|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
2008 CHAMPION GATORS, REFLECTING ON
A preacher, a racist and a murderer walks into a bar. The bartender says “Hi, you Gators - Tim, Riley and Aaron - show me your championship rings.”
Yeah, I know, Pat Robertson’s, Paula Deen’s and OJ’s favorite players. But, just to be fair, we should re-state the joke. Because, here at Silliman, we’re nothing if not fair. Here goes: A preacher, a racist and an alleged three-time murderer walks into a bar. Are you happy, now?
In light of recent incidents where Riley Cooper got caught on camera blasting the heck out of a racial slur and the Aaron Hernandez charges get upgraded to three homicides, we’re going back to examine how really bad-ass was this 2008 Florida Gator National Champion football team.
When we make this study, please don’t accuse us of thinking something is terribly wrong with the people in the Sunshine State. Could it be the heat? And, by that, I don’t mean their great NBA team but now that Greg Oden has joined them, we’ll include their quirks into our thesis. It just that we don’t want letters saying we think all Floridians should be lumped in with the face-chewing-bath-salt cannibals, or preachers who want to eat children, or Casey Anthony, or Whitey Bulger, or trigger-happy-self-defenders, or Sarasotans who kill others over BarBQ, or the murderous bodybuilders who were the subjects of the movie “Pain & Gain”, or Koran burning preachers, or the multitudes of carjackers. No, we’re not lumping. We’re zeroing in on the 2008 Gators, the team which had 41 of their 121 man roster arrested either during college or soon after. By the way, on that bat-crazy criminal list above, if you don’t believe us Google the names Ronald Brown, Michael Dunn, Terry Jones, and Ricky L. Leer.
Forty one guys get arrested. What’s going on, trying to top records held by the Miami Hurricanes? Is the old adage true, that you need a few thugs to win the big ones? Urban Meyer will point out we should be writing about the 80 who didn’t get arrested. We will, when that idea becomes interesting and when we become convinced the other guys won’t soon join their ranks. Want a recap? Okay, 16 of the two-deep and nine starters arrested. Jamar Hornsby was caught using a dead woman’s credit card... seventy times. Ronnie Wilson pulled out and blasted an AK-47 outside a nightclub. Dorian Monroe, felony theft. Tony Joiner, breaking into an impound lot. Chris Rainey texted a “time to die” message to a former girlfriend. Janoris Jenkins resisted arrest and was kicked off Will Muschamp’s team. It was Jenkins who said “If Coach Meyer were coaching, I’d still be playing for the Gators. Coach Meyer knew what it took to win.”
Here we have to contemplate with one-third of the team arrested, how bad would it have been had not Tim Tebow been there to guide these guys down the straight and narrow. Were they heading towards a 50% booking rate? Did Tebowing Timmy save these guys from having every member behind bars? Was he the only one not drinking the Gatorade? It makes you wonder. Surely, all these scofflaws didn’t look up to Tebow, did they? He wasn’t some kind of motivator, was he? He couldn’t have been their ringleader? Hmmm!? We’ll have to check the Gator arrest record before Tim came aboard.
You might be asking “Okay, Mr. Silly Pants, what about the arrest records down the road at “Thug U”, Miami, under Randy Shannon while Meyer coached the Gators?” Here’s your answer – one. Only thing we can think of is it’s a good thing Tim Tebow wasn’t quarterbacking at Miami. He would have been bored.
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