When things in Florida are not what they seem

I wore my Superman costume to work for Halloween the other night.  It was only a onesie but it got the point across.  For an evening, I was the Man of Steel… or at least a guy dressed in comfy pajamas.

I wore the very same outfit last year.  Ybor City hosted a local Halloween parade for which I once again dressed as a superhero.

One little girl, also wearing a Superman outfit, saw me and was enthralled.  She thought I was the real Superman.  (I get that a lot.)

It was the sweetest thing.  Her family asked if she could take a picture with me.  Naturally, I obliged.

Clearly, things in Florida are not all they’re cracked up to be.  One man was posing as a superhero, another was posing as a man who could coach college football.

One year later to the day that photo was taken, the University of Florida, alma mater to this pajama clad Superman, fired their head football coach after only two-and-a-half years on the job.  Losing, with a side of lying, turned out to be his kryptonite.

College football is a results-oriented business, particularly in a town like Gainesville.  Coach Mac’s latest canvas was a 42-7 embarrassment to the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs.  Not even Herschel Walker beat the Gators that badly.

But that was just the straw.

A week or so before the Bulldog beatdown, already well on his way to a sub-par start by Florida’s standards, Jim McElwain gave a press conference stating he and his players had received death threats.  When pressed on the issue, he didn’t elaborate.  The school tried to confirm the story but could not.  Coach Mac’s fake news of death threats turned out to be nothing more than career suicide notes.  Somewhere George O’Leary lying on his resume is breathing a sigh of relief.

Less than twenty-four hours after the clock struck 0:00 in Jacksonville, the school and Coach Mac were finalizing an agreement releasing him of his responsibilities at Florida.  Much like Ron Zook and Will Muschamp years before him, Coach Mac had his bags packed for him.  Gainesville can be a brutal town when you don’t win.  Even more brutal when you don’t win over the fan base.

I’m not justifying anybody’s behavior here.  If death threats were sent, the author should probably have his priorities checked (or receive a hearty thank you, depending upon whom you ask) but welcome to the Southeastern Conference, coach.  Win or get run.

Ironically, McElwain did have success at Florida.  He went 14-2 against division opponents but winning the SEC East is like taking home first prize in a turtle race.  Ultimately, at the end of the season, you know you’ll be facing Alabama in the championship game, a school that is currently the measuring stick for college football greatness.  Beating Alabama is like leaping tall buildings in a single bound but when you realize it is possible, then it should be.  It’s not like Alabama hasn’t lost football games.  They just haven’t to Florida lately.

Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer are two Hall of Fame football coaches who both led Florida to national titles.  They cast big shadows.  By college football accounts, they are both super men.  Whoever takes McElwain’s place will ultimately be compared to their two legacies.

I hope he brings his cape.

16 thoughts on “When things in Florida are not what they seem

  1. Great read SC … errrr Superman.
    Sorry about your coach but someone better will come along.
    Love the part about the little girl wanting a pix w/you. 😍❤️🎃

  2. I hate to say it but this smells a little like what I experienced when I first got to Florida from LA. I was not much of a Gator then as I had been out of the collegiate lifestyle for about 7 years and had only heard about the Gators as much as you could on the West coast. But I digress. Galen Hall was replacing Charlie Pell, (which I still don’t understand how they hired Pell in the first place given his history), but soon after enter the Spurier era. Galen Hall didn’t get a fare shake, but that doesn’t matter when someone like Steve is around. The rest is history. It seems like Steve, even in reitirement has an impact on Florida Football. I realize there is a good coach in Shanahan in the interim, but I have to wonder what may be brewing. Is it possible that the ol’ ball coach could be coaxed out of retirement to bring glory. Ask to the field now named after him?
    For coach MAC, coming in after the Muschamp era and win the SEC East is a significant turnaround. Granted not beating Alabama doesn’t fare well, but not many teams have beatbox Alabama. Add to that this seasons fiasco of lost players for poor decision making and a coach is left to do what he can with what he has. I’m not mad at him having to deal with those cards. For him to have to throw in the cards is, in my opinion, along the same lines as what the Lakers did to Byron Scott. I mean Muschamp’s career over the same two year span didn’t come close to the success of Coach MAC, yet no one called for his removal. Just one of those Arsenio Hall things that make me go hmmm?

  3. It’s called the Peter Principle (look it up). You rise to one level above your competence and then get exposed and shoved out the door. Easy for me to say, but it does make some sense. I hope Florida does get straightened out if for no other reason than to beat Georgia – see my previous post on your hate blog. Bama went through some lean years too and I know how it feels.

  4. My guess, Mony, is that the death threat story, the players on suspension and the beat down to Georgia were just too much for the school to handle.

    Remember, this is a program that with serious quarterbacking issues that once had Wil Grier too and he’s gone.

    I guess the school had just had enough.

  5. I get it Pep, but think about how this really plays out. His short career was certainly head and shoulders above Muschamp and we were calling for his ouster from 3000 miles away. Yet he was allowed to stay for well over 2 losing years. Big daddy Steve wasn’t in the picture, now all of a sudden, after being back for a year as a consultant, and having the field named after you, they want to throw Mac under the bus for not winning!!! GTFO…there is more to this than folk are letting on.

  6. 1) Lane Kiffin is just down the road…I triple-dog dare ya…
    2) If you don’t have the seeds for that, Dusty Baker is available… he won his division last year and just got fired too. He may not know football, but he’s got a fuckin’ magic toothpick.
    3) Thank God I already used McElwain as a Doppelganger…and some dud left a really prophetic comment on that…
    https://dubsism.com/2016/11/20/sports-doppelgangers-volume-103-the-jim-bob-gator-edition/

  7. Turns out I was right, Dubs… for a change.

    We hire coaches and keep ’em on a short leash as do most major schools, I imagine.

    I’d really like to see Shannon run the table, not just because I’m a Gator fan but because I’d like to see the school justify not keeping him because he’s black.

    I mean, this guy is as qualified as anyone out there. Why is his name not even being considered as a viable replacement?

    Wait, I know the already know the answer to that question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*