to start with the things that really kind of irked me and work my way down:

~Deiondre Porter Charged~

COME ON MAN! The charges just leave you stunned, disappointed and the soap opera narrative leaves you just shocked. The legal process will play out and sometimes it exonerates kids but we really need to do better. If any of the allegations are true he needs to go and now. Yeah, I am standing here juggling stones working on my toss but after you make a couple mistakes and near misses you learn from them and hope others do also. I did my share of dirt, trash and what not but the Porter story is just crazy… We all hoped and prayed under Mac we were past being on ESPN’s ticker for anything save wins. All we can do is pray it works out for the young man.

~Will Grier`s Suspension~

Sorry Gators fans, I have absolutely zero sympathy for him. To be honest I have less than I had for Treon Harris as I feel PEDS violate the Integrity of the Game. Neither get the benefit of the doubt. Both knew the rules and policies as they are drilled in the kid’s heads the day they walk on campus. “You are responsible for what you put in your body. If there is a question check with the training staff. If you can’t validate it with the medical staff don’t take it. That includes Street Drugs.”  There is no honest mistake in this. It was an informed choice and the choice backfired. As a CFB Athlete you have no business buying anything out of drug stores especially when both supposed culprit’s web sites warn that persons subject to drug tests should not intake. The training facility has almost everything “NCAA APRROVED” and proven to work for your development needs.

All my ramblings aside, there should not be a NCAA Draconian one size fits all. Legal OTC of any type should not be a calendar year punishment. Clear, HGH and other illegals and obvious performance enhancers are more than understandable as a calendar year deterrent. Judge as you will the place and penalty for illegal narcotics but there are differing classes of drugs and there should be a graduated scale based on what is was found in the system. In my opinion, if what he stated is correct, we should see him first game next year. Elsewise, Houston we have a problem in many aspects….

End of the day, this was TOTALLY UNNECESSARY! Kid walked in the door with a live arm, good frame and as physically as talented as anyone. In fact he was the taller and the best arm on the team. Time in the system would have filled in the rest. This is like having the winning lottery numbers and selling it to one of these shyster legal firms for a little money up front.

~All Orange Jerseys~

The All Orange may be a huge fashion faux pas and the guys look like Popsicles but AINT NOBODY LICKED US IN EM! That’s my meme, feelings and thoughts on them. Sorry, I like the Ole School Orange Crush look. This is from a guy that wears shorts, flip flops and long sleeves the majority of the year and I am not going to even get into the questionable hair cuts over the decades. The shaved Gumby was so bad that Coach trashed my individual pic and used the previous years. However, the monochrome look may not be appealing to some but the guys are undefeated in them. SO! LET’S JUST CHILL! At one point, all of our uniforms were considered bad luck. That bad luck objects included the blue jerseys, the orange jerseys and especially the blue pants. Did I mention the blue pants?  Elsewise, FEAR THE ERNGE CRUSH!

~Head Ball Coach Retirement~

Hands down the best coach I ever played for. While his retirement is not a surprise to many its effects on college football is profound. Coach retires behind Bear Bryant as one of the most successful SEC coaches in history. Moreover, while actually doing it the right way within the rules. SOS was by far the fairest and most direct man that I have known. Not a lot of cussing threatening or brow beating; although he went through visors by the hundreds. Guy was direct and enunciated expectations in a manner that made you think. At first I used to laugh as he would say some stuff to poor Shane that was hilarious and just mind numbing as you listened to it. All fun and games until you hear “EFEE! You can’t make that play? I guess I expected too much out of you. Let me get your Coach to see if we can get you coached up a bit or find something else for you to do today.” WTH! What did he just say? Something else? What is this “else?”

You can’t find many guys that don’t have a story about the Head Ball Coach from any school he has coached, and as they all tell it attempting their best SOS impression. Great coach! Great Man! I hope he enjoy his time off and on the links as much as he wants. He is a legend at three schools but a Gator before all.

~Ole Miss GATA~

For the first time since Meyer with #15 we have seen us just plain ole GATA FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL against A TOP TEAM. Some might say that’s incorrect. I say name the game? Save GSU our defense has shown up and consistently punched people in the mouth in big and small games. They may have fallen short from lack of offensive productivity or own structural issues but they always came out Swangin! Offense in the past, not so much. Now, at least in that big game, it seems the offense under Mac and Nuss said: “that looks like fun, let us have a piece of that.” There was no hope to, no maybe and certainly no Fricken Midline excuses. It was not an overly abundant use of downfield throws but attacking the defenses weaknesses and finding ways to move the ball and not PuntMuschampOnics. The best part about it was we continued to press the issue once up on both sides of the ball. Hopefully the special teams will join in eventually. All together, I guess it was the Kung Fu Flu going around in Gainesville with the major symptoms being brown stained orange boots and a funky smell strikingly familiar to Tallahassee on any hot day. Albeit, looking at Grier walking in the stadium seemed as if he was a few hours removed or at risk at any moment of blowing chunks. Hats off to the kid for toughing it out.

~Mizzou~

Watched the game at home with my best friend Bud Light while talking with buddies on the phone and thumbing away on my tablet. The bar was too crowded and chalked full of FSU and Miami fans for my liking even at half; really wanted those wings though. Anyway, my football Saturdays regardless of locale are generally a 12PM to 12Am series of running phone conversations even at games. All the conversations start something like, “Dude did you see that?”, “Man coach so and so is a moron!” or my favorite “Dawg! Did you see that hit?” Day started off well with Uncle Charlie getting a win at the Texas Dumpster fire against OU and Jawga going down. (Prayers to Nick Chubb as no kid deserve injury and hope he has a speedy recovery.) Meanwhile, what got me heated was the underlying theme of several calls during the Florida win; “Gators are not playing well” or “Not feeling good man.” To which my reply to stop the conversation from going sideways was: “Hey man, let it play out and let me get back at you at half”; not even two minutes later and the phone rings again. “Man they look like trash and what’s up with Grier” Ok time to lose it! “Dude that’s one of the best defenses in the conference and if you want to see trash I got a DVR full of stomach turning Midline.” Ok, I actually said “Muschamp BS” but I just could not do an article without at least one “midline.” How do you get spoiled this fast? This aint even the year for the ass kicking tour. That’s a few years down the road. This is supposed to be the development, buy in and sorting of a year. We have just stumbled into what actual coaching looks like.

How many of us had the team at 8-4, circling Missouri as a “PUSH or worse?” I did and several of the callers above as well as a host of you. Hell! The buddy I am referencing had us at 6-6 which was more infuriating. Over performing in big games under a new coach bodes well for the future but just let us have some reasonableness. Just because you put an all Ernge boot all up in Ole Miss at the Swamp does not mean you are going to do the same to the Missouri kitty cat at their house. Defense started off slow but I seem to not worry about them especially when we went up. I was pleasantly surprised as we gained momentum and feeling real good about the game. Were there some WTH moments? Sure but watching our team through some growing pains was actually pretty exciting. Even up we see Mac and Nuss still trying to attack. The Mizzou secondary did a good job of taking away easy and comfort throws for Grier. Be we still kept pressing the issue probing their defense. Hats off to Missouri as they have one of the best front seven in the country. Yes we lost some one on one battles up from but those are part of growing pains; the communication seemed to be getting better as the game went along as we passed off blitzes and rushers pretty well. As for the one on one losses, this is SEC football, you’re going to lose a few. The trick is to win more. We won and more than moved the ball and the record forward. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves especially with this week’s issues.

~LSU~

What do we need to win? It’s the SEC; run the ball and REALLY REALLY STOP THE RUN. Fournette is a grown man and their instant offense. Protect our young quarterback by allowing him to stay upright first and foremost but just as important, allow him to pass WHEN WE WANT TO not WHEN THEY WANT US TO. Defensively make them one-dimensional and allow our defensive front to GATA! Beat up their Harris (LSU QB Brandon Harris) and make him more uncomfortable than our Harris.

Does the above sound familiar? It should since I copied most of it from last week. Good thing I don’t get paid by word count. It’s redundant, its simplistic (Coming from me, what did you expect) and it is the basic truth of SEC football. Our offensive line needs to continue the progressive steps they have been experiencing under Summers and we should keep on winning. Some say we regressed last week but there was more than enough good to take from last week and build off for this week. The offense should not change much save the quick game a bit. Lots of friends call for more option/Wildcat with Treon but if you have been paying attention, the option and Treon don’t mix well. He’s a good runner in the flow of the game and called run situations. In my opinion let him run in the flow of the game and not force a round peg in a square hole.

~In Closing~

I aint gone punch no baby although my little cousin is still looking at me a funny. Saturday is going to be a big test for the team to put the noise behind them and handle business. For us helpless fans with no outlet for this weeks frustration, I think we may have to dive into deep prayer and/or indulge in what ever vice makes you feel better. All we ever can do is trust and have faith the head coach will bring and keep nice things at UF.

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Ephesians Bartley
Former Gator linebacker Ephesians “Fee” Bartley defined the 1990 season for the Florida defense when he laid out LSU wide receiver Todd Kinchen near midfield on the West sideline of Florida Field. The entire crowd stood silent as Kinchen lay motionless on the turf. It wasn’t until someone shouted, “He’s alive! I can see the spit bubbles in the corner of his mouth!” that the crowd breathed a sigh of relief. An All-SEC linebacker in 1991 who spent a year in the NFL and a few more in the CFL, Bartley runs a business and tax consulting firm in Jacksonville but he’s never lost his passion for Florida football.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Fee- thanks for writing. My lasting memories of you include you basically leaping to crush Stan White of Auburn. You seemed to be About 4 feet off the ground basically horizontal to the turf as the half shirt jersey blows in the wind and you or Myles hit White over and over. That dude had to have been bruised for weeks.

  2. Fee
    Outstanding write up. Love your unvarnished truth. I was one of those Gators who thought a 7 win season this year would be a great start. I think that with a little luck and a healthy team we could do far better. Tonight is a HUGE test but it is one that is natural. We are in the SEC and we have to compete every week. Treon has the tools and Mac and his crew seem to have a superior ability to game plan on both sides of the ball. I look forward to your commentary on what I hope is a win over LSU. Go Gators.