It was inevitable, wasn’t it? The incredible karma surrounding all things Gator since the Final Four in Indianapolis hasn’t subsided. Thus, when four NFL teams took to the field in the Conference Championship games there was something folks in Gator Nation knew that no one else was fully aware of. “Gator Nation” knew that the team in Orange and Blue would win.
And boy did they ever.
The Chicago Bears, with four Gators in the starting lineup treated the New Orleans Saints like they were Ohio State or UCLA in drubbing the Saints out of the playoffs and advancing to the Super Bowl; a game which, ironically enough will be played in Florida. The win serves as vindication for Rex Grossman who didn’t have great stats but in the catch phrase of these days, managed the game beautifully. Alex Brown, Ian Scott and Todd Johnson will be joining “Rexy” on pro football’s biggest stage in a couple of weeks.
The Bears’ win keeps UF on a roll that is pretty amazing. Since the Gators won the NCAA Basketball Tournament, most things have gone Florida’s way:
* Ex-Gators Udonis Haslem and Jason Williams won NBA Titles with the Miami Heat.
* Former Gator mighty mite David Eckstein is chosen the MVP of the World Series
* The Gator Volleyball and Soccer teams claimed SEC Championships.
* Shoot, Emmitt Smith won “Dancing with the Stars”
* All those accomplishments turned out to be just a prelude to Urban Meyer and the football team claiming the BCS National Championship.
What a year to be wearing Orange and Blue!
New England was almost able to keep the Gator Karma going. The Patriots, with Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell in the starting lineup did not trail for the first 59 minutes, but a late Indianapolis score sent Peyton Manning to the Super Bowl for the first time. It hurt to see Caldwell have a pair of drops, one of which was essentially the difference in the game since it led to a field goal instead of a touchdown. Still for two guys who were cast aside by their previous team, the run to the AFC Title Game was undeniably sweet for both former Gator wide outs. Look for them to cash in big time when the off-season kicks in.
I don’t think Jeremy Foley plays the lottery, but it might be time he started.
So will the karma continue for the current and former Gators in the competitive arena? Is the gymnastics team going to bring home a national title? Will the baseball team make a return run deep into the NCAA Tournament? Is Chris DiMarco going to win the Masters? Will Dudley Hart capture the U.S. Open? Might Jesse Palmer star in “”The Bachelor II”? Are we going to see Ryan Shealy in the All-Star game? Is David Lee going to lead the pitiful Knicks into the playoffs?
Will Billy Donovan and his boys repeat in April?
Will Franz Beard win the Pulitzer?
Is Hollywood Bob the next James Bond?
When will it end?