Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gators’ Bulls-eye = Buckeyes Black-eyed

I knew I could not blog last night. I needed to focus on the BCS National Championship Game between the favorite, the Buckeyes of the Ohio State University, and the underdog, the Gators of the University of Florida, my alma mater.

If you followed the college football ranking, you would have known that the Gators just squeaked in to gain a shot at the national title game, after the Trojans of USC self-destructed in the last regular game against the Bruins of UCLA.

When the Buckeyes’ star quarterback ran away with the Heisman trophy, it seemed that its 7th national championship was already set in stone and all the team had to do was to descend on Glendale, AZ, on January 8.

And when the score read 7 to zip in the first 16 seconds of the game following a kickoff return right into the Gators’ end zone, we (meaning the denizens of the Gator Nation) were all in shock, except for Urban Meyer and his lots.

In the Gators’ first possession, the team, led by the much maligned Chris Leak as the quarterback, evened the score. On the Gator’s second possession, they took over the lead, and for good. The Gators defense was ruthless, and the offense was fast and creative. Thus an urban legend, minus the distortion and sensationalism often attending to it, is born.

The headlines and radio talk shows are replete with catchy phrases playing on anything that has to do with the Buckeyes, and the buck, and the eye as well. Here’s a small collection:

The Gators delivered a black-eye to the Buckeyes (from the free tbt)
The Gators bucked the trend.
The Buck in the headlight (frozen stiff).
The mighty Buckeyes was plutoed.

The last one was borrowed from the radio morning talk show at Magic 94.9 today by the husband-and-wife tag team, Chad and Christie. Apparently, in the aftermath of the decision by the astronomy fraternity to drop Pluto from our solar system, the word has crept into everyday usage such that it will soon become an official word that means, what else, to be dropped, floored, relegated, or diminished in important as in becoming minor.

Our S from Gainesville sounded hoarse over the phone just after midnight, presumably from the screaming while watching the game on a large screen in the O'Connell Center. A colleague, a Gator alumnus, came to work in a Gator jacket. And another colleague felt really vindicated, for bucking the trend of doomsday scenarios painted for the Gators.

Last night was the longest stretch I have ever been a couch potato, but seated erect at the edge and not slouching in comfort save during the commercials when I briefly settled back into a restive mode, not since I started blogging. But the excitement and the elation at the end of it all is all worth it. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, my wife kept on saying it’s a sure win for the Gators. The emotional me wanted to agree with her there and then, but the rational me kept thinking up of all kinds of lapses that would reverse the fortune.

And I was glad my doubts were all misplaced for there was no denying the Gators their rightful place at the pedestal as being the only college that enjoys the double championships in collegiate sports (basketball and football), a kind of Grand Slam, in the same year. Actually it’s more like a Gator Slam as the two championships are actually back-to-back, unless the basketball team repeats as champion come March Madness.

Go Panthers! Go Gators!

(The pictures are all taken from the University of Florida website.)


CY said...

Hmm!! Perhaps I, too, should have watched the game... Dan did keep saying that I was 'missing out' on a great game. Oh, well! I'll pass the game and skip right to the victory parties. ;)

Say Lee said...

In fact, this is the only game that I had my eyes glued to the screen all the time (except during commercials).

Of course the fact that the Gators was leading helped.