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Thoughts of the day:
December 30, 2013

Written by Franz Beard, December 30, 2013, 1 Comment,
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A few thoughts to jump start your Monday morning:

THE BAD NEWS IS …

The bad news is the Florida Gators aren’t playing in a bowl game this week. Back in August, it was a foregone conclusion that the Gators would be bowling once again and there were some predicting a return to the Sugar Bowl for a chance avenge last year’s season ending disaster of a game with Louisville. That a season could begin with such high expectations and end with seven straight losses including one at the hands of Division IAA Georgia Southern is bad news anyway you look at it. That the Gators could miss out on the extra 15 days of practice afforded by a bowl game and have their 34-year streak of non-losing seasons and 22-year streak of going bowling come to an end is also bad news since both of those streaks were the longest in the Southeastern Conference.

THE GOOD NEWS IS …

The good news is that the Florida Gators aren’t playing in a bowl game this week. We just established that it’s bad news, so how can it be good news? Well, when you consider that the 15 more practices and extra game would have afforded opportunities for more season ending injuries – injuries that might be serious enough to carry over into the 2014 season – it’s good news that a season that can only be described as snakebit is mercifully concluded. Extra practices are always a nice thing, but this year the Gators need the time for healing and to rebuild confidence shredded by the longest losing streak since 1979. Playing a bowl game in Shreveport or Birmingham wouldn’t have done anything good for the Florida program. Getting to Birmingham or Shreveport for a bowl game might be fine for a Mississippi State or Arkansas, but this is the University of Florida where such bowls are a signal of under-achieving not of accomplishment.

IF YOUR GLASS IS HALF EMPTY …

Then you are looking at what just happened and wondering what else could happen? And, you’re probably questioning everyone involved with Florida football starting with Jeremy Foley at the top and working your way down. If your glass is half empty then you’re looking at the recently concluded 4-8 season as the first step toward becoming as irrelevant as Tennessee has become in the SEC. If you are a glass half empty type, then you’re thinking that this is the second time since 2001 that the football program hired a head coach who had no training wheels experience at a place where nobody really notices if you have speed bumps along the way.

IF YOUR GLASS IS HALF FULL …

Then you are seeing what just happened and thinking, well, it’s a good thing that we got all the snakes out of everybody’s heads and all the injuries out of the way at once because we couldn’t have two straight seasons like the last one. If you are a glass half full type, then you’re looking at what happened in 2013 as a necessary humbling, an event that will cause Will Muschamp to re-evaluate everything and everybody in his program starting with himself. If you are a glass half full type, then you can’t wait until the spring to see what new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and the new offensive line coach can do with the Gators and you’re counting the days until August 30, believing that redemption for 2013 is only a few months away.

IF YOU ARE A DALLAS COWBOYS FAN …

Then you have probably concluded today – if you hadn’t years ago – that some people have more money than brains and Jerry Jones just happens to be one of those people. The Cowboys’ owner will take a look at what happened Sunday in the winner plays on, loser ends the season loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and will blame everyone but the guy looking back at him in the mirror. That the Cowboys aren’t in the playoffs again or that they haven’t won more than one playoff game in a season since 1996 is a direct reflection of Jones, who really and truly believes he is a smart football guy. He’s got money. He owns a football team. He serves as his team’s general manager. None of that makes him smart.

IF YOU ARE A WASHINGTON REDSKINS FAN …

By now you’re probably wondering if the Redskins are becoming a more visible symbol of everything that’s wrong in Washington than the United States Congress.  A majority of folks think the Congress is broken beyond repair. A poll of Redskins fans would probably come to the exact conclusion. It doesn’t seem to matter who owner Dan Snyder hires as head coach, they all seem to fail. Snyder will fire Mike Shanahan this morning, the latest big name coach to bite the bullet in Washington (Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier and Joe Gibbs were the others). Maybe Snyder should fire himself as owner. That might be the best place to start when it comes to getting the Redskins on a winning track again.

IF YOU ARE JAMES FRANKLIN …

Then get ready for a whole slew of interviews because you are going to be a hot ticket item if the dominos begin to fall this week. Franklin is already on the University of Texas short list and he would be a near perfect fit in Austin, but you could also say that about the other jobs he will be linked to in the days to come. If Bill O’Brien does what he’s expected to do and takes the Houston Texans job, then Franklin will be on Penn State’s short list. If Jimbo Fisher takes the Texas job, then Franklin will be on that short list as well. The juicy rumor on Sunday night is that the Detroit Lions will offer a boatload of cash to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. If he were to take that job, Franklin might prove to be the best possible fit for South Bend. As much as I like Franklin and would love to see him stay in the SEC, I can’t see him at Vanderbilt next year.

IT IS ALSO GOOD NEWS THAT …

It is basketball season and Billy Donovan has a team that is very capable of getting to the Final Four, particularly now that Chris Walker is about to be declared eligible. Walker is not Florida’s savior but he could very well be the missing link the Gators need to win it all. He won’t have to go out there and score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds a game. All he will have to do is give the Gators an increasing amount of minutes off the bench, allowing Donovan to rest Patric Young and Will Yeguete and better utilize the versatility of Casey Prather and Dorian Finney-Smith. Donovan doesn’t have a full bench in terms of bodies, but he more than makes up for that with versatile players capable of playing multiple positions. This is the most flexibility that he’s had perhaps since the 2000 season.

 

MUSIC FOR TODAY

The Paul Thorn Band has been the opening act for headline acts such as Huey Lewis and the News, Sting, Robert Cray, Bonnie Rait, Jeff Beck and Jerry Jeff Walker. His music is a nice fusion of rock and roll and blues with lyrics that are reflective of his upbringing in Tupelo, Mississippi where his father was a Pentecostal preacher and his uncle was a pimp. This is “Burn Down the Trailer Park” from his “So Far, So Good” album that features some very cool songs such as “Joanie, the Jehovah Witness Stripper” and “I Have a Good Day Every Now and Then.”

Franz Beard

About Franz Beard

Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.

  1. wci347December 30, 2013, 8:58 am

    This is definitely the deepest I have seen the Florida squad in years. The biggest advantage will eliminate what has posed to be our Achilles heel the last few years, and that has been closing out games. By being able to keep fresh bodies in all game, the closers will be fresh in the final 3 minutes of every game. Give us fresh people in the last 3 elite 8s and we would have moved on perhaps with the exception being the Michigan game.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Showers_Valdez_scores_touchdown_Florida_Gators_Football_100513_Bowie-150x150.jpg Franz Beard FeatureFootball ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Print Friendly

A few thoughts to jump start your Monday morning:

THE BAD NEWS IS …

The bad news is the Florida Gators aren’t playing in a bowl game this week. Back in August, it was a foregone conclusion that the Gators would be bowling once again and there were some predicting a return to the Sugar Bowl for a chance avenge last year’s season ending disaster of a game with Louisville. That a season could begin with such high expectations and end with seven straight losses including one at the hands of Division IAA Georgia Southern is bad news anyway you look at it. That the Gators could miss out on the extra 15 days of practice afforded by a bowl game and have their 34-year streak of non-losing seasons and 22-year streak of going bowling come to an end is also bad news since both of those streaks were the longest in the Southeastern Conference.

THE GOOD NEWS IS …

The good news is that the Florida Gators aren’t playing in a bowl game this week. We just established that it’s bad news, so how can it be good news? Well, when you consider that the 15 more practices and extra game would have afforded opportunities for more season ending injuries – injuries that might be serious enough to carry over into the 2014 season – it’s good news that a season that can only be described as snakebit is mercifully concluded. Extra practices are always a nice thing, but this year the Gators need the time for healing and to rebuild confidence shredded by the longest losing streak since 1979. Playing a bowl game in Shreveport or Birmingham wouldn’t have done anything good for the Florida program. Getting to Birmingham or Shreveport for a bowl game might be fine for a Mississippi State or Arkansas, but this is the University of Florida where such bowls are a signal of under-achieving not of accomplishment.

IF YOUR GLASS IS HALF EMPTY …

Then you are looking at what just happened and wondering what else could happen? And, you’re probably questioning everyone involved with Florida football starting with Jeremy Foley at the top and working your way down. If your glass is half empty then you’re looking at the recently concluded 4-8 season as the first step toward becoming as irrelevant as Tennessee has become in the SEC. If you are a glass half empty type, then you’re thinking that this is the second time since 2001 that the football program hired a head coach who had no training wheels experience at a place where nobody really notices if you have speed bumps along the way.

IF YOUR GLASS IS HALF FULL …

Then you are seeing what just happened and thinking, well, it’s a good thing that we got all the snakes out of everybody’s heads and all the injuries out of the way at once because we couldn’t have two straight seasons like the last one. If you are a glass half full type, then you’re looking at what happened in 2013 as a necessary humbling, an event that will cause Will Muschamp to re-evaluate everything and everybody in his program starting with himself. If you are a glass half full type, then you can’t wait until the spring to see what new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and the new offensive line coach can do with the Gators and you’re counting the days until August 30, believing that redemption for 2013 is only a few months away.

IF YOU ARE A DALLAS COWBOYS FAN …

Then you have probably concluded today – if you hadn’t years ago – that some people have more money than brains and Jerry Jones just happens to be one of those people. The Cowboys’ owner will take a look at what happened Sunday in the winner plays on, loser ends the season loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and will blame everyone but the guy looking back at him in the mirror. That the Cowboys aren’t in the playoffs again or that they haven’t won more than one playoff game in a season since 1996 is a direct reflection of Jones, who really and truly believes he is a smart football guy. He’s got money. He owns a football team. He serves as his team’s general manager. None of that makes him smart.

IF YOU ARE A WASHINGTON REDSKINS FAN …

By now you’re probably wondering if the Redskins are becoming a more visible symbol of everything that’s wrong in Washington than the United States Congress.  A majority of folks think the Congress is broken beyond repair. A poll of Redskins fans would probably come to the exact conclusion. It doesn’t seem to matter who owner Dan Snyder hires as head coach, they all seem to fail. Snyder will fire Mike Shanahan this morning, the latest big name coach to bite the bullet in Washington (Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier and Joe Gibbs were the others). Maybe Snyder should fire himself as owner. That might be the best place to start when it comes to getting the Redskins on a winning track again.

IF YOU ARE JAMES FRANKLIN …

Then get ready for a whole slew of interviews because you are going to be a hot ticket item if the dominos begin to fall this week. Franklin is already on the University of Texas short list and he would be a near perfect fit in Austin, but you could also say that about the other jobs he will be linked to in the days to come. If Bill O’Brien does what he’s expected to do and takes the Houston Texans job, then Franklin will be on Penn State’s short list. If Jimbo Fisher takes the Texas job, then Franklin will be on that short list as well. The juicy rumor on Sunday night is that the Detroit Lions will offer a boatload of cash to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. If he were to take that job, Franklin might prove to be the best possible fit for South Bend. As much as I like Franklin and would love to see him stay in the SEC, I can’t see him at Vanderbilt next year.

IT IS ALSO GOOD NEWS THAT …

It is basketball season and Billy Donovan has a team that is very capable of getting to the Final Four, particularly now that Chris Walker is about to be declared eligible. Walker is not Florida’s savior but he could very well be the missing link the Gators need to win it all. He won’t have to go out there and score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds a game. All he will have to do is give the Gators an increasing amount of minutes off the bench, allowing Donovan to rest Patric Young and Will Yeguete and better utilize the versatility of Casey Prather and Dorian Finney-Smith. Donovan doesn’t have a full bench in terms of bodies, but he more than makes up for that with versatile players capable of playing multiple positions. This is the most flexibility that he’s had perhaps since the 2000 season.

 

MUSIC FOR TODAY

The Paul Thorn Band has been the opening act for headline acts such as Huey Lewis and the News, Sting, Robert Cray, Bonnie Rait, Jeff Beck and Jerry Jeff Walker. His music is a nice fusion of rock and roll and blues with lyrics that are reflective of his upbringing in Tupelo, Mississippi where his father was a Pentecostal preacher and his uncle was a pimp. This is “Burn Down the Trailer Park” from his “So Far, So Good” album that features some very cool songs such as “Joanie, the Jehovah Witness Stripper” and “I Have a Good Day Every Now and Then.”

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