I hope you all had a great Fourth of July. I hope you remember why we celebrate the holiday and that even though we have our differences, which seem like they are as divisive as ever right now, we still live in the best country in the world. Every day, not just during the Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day, and Memorial Day we have to remember that freedom isn’t free and we need to thank those that serve and protect this great nation daily.
Culminating a great weekend of remembrance, family, friends, and fireworks, we saw the US Women’s team win the World Cup, which is exciting. Even though I don’t consider myself a fan of soccer, it was great to watch the women play well and represent America so well.
While it seems like we are in the doldrums of off-season, get excited, because we are only 58 days until the start of football season.
Women’s Sports Ring of Honor
There was a great discussion on the message board, asking, “Who would you put on a UF Women’s Sports Mount Rushmore?”
I am going to take that question and put it as a ring of honor because it is not arbitrary, like Mount Rushmore is (we can debate this in the comments).
A ring of honor, similar to the UF Football Ring of Honor, should have some requirements, like National Athlete of the Year, All-American, Collegiate Category Leader, Coaches with a National Championship, or leaders in a respective category in their professional/Olympic sport.
Similar to the UF Football Ring of Honor, I will choose four players and one coach (this will be tough).
- Rhonda Faehn – This was very difficult with Tim Walton having won his second National Championship, I chose Faehn because of her back-to-back-to-back National Championships in Gymnastics, something that has only happened twice before. Faehn brought UF to the zenith of collegiate gymnastics and was a four time NACGC Southeast Region Coach of the Year, six time SEC Coach of the Year, and the 2007 NACGC National Coach of the Year.
- Dara Torres – Dara competed at UF from 1986-1989 and won a combined nine SEC individual championships and was a member of twelve SEC Championship-winning relay teams. Further, she won three individual national titles and was a part of six national championship winning relay teams. She was the SEC Athlete of the Year in 1998, SEC Female Swimmer of the Year in 1989 and 1987, and won 28 All-American swimming mentions. In addition to her time at UF, she competed in five Olympic Games, winning four gold medals, four silver medals, and four bronze medals.
- Abby Wambach – Wambach was a member of the Florida Gators soccer team from 1998-2001. During her time at UF, Florida won a National Championship in 1998 and four SEC titles. She won the SEC Freshman of the Year award, was a freshman All-American, an All-SEC selection (first team) for four years, two-time SEC Player of the Year, and was a three time first-time All-American. She set the school record for goals (96), assists (52), points (242), hat tricks (10), and game-winning goals (24) during her four years. After she graduated from UF, Wambach went onto becoming a six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, the leading all-time goal scorer for the U.S. Women’s National Team, and has the world record for international goals (men and womens) goals with 184. She has played in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments and was the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year.
- Tracy Caulkins – Another swimmer, Caulkins may be the best swimmer ever at UF. Caulkins was a 16-time NCAA swimming title champion, including five national championships at the 1982 National Championships, helping Florida claim a National Championship. Before she arrived at UF, Caulkins won five world championship gold medals in 1978 in Berlin, setting five world records – at age 15. She was poised to do very well at the 1980 Olympic Games, but due to American Boycott she never was able to live out that dream in her prime. She did get the opportunity in 1984, winning three gold medals. During her time as a swimmer, she set five world-records, 63 American records, and had 48 championship titles.
- Lisa Raymond – Raymond had the shortest career at UF of the others mentioned, but she was a two time NCAA singles title champion in 1992 and 1993, and helped Florida win a NCAA national team championship in 1992. As a professional, Raymond won a Grand Slam in Doubles, winning the Australian Open in 2000, French Open in 2006, Wimbledon in 2001, and the U.S. Open in 2001, 2005, and 2011; also winning the French Open (2003), Wimbledon (1999, 2012), and U.S. Open (1996, 2002), in Mixed Doubles, also winning the Bronze Medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Agree? Disagree? Give yours in the comments.
Spring Game Not in Gainesville?
Florida State is playing their 2016 spring game in Orlando, Fla. because of renovations at Doak Campbell Stadium. While Florida State could have very easily stayed in Tallahassee and played at Florida A&M, they chose a more creative route and played in a place that could be attended by more alumni and recruits because of its central location. Now Florida did this, I believe in 1990, at the Gator Bowl when the artificial turf was being ripped up at Florida Field, Florida State definitely chose an option that was more generally appealing to fans and is a good recruiting move.
Would you ever support the spring game ever being played outside of Gainesville? Even once every 10 years?
Rashon Burno Shows Continued Transfer Flaw
Former Gators basketball assistant Rashon Burno had his contract bought out by Florida when Billy Donovan left to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a few weeks, Burno signed a contract with Nebraska. Well, now, just a few months later, Burno has decided that there is a better opportunity at Arizona State University and quit his job at Nebraska to join the staff at ASU.
Now what would happen if a player was unhappy or saw a better situation else where? They have to hope a coach grants their approval to transfer, doesn’t limit the school of their choosing, and then must sit out a year.
If coaches can leave flippantly, so too, should athletes be allowed.
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