Coming Soon to The Swamp Near You
Womenâ€™s Tennis: Serving a Storybook Finish Gators Basketball: From Inside the Crystal Ball Tailgating Games 2.0
The Birth of a New Era in Gators Football Volume 2 Issue 1 Volume 5 Issue 1
On the Field
06 Gators Get Set to Kick Off New Era 10 ‘The Swamp:’ 80 Years and Still Growing 12 A New Swamp Family 15 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Seating Chart 18 Astrology and Gator Football 38 Season Previews 43 Gator Don’t Play That! Trivia 44 Football Recruiting Recap 46 Quotes From College Football’s Greats and Not-So-Greats
CONTENTS Beyond the Pigskin
16 Florida Soccer Head Coach Becky Burleigh 20 Quick Look at Gators Basketball Recruiting 26 Sporting Moments 30 Comeback for the Ages Serves Up National Title for Florida 42 Fairy Gator Mother 4
GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
For the Fans
14 Your Guide to Parking on Campus 24 Tailgate Gadgets 28 The Season is Here 29 Gator Tailgating Pics 34 Tailgating Games 36 Game Day Recipes: Spice Rubbed Beer Can Chicken 37 Food Safety Tips for Tailgating
Fact: “The Swamp” ranks as the largest stadium in the state of Florida.
ENJOY CEO www.gatorcountry.com Raymond Hines III
In life and Gator athletics, the older (and presumably wiser!) we get, the more we see how things are cyclic in nature, especially the ups and downs that tick by like clockwork. In many ways, it’s an ongoing journey of life for the Orange and Blue faithful.
The Comeback Issue Raymond Hines with daughter Alyssa Hines
This time, with the first game right around the corner, we are on the dawn of yet another era in Gator Football with Coach Muschamp firmly at the helm.
After a shipwreck of a season last year, it’s the ardent hope of the Gator Nation that the good Captain “Boom” and his able crew will steer the course to a good and prosperous year for all. There is no doubt that the ship they are rebuilding has been stocked with talented, NFL calibre First Mates and Helmsmen. Once again, the test of time will be upon them as they try to mold their sailors into the finest and the best in the Southeastern seas, if not the nation.
Gator Country Magazine & What's Happening Publications, Inc. are not affiliated with the University of Florida, the University of Florida Athletic Association, or any sponsor or organization associated with UAA.
Here at GatorCountry.com, we’re also beginning a new era after a tumultuous few years of our own. We now have a new crew of our own in place that’s already showing great promise with a more than capable First Mate in Bernadette Carter-King in tandem with Tim Casey, Derek Tyson, Thomas Goldkamp, Andrew Spivey, and David Shepherd. With a financial genius in my father, Raymond Sr, helping out as our CFO and my mother, Jill Green, throwing her support behind us along with an Old Salt like myself back in command, there’s never been a more exciting time here in the Gator Country family. www.gatorcountry.com
Fact: UF began a partnership with Spain in 2000, to create the world’s largest telescope in the Canary Islands.
One of our first objectives was to get the Gator Country magazine back in the racks and into your hands. Thanks to a new partnership with What’s Happening Publications here in Gainesville, it’s a reality that you’re holding in your very hands at this moment. Like Coach Muschamp, it’s our goal to be the best at what we do, especially in covering all Gator sports on both our website and magazine. In an era of market consolidation and “corporatization,” we are the only Gator media business truly owned and operated by fellow Gators like yourselves who have a personal stake and passion in all we do. We are really like a family and I believe it’s what makes us quite unique.
Here’s to a bright future for all of us in Gator Country and we also wish the best of luck to the Gator Football team as they embark on their new journey into the season of 2011 and beyond! Onwards and upwards we go, Raymond Hines III
Raymond Hines III www.GatorCountry.com The Authority on Gator Sports! email@example.com
COO Bernadette King
CFO Raymond Hines, Jr
PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Tim Casey
REPORTERS Derek Tyson Thomas Goldkamp Amy Campbell Jen Chiogioji Safid Deen Daniel Jennings Nia Phillips Leah Pablo Adam Pincus Chris Raleigh Samantha Montero Zac Blobner
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Gator Country Magazine is brought to you by Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. and What’s Happening Publications, Inc. For advertising opportunities, please contact us at 352-371-5881 or email@example.com. Magazine subscriptions are available at www.gatorcountry.com Connect with us: TheGatorCountry
www.whpinc.com SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE
THE FLORIDA WAY
Gators get set to kick off new era
written by Thomas Goldkamp
Florida led Penn State 30–24, but the Nittany Lions marched right down the field and had the ball on the Gators’ 25-yard line with just more than a minute left to play in the Outback Bowl.
GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Quarterback Matt McGloin dropped back to pass and surveyed the field, firing to his right. Florida safety Ahmad Black jumped in front and picked off the pass, running it back 80 yards for the gameclinching touchdown. Gators players swarmed head coach Urban Meyer, hugging him tightly as they celebrated the final triumph of a man who captained Florida to two national championships in six years. It was a storybook ending to a 2010 novel that was so horrific it was hard to read. In fact, Black’s interception was one of the few bright
spots in one of the worst years in the past few decades for Florida.The Gators suffered through an 8–5 season with four losses in the SEC and a brutal blow dealt by heated in-state rival Florida State in a blowout loss.But it’s over. 2010 is gone. “We lost five games last year,” senior defensive end William Green said. “That’s just motivation for us. We’ve got a lot of young guys that’s hungry and want to be successful.” That’s been the theme for Florida since new head coach Will Muschamp’s arrival in Gainesville.
Forget about the past. Stay hungry and focus on 2011. Despite low expectations heading into the season, Florida’s players are ready to bounce back and prove that 2010 was a hiccup, not the end of a terrific run for the program.
“I think we have a chip on our shoulders about how we played last year,” Green said. “I think that we’re going to get it fixed. We’ve been working really hard in the offseason, working hard on our techniques. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people this year.” Fact: UF has won a league-best eight national titles since 2006.
THE FLORIDA WAY Ronald Powell, Dominique Easley, Sharrif Floyd, Jaye Howard and Omar Hunter pose as teammate Lerenee McCray takes a photo during the Gators’ annual media day.
When Meyer arrived at Florida, the Gators were in turmoil. For three seasons, the Gators had fallen well below expectations under Ron Zook, and attitudes began cropping up in the locker room. As Muschamp takes over, the situation is decidedly different. He inherits a program that has won two national championships in the past five years. Florida’s success is fresh in the minds’ of thousands of recruits across the country. All Muschamp has to do is right the ship ever so slightly. Like Meyer, there are some things he will have to deal with early in his tenure. While Meyer had unparalleled success as Florida’s head coach, his team seemed to be slipping away from him in the final stages of his Florida career. Starting with Carlos Dunlap’s DUI the week before the SEC Championship Game against Alabama in 2009, the Gators began to unravel.
As one of Florida’s best regarded recruiting classes in history arrived in 2010, a rift opened on the team between the freshmen and the upperclassmen.
“Last year we had this thing, young guys versus old guys,” Green said. “Some of them didn’t really mesh well together.” Players bickered and argued, one group pitted against the next. The well-oiled machine that had been Florida football early in Meyer’s career began to break down piece by piece. It became obvious change was necessary. Meyer resigning for the second time following a painful 2010 season only underscored that point. Muschamp knew it when he took over. Right away, he came out and announced that his players would be held to a new standard, what he called the “Florida Way.” Off-the-field discipline would not be recommended, it would be required. Players who didn’t buy in would be gone. And it wasn’t just idle talk from the new Florida head coach. After All-SEC cornerback Janoris Jenkins was caught twice with marijuana, Muschamp sat him down. Jenkins transferred days later. In fact, five players have already transferred since Muschamp took over. Some of Florida’s current players see it as a sign that Muschamp has cleaned things up. “Muschamp says we’re going to do it the ‘Florida Way’ and if you’re not doing it the
Fact: UF student spending supports local and statewide businesses and tourism.
The renewed energy and vigor from the new coaching staff has revitalized the program.
‘Florida Way,’ then it will cause division amongst the team,” sophomore safety Josh Shaw said. “I think we got rid of a couple of guys that weren’t doing it the Florida way, which helped us bond a lot closer this offseason.”
“Everyone’s buying in because the coaches are around a lot,” Green said. “It’s a close-knit group. Everyone just wants to win and to come back for the coaches. They’re eager to win. I think everything’s just going to fall into place. The young guys, they’re buying in. Everyone’s buying in.”
Even with some casualties along the way, Florida appears to be on its way to fixing the cracks in the solid foundation Meyer left at Florida. Lack of chemistry tore the 2010 team apart, and the Gators are doing everything they can to ensure chemistry is the glue that holds the 2011 team together – win or lose.
Florida will be playing an unfamiliar role this season, too. For years under Urban Meyer, the Gators were one of the most feared teams in the SEC. Right now, nobody is scared of the Gators.
“We’re more of a team instead of just a bunch of individuals trying to play,” Green said. “There’s a lot less selfish going on.” Muschamp and his staff have strived to cultivate the family environment that endeared Meyer to the Florida faithful early in his career. The new coach re-organized the locker room when he arrived, putting players who rarely interacted next to each other. He put in two player lounges so players would feel welcomed by the coaches and everyone could come hang out in the same place.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE
THE FLORIDA WAY
They see a team that stumbled in 2010 and is vulnerable. The public perception of the team reflects that. Florida was picked to finish third in the SEC East and enters 2011 ranked 23rd in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Gators think that only gives them an advantage.
“Being an underdog, it does make it easier,” Green said. “Instead of being the hunted this year, we are the hunter this year, so I think it does take some pressure off, especially as a team being as young as we are.”
play in the SEC Championship again. “We’re a very close-knit team. I think we’re going to be very successful if we just stick together and get this chemistry together.” Florida has a lot of work to do if it hopes to play for another SEC title this year, though. Muschamp knows it, too. All the team-building and chemistry in the world won’t help you win football games in the fall. It’s a start, but the end result will be determined by what Florida does when it hits hard times when the season begins.
Still, Florida fans can’t help but get excited when they hear players talking about how much closer the team is. As the season creeps closer, everyone is hoping the optimism will last as long as possible. After all, last year is in the past. 2011 marks the start of a new era in Florida football. “Last season is last season,” Green said. “We’re looking forward to the 2011 season.”
But while outside expectations may be lower for the Gators, Florida’s players haven’t lowered the bar at all.
“As far as our team-building and chemistry is concerned, that’s going to happen in August camp when we have some adversity,” Muschamp There’s one goal and one goal said. “That’s going to happen only for the 2010 season. Saturdays in the SEC when you have adversity, how you “We have the talent and the potential to get to Atlanta,” said handle those situations, how Green, stating his team’s goal to close you’ve become.” 8
GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Fact: The university again made history in April 2007 by winning a consecutive national title in men’s basketball.
‘The Swamp:’ 80 Years and Still Growing The University of Florida has been home to many generations of Gator fans. During football season, students and families line Gainesville’s streets in support of the Florida Gators. Some fans are kicking off another new decade of support, while others are experiencing it for the first time. The one constant throughout those decades has been Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Standing tall at the heart of UF campus, the ‘Swamp’ has housed the Gators since it was first built in 1930. It’s had a few facelifts, as well as some expansions since then, but the heart remains the same. Here’s a brief timeline, so that this year, as you walk through the tunnel and into the stands, you can really appreciate the history surrounding you. November 8, 1930: UF hosts the Florida Field dedication ceremony with a sellout crowd of 21,769 in a game against Alabama as Red Barber, a UF student, calls the play-by-play.
April 16, 1930: UF starts construction on Florida Field
October 27, 1930: UF concludes construction on the field, allowing for a capacity of 21,769. The first 32 rows on the west, east and north October 13, 1934: UF dedicates sides of the current stadium Florida Field to the memory of were all that made up the WWI servicemen who died. original stadium.
December 16, 1949: UF unveils plans to add 11,200 seats to the west stands. They complete the expansion in time for the 1950 season, bringing the total capacity, including temporary bleachers, to 40,116. September 23, 1950: The Gators host The Citadel in their first night game. December, 1965: UF begins construction on the east-side’s 10,000-seat addition, which brings permanent seating to 56, 164. Temporary bleachers are added to the south end zone for a total capacity of 62,800 during the 1966 season.
April, 1971: UF installs artificial turf. August, 1982: UF expands the south end zone for a capacity of 72,000. In the project, UF added an athletic training center, a skybox tower and a modern press box. September 9, 1989: UF names the football stadium Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field during dedication ceremonies. They name the stadium in honor of Ben Hill Griffin Jr., a life-long Gator supporter and fan who had donated large funds to several sectors at the University of Florida.
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Fact: The Gators’ average home attendance last season of 90,511 ranked ninth in the country.
June 30, 1990: UF adds natural grass to Florida Field to replace the artificial turf. September, 1991: UF ends construction on the new north end zone. Capacity is marked at 83,000. Florida Field is named one of the eight largest oncampus collegiate football stadiums in the nation and the largest in the state of Florida. The north end zone addition cost $17 million, but no state funding was involved. November 30, 1991: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium hosts the largest football crowd (college or pro) in the state of Florida’s history. The crowd reached 85,461 in a game against FSU. During the 1991 and 1992 seasons, the stadium held the 12 largest crowds in state history
Prior to 2003 Season: UF completes construction on a two-year, $50 million stadium expansion/renovation. The project saw the addition of 2,900 luxury club seats, an expanded press level, an enlarged Bull Gator Deck, an enlarged President’s Suite and 34 End of 1991 Season: Head additional suites, all of which Coach Steve Spurrier calls the were funded by private support stadium “The Swamp”. Spurrier said, “The Swamp is where Gators from Gator Boosters and fans. live. We feel comfortable there, Prior to 2004 Season: UF but we hope our opponents feel added a high-resolution video tentative. A swamp is hot and board to highlight the new sticky and can be dangerous.” Daktronics scoreboard at the Prior to 1998 Season: Florida north end of the stadium. They also added a sound system finishes a $5 million renovation throughout the stadium. of the Ben Hill Griffin Training Complex in the south end zone. The project cost $2 million. October 12, 1991: UF holds the official dedication of the new north end zone, in Florida vs. Tennessee. UF named Red Barber, who called the original dedication game in 1930, as a special guest of honor.
Florida Field Quick Facts*
Seasons: 81 (first season was 1930) Record: 298-95-13 (.750), UF vs. SEC: 137-59-7 (.692)
February 2007: UF kicks off construction on the Southwest area of the stadium. The project cost $28 million and included the expansion of the strength and conditioning room, a new Gator Room and renovations to the football offices. August 2008: UF finishes building the James W. “Bill” Heavener Football Complex. August 2009: UF ends construction on a $5.6 million project adding Daktronics HD-16 high-resolution screens to replace the old north and south end zone scoreboards. April 2011: UF puts up statues outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium of Florida’s three Heisman Trophy winners: Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow.
imageS courtesy of University of florida digital collections
Fact: UF is the only university to appear in the NACDA National All-Sports top-10 ranking for each of the past 28 years.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE
FACES OF THE FUTURE
A New Swamp Family written by ANDREW SPIVEY
The University of Florida football team has had a bevy of top recruiting classes in the past and this year’s is no different. As the coaches are out recruiting players, Florida’s committed players are doing the same. Most will remember Trey Burton recruiting heavily when Urban Meyer resigned in 2009. Burton was instrumental in keeping Florida’s commits on board, calling and texting them to reassure them Florida was the place for them. The class Burton helped recruit was one of the best on paper in Florida history, and the Gators will be relying on the core of that class on the field this fall. Having a committed player like Burton recruiting other players is almost a necessity in today’s recruiting landscape.
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Having multiple guys like Burton is a pure luxury. Usually most classes only have one or two guys recruiting for their future school, but this year’s class for Florida is different. All of the current commits have had some hand in recruiting another guy to join the class. Florida has 17 players currently committed, but the Gators are still looking to land a handful of more prospects. The 17 guys already committed are working the phones, Facebook and Twitter to recruit some of the top prospects in the country to Florida. Fact: The Gators lead the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in team titles and Academic All-SEC recipients.
All 17 members of the 2012 recruiting class agreed there are many advantages for committed prospects to recruit other top-notch players.
“The main advantage is that we are going through the same recruiting process so we know what is going on and what is being said,”
said Citra wide receiver Latroy Pittman, a current Florida commit. “We also know what every school is offering and can offer, so we can relate to other prospects and tell them why we committed to Florida and what Florida has to offer more than other schools.” Another Florida commit, Warminster, Pa., tight end Colin Thompson, is also doing a little recruiting. Thompson’s even recruiting a guy who will directly compete with him for playing time at Florida. He’s been working to get Land O’ Lakes tight end Kent Taylor to commit to the Gators.
“I just tell Kent that I have been traveling and visiting schools just like him, and I know that nobody can offer the same thing that Florida can,” Thompson said. “I have visited a ton of schools in the North and South, and I have heard every coach tell me things about their school. But when I listen to them, I think back and say that doesn’t compare to what Florida can do for me, so I just share those experiences with Kent and hopefully that will help him out and help him to decide to come to Florida as well.”
Many Florida fans remember when Brandon Spikes was being recruited. The star linebacker said he would play wherever Tim Tebow played because he wanted to play with the best players in the country.
Florida safety commit Marcus Maye is already thinking the same way. “As a good player, I want to play with great players and I want good guys in the locker room with me,” the star safety from Melbourne said. “If you are a great player you should always want great players on your team to push to be the best and to help the team to win a championship. I think everyone agrees that winning a championship is the main goal.”
“I want to be like the Miami Heat where we just go out and recruit great guys to play with us to build a great team that is built to win championships,” Pittman said. “I feel like Lebron James or Dwayne Wade out recruiting guys like Chris Bosh. We just want to be great.”
PHOTO BY: rob foldy
FACES OF THE FUTURE
The unique thing about recruiting is that unlike the Miami Heat, Florida’s new commits won’t be thrown into the fire before they’ve really had a chance to get to know each other. Florida’s commits are getting good at recruiting, too. While the Heat struggled to find Offensive line commit Jessamen their identity in the first season They’re making head coach with the “Big 3,” Florida’s Dunker feels the same way. Will Muschamp’s job a whole lot commits have plenty of time to He’s already had a big impact easier, and Florida already boasts get to know each other before for the Gators. one of the top recruiting classes they strap the pads on in college. in the nation because of it. He has been recruiting top North Carolina offensive Maybe it’s the success the “The best part about it is lineman D.J. Humphries for that you build relationships Gators have had on the field a while. Humphries recently recently that has lent to great with all these guys and committed to the Gators. recruiting results. you become friends,” Maye said. “So the guys that do But maybe, just maybe, it’s choose Florida we are already “I don’t want to be on the close and know stuff about each because the Gators have an field with a bunch of guys army of the nation’s best other and that will help our who aren’t that good or who players recruiting for them. team chemistry in the years don’t care about winning,” to come. Also when you talk to Dunker said. “As an offensive After all, they’re the guys who them, you can all get on the lineman I want guys like are already sold on Florida. same page and have the same DJ Humphries who are great Who better to make a pitch to mindset entering Florida.” athletes and I can rely on to some of the top remaining make blocks. I never have to players in the country? That added bonus of having worry about is he going to get guys commit early and develop the job done, because I know “I just tell them straight up, relationships should benefit he is a great player.” there is no better place to play the Gators down the road. college football on Saturdays At what point does having so than in the Swamp in front of much top talent become an issue More than a year before they’ll 90,000 screaming fans,” Pittman ever suit up for Florida, many and scare off recruits, though? said. “I tell them that you don’t of the Gators’ commits are want to come into the Swamp as already close friends. With more and more emphasis a visitor because it’s the loudest being placed by high school recruits on playing early, having “I want to build a family with the stadium in the country. But the most important thing I say to current commits and the guys a top-notch recruiting class that might sign with Florida that them is you’re either a Gator every year can be discouraging or you’re Gator bait.” way we can start building team for some prospects. chemistry before we set foot on campus,” Pittman said. “Every So far that hasn’t been the Gator Country Recruiting time we get a new commit, I case for Florida commits like ANALYST ANDREW SPIVEY make sure to text him or Facebook can be reached at Dunker, Maye and Pittman. message him and tell him ANDREW@GatorCountry.com. welcome to the family, and then I You can also follow him In fact, Pittman thinks it can start getting to know that person.” on Twitter at ANDREWSPIVEYGC. even help attract more talent.
Fact: UF has captured the SEC All-Sports Trophy 19 of the last 20 years.
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14 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Fact: UF is one of three universities to be the first in the country to offer an Organic Agriculture undergraduate degree program (2006).
image courtesy of UAA
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www.rcsllc.cc 352-472-9170 Fact: For Fall 2008, 7,553 single students lived on campus (4,346 female, 3,205 male).
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2010 Record: 19–2–3 2010 Finish: Lost to Duke 0–0 (4–2 PKs) in NCAA 2nd Round 2011 Preseason National Rank: 9th Key Returning Players: MF/F Tahnai Annis, MF/F Erika Tymrak, MF McKenzie Barney, MF Taylor Travis, D Kathryn Williamson
Redshirt junior midfielder McKenzie Barney What were the key losses from last season’s team?
We lost three seniors: our goalie, Katie Fraine; then Nicky Kit, a really good outside back; and Ashlee Elliott, who played in the center back for us. Those are huge places we need to fill.
How important is it given those losses that Florida has some experienced players like yourself returning?
It’s important, but we have freshmen who came in who fell right into queue. They know how to play in our formation, they know what we expect of them. I would say it’s important, but not necessary. WRITTEN BY Thomas Goldkamp
Florida head coach Becky Burleigh What do you think about the freshman class that you brought in this year?
I think that there will be some freshmen that will definitely be able to make an immediate impact for us. I think we have a really deep pool of players this year and that’s going to provide some great competition as the season progresses.
this year. That’s something that’s pretty evident. There are a lot of players that are capable of being in our starting group, and that’s a nice security blanket.
You lost your starting goalkeeper. What does the competition look like there?
That’s one area that’s pretty unsettled at this point, but I think both of them bring different strengths to the table. I really What is one of the biggest like Taylor [Burke]’s distribution, strengths for your team? I think there is a lot of unselfish especially from the ground. She does a really good job of finding play, which is good to see in such a competitive environment. the open player in that situation. Obviously her size and athleticism The depth of our team is definitely going to be a strength are huge factors. Brooke 16 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
[Chancey] has a little bit more poise because of her experience. It’s not a direct comparison, because their strengths and weaknesses are different. Both bring good things to the table.
How important is it to return veterans like McKenzie Barney (the SEC’s leading goalscorer) and Tahnai Annis? That’s where you see some of the experience. It’s kind of nice to have some veterans to lean on when the younger ones have to see what it takes to get the job done. They’ve done a great job of not only on the field stuff, but off the field leadership as well.
What has been the best thing about that freshman class so far?
I think it’s them just falling right into place. They have a great skill set. They contribute, I guess, is their number one thing. We haven’t had that many freshmen come in and be able to contribute. They’re going to contribute major minutes and big plays. They’re a great class.
Having yourself and Tahnai Annis back as two of the top goal-scorers in the SEC, do you see Florida being more aggressive in the attack this season?
We’re working with some new offensive things, so we have plans for that – ways that when it’s not on with how we normally attack on offense, we can throw this scheme in and hopefully it’ll work out. We have a ton of threats who are just stepping up to the plate. Everybody’s going to be a threat in the offense, so I think it’s going to be a lot better this year.
Fact: UF President J. Bernard Machen was the first to sign the ACUPCC for an action plan to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Coach Becky Burleigh said the team is focusing more on possession this year. Can you talk a little about that?
We try to play as many touches as you need, is what they say. They call it a restriction on games. Some players need two touches, some players like Erika Tymrak can dribble. But it’s finding out what you need and doing exactly that amount of touches.
What have you seen out of the goalkeepers competing for the starting job?
Brooke is a confident senior, and that’s a huge plus. Then we have Taylor, who is an athletic freshman. It’s the best of both worlds. I would have faith in either one of them if they went in.
With the losses on the back line, how has that group come along and how confident do you feel about them going into the season?
The back line is awesome. We have so many athletes back there, and then [Kathryn Williamson] just holds her ground and makes sure everyone’s organized. I don’t have any problem with the defense. I think the defense is always lockdown for us, so I think we’re going to be great again.
Fact: Shands shares joint ownership of three rural community hospitals in north central Florida.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE
time to regroup
Astrology and Gator Football Gator sports fans, it’s time to throw those reptilian stars into alignment and create a constellation or two for this annual rite of pigskin admiration! Being invited to furnish astrological insights this season for Gator Country serves as a wonderful opportunity to acquaint the rabid sports fan with a little astrology, and an astrology fan with a lot of football. I will be illustrating some of my stories this season with what I call graphic charts. Not many astrologers use these, but I believe they make it easy for fans to see how the celestial energies really work. The circle charts do furnish some very valid information for personality interpretation but the graphs are easier to follow and have more to do with timing which we all know is so important in sports.
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So what is the “birth date” of the Gator football team. The best theory I have heard and tested is the first official game played by the team under the name “the gators”. In other words until the team taking the field was called “Gators” in the minds of the fans, the current team wasn’t “born” yet. To illustrate the power of a nickname, I’ll give you three examples. Two come from the NFL. The team making up the Cleveland Browns moved intact to Baltimore and renamed the Ravens. Four years later they were in the Super Bowl. The “new?”Cleveland Browns are still experiencing the futility so common with the “old” Browns. Then we had the Houston Oilers until they changed their name to Titans in 1999 and promptly went to the Super Bowl the same year. Another example is from the Sunshine State. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays dumped the Devil into that famous bay and went to the World Series that same year. A nickname is very, very powerful.
When was that first true Gator game? Some think it could have been a game in 1911 at South Carolina, but as early as the fall of 1908 there were Gator pennants for sale at a Gainesville novelty store according to Austin Miller, a member of the family that owned that store. In 1907 Miller and his father went to the Michie Company and decided to order Gator pennants with the idea the alligator would make an excellent mascot. The seed was sewn. For a couple of years I have worked with a chart using October 10, 1908 and it seems to fit. One of the best sources for college football team research is the College Football Data Warehouse. The 1908 schedule shows a November 6th Friday date for a game with Stetson University at Gainesville and four games prior to that is a game with Mercer at Macon, Georgia. That would likely have been a Saturday and October 10 vibrates nicely as the chart of the Florida Gators football team.
Fact: The fall 2010 incoming freshman class had an average 4.3 GPA and 1945 SAT score.
TIME TO REGROUP
Here’s how to read the graphic chart. The years are at the top of the chart in sequence left to right. You’ll see the coaching years for respective coaches. Underneath the coaches, you’ll see numbers corresponding to the number of wins each season. The very obvious blue line that moves to the top, then the bottom is the travel of the progressed Moon. When the cycle is at the top of the chart, we call this the northern extreme which has a strong influence of about four to five years. Same for the southern extreme which has its exact point 14 years after the exact point for the northern extreme. Teams and individuals seem to have a lot more going on during these periods which could be categorized as major life changes. When the Moon is at the northern extreme, (top) big winning seasons and an occasional National Championship through intentional focus and hard work manifest. Steve Spurrier was the coaching benefactor of the last northern extreme 1993-1998. The southern extreme (bottom) can have wins and championships but often there is more going on with other influences (people) playing roles in those major changes. When Urban Meyer was hired as coach no one knew it would be a short stint and that he would take a leave of absence. The Gators didn’t ask Urban to leave, it was a series of circumstances that led to a help wanted sign on the head coach’s door at U of F. Urban had two championships but neither one was the result of the moon’s visit to the south. Fact: Florida’s leading university traces its beginnings to a small seminary in 1853.
The MC or midheaven point is also very strong. The Moon hit the natal MC point in 2008 and the energy probably contributed to the overall success that year. However there was another influence taking place at the top of the graphic chart when two lines merged about the time Meyer took the reins in 2005. Those lines stay merged for the next 15 years! The North Node, which is the most northern point on the natal chart is “the magic marker” when it comes to championships for teams, and records for individual athletes. Spurrier had the Moon and North Node working in 1996 for the National Championship and Meyer had that North Node point merging with the ASC or ascendant point by declination from his first day at the Swamp. What lies ahead for the Gators? This year new coach Will Muschamp tries on some new shoes. Will they be too big to fill in his first year? Coming from a storied Texas Longhorn team as defensive coordinator it may be time for defensive emphasis in Gainesville, hopefully it won’t be at the expense of the offense. The cupboard is not bare but new coaches equal new systems which usually means a period of adjustment. It’s hard to move the win number up a notch in these years although Spurrier and Meyer in their first years won two more games than their predecessors won in their last years. Based on the charts, I predict eight wins for the Gators this year, with a slight chance for nine. There’s a tough schedule this year as well. They play at LSU, Auburn and South Carolina and the neutral field game with a
Ken can give you inside information about your future, health, love life and finances. Contact him today for your custom Astrology Chart @ www.sportsastrologer.com 480-516-1960 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Hopkins has been a Professional Astrologer since 1971. His prestigious career includes UAC presenter 2008; American Federation of Astrologers’ faculty 1974, 1976, 2003 and 2006; Teacher of Astrology at community college in State of Washington; Basketball predictions for Washington State University in 1977–78; Past President, Arizona Society of Astrologers; Featured sports handicapping columnist for Reno-Tahoe area gaming newspapers for seven years; numerous casino football handicapping shows over a 10-year span in Reno-Sparks using astrology; Guest on ESPN2 and appeared on numerous radio and TV stations over the years. Astrological reference in May, 2011 edition of Fast Company. Ken has over 25 years experience in broadcasting. Baseball play-by-play for FSU and University of Nevada. He graduated from Seminole High School in Sanford and Florida State University (But we at Gator Country try not to hold his FSU affiliations against him!). bunch of angry Bulldogs, while the Swamp will see Alabama and Florida State. A returning senior quarterback, John Brantley should keep the offense respectable. What is really something to watch for is the emergence of a new quarterback. There are indicators next year’s team is a likely contender for a division or conference championship, but a first year QB with little live game experience doesn’t usually fit the criteria. 2015 could be an exceptional year.
Go Gators! May the alignment begin! By Ken Hopkins, The Sports Astrologer
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 19
Charlotte, N.C. (Olympic HS, Nike Team Florida AAU) shooting guard Allerik Freeman leads a fast break during the AAU Showcase at ESPN’s RISE Games on July 23 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. photo by Tim Casey
Compiled by Safid Deen with contributions from Thomas Goldkamp and Adam Pincus, and photos by Tim Casey
Quick look at Gators basketball recruiting
20 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Billy Donovan’s new coaching staff has been hard at work on the recruiting trail since coming together early this summer. With Florida’s lack of depth on the frontline, a strong emphasis has been placed on scouting big men. Here’s a glance at several Florida prospects that competed in the ESPN RISE Games AAU 10th and 11th Grade Basketball Showcase this July.
Fact: Approximately 90 percent of incoming freshmen score above the national average on standardized exams.
Everett, Mass. (The Tilton School, BABC AAU) center Nerlens Noel slams in two points during the AAU Showcase at ESPN’s RISE Games on July 24 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. / Gator Country photo by Tim Casey
BREAKING IT DOWN
BREAKING IT DOWN Thomasville, Ga. (Thomasville HS, Atlanta Xpress AAU) power forward Robert Carter Jr. shoots a free throw during the AAU Showcase at ESPN’s RISE Games on July 24 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. / photo by Rob Foldy
Alex Poythress (PF/SF, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, Clarksville, Tenn.)
Jarnell Stokes (PF, 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, Memphis, Tenn.)
Poythress is comparable to star Rudy Gay. While he’s listed as a power forward, small forward might be more of a natural fit. He does wonders with the basketball as he can create for himself and finish off the dribble. He also loves to crash the boards and block every shot he can.
Stokes is comparable to former Gators star Udonis Haslem – At least that’s what Donovan told Stokes he thinks of him. His ability to run the floor, rebound and score near the basket makes the assessment valid.
He could provide the Gators with a #1 option on offense and a lockdown defender. He truly is a total package.
Robert Carter, Jr. (PF, 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, Thomasville, Ga.)
Poythress holds offers from 15 schools so far, most notably from Florida, Duke, Kentucky and Ohio State.
Carter is comparable to former Gator center Vernon Macklin with more strength. His athleticism allows him to gobble up blocks and rebounds on defense, run the floor well, score off the dribble and even knock down a few jumpers.
“I’m going to look at the coaching staff, look at the player development, look at how I fit into the offense and stuff like that,” he said. “The best fit for me is really what I’m looking for.”
He could provide the Gators with the lockdown, shotblocking presence in the paint Florida has lacked in recent years before Patric Young’s arrival in Gainesville. Carter holds offers from 15 schools so far, most notably from Florida, Ohio State, and Texas. Southeastern schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee are also interested. Carter said he and his family have developed a close relationship with coach Donovan during his recruitment.
“Coach Donovan is talking to me every time he gets a chance to,” he said. “He calls me and talks to me a lot, and tells me I’m their number one guy.”
Anthony Bennett (PF, 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, Henderson, Nev.) Bennett is comparable to Kevin Durant with some added muscle in regards to body type, but does most of his work in the post. He has a smooth jumper, plenty of athleticism and loves to finish hard above the rim.
He could provide the Gators with a formidable presence in the paint and on the glass due to his strength. He also can serve as a great middleman on the court when trying to break down zone defenses because of his abilities to pass and score. Stokes holds offers from six schools with a handful more showing interest. His top five as of now are Memphis, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida and Connecticut. He also plans on visiting the Southeast schools in the coming months.
“I haven’t visited any of them, but I plan on setting up visits around when school starts,” he said. “I’ll probably visit those five unless another school pops in the picture.”
Mouth of Wilson, Va. (Oak Hill Academy, Memphis YOMCA AAU) power forward Jarnell Stokes leads a fast break during the AAU Showcase at ESPN’s RISE Games on July 24 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. photo by Rob Foldy
He could provide the Gators with an offensive presence in the post and on the wings. His spot-up jumper and poise to the basket will work well in Donovan’s scheme against the zone. Bennett holds offers from 18 schools so far, most notably from Florida, Connecticut and Kentucky, and is giving some thought of playing with the Gators. “It is a really good school,” Bennett said. “I am actually considering them. If I had a top five, they would be in it.”
Fact: UF built the first LEED Platinum certified building in the state of Florida.
Wilson, Va. (Oak Hill Academy, Memphis YOMCA AAU) power forward Jarnell Stokes poses for a photo during the AAU Showcase at ESPN’s RISE Games on July 24 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. photo by Rob Foldy
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 21
BREAKING IT DOWN
Mitch McGary (PF/C, 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, Chesterton, Ind.) McGary is comparable to former Gators center Chris Richard because of his size and strength, and current Florida power forward Erik Murphy because of his finesse offensively. He could provide the Gators with a formidable presence on the frontline. He’s also a polished shooter, scorer and ball-handler. McGary holds offers from 17 schools so far, most notably from Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, and a recent one from North Carolina. McGary was building a relationship with former UF assistant Richard Pitino, but since his departure to Louisville, McGary said the rapport has changed.
“I was really close with him when he was at Florida,”McGary said. “When he moved to Louisville, it’s kind of different (now), but I could see myself (at Florida), I guess. They’re on the list right now. I mean every school is.”
2013 Prospects Nerlens Noel (C, 6-foot-10, 200 pounds, Everett, Mass.)
Noel is comparable to current Gator big-man Patric Young minus the freakish physique. Noel will definitely need to bulk up in his last two years of high school, but his athleticism and poise on the defensive end are his best assets. He could provide the Gators with another defensive machine if Young leaves Florida early for the NBA. He takes pride in playing center and being the field general on the basketball court, where being vocal and snagging rebounds are essential.
“You have to keep up the intensity and keep playing hard,” he said. Noel holds offers from nine schools so far, most notably Florida, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut and Syracuse. He should see that number more than double during his junior season.
Julius Randle (PF, 6-foot-9, 225 pounds, Dallas, Texas) Randle is comparable to Zach Randolph offensively with the explosiveness of Josh Smith. Whether in the post or straight up, he’s going to make defenders look bad and even posterize a few. He could provide the Gators with a number one scoring option in the paint or from about 15 feet away. He’s terrific off the dribble and should end up as one of the top five players in the 2013 class. Randle holds offers from six schools so far with many others showing interest. Florida has yet to offer Randle a scholarship, but he has received offers from Kansas, Ohio State and Texas. Randle said he won’t narrow things down until next year, but does like what he’s hearing from Florida. “They just want me in their program,” Randle said. “They tell me they want me in their program to win a national championship.”
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Fact: On April 16, 1930, construction began on the original Florida Field
Benefiting the New Childrenâ€™s Hospital Project at UF&Shands
Saturday, October 22, 2011
at Besilu Collection, Micanopy, Florida For gala details, sponsorship, volunteer and silent auction opportunities, please contact Sebastian Ferrero Foundation at 352.333.2579 or email@example.com or visit www.nochedegala.org
MUST HAVE TOYS!
Tailgate Gadgets! By Daniel Sutphin
With College Football finally kicking off, it’s time to get stocked up for tailgating. Of course you’ve probably already bought all the basic things, but, due to the popularity of tailgating, there are loads of new gadgets and products out there waiting to join the party. To help you get started, we scoured the web and found some products that we think will be perfect for this season’s tailgate parties. Florida Gators 4-Pack Light-Up Party Cubes
Simply freeze the party cubes beforehand and, when they’re cold, flick the on/off switch and toss them in your drink! Boom! Blinking ice cubes! $14.99 www.teamsportsamerica.com
Bottle Grip/Can Grip
The holders turn any standard beer bottle, or can, into an easy to grip stein. The plastic beer holder snaps onto your bottle/can so your beer stays nice and cold and your hand stays dry! $9.99 www.pandpimports.com
Vulcan Tailgating Cooler/Grill
The Vulcan features a PVC cooler that easily nests inside the compartment containing the portable propane BBQ. The patented design features a large, insulated and removable, water-resistant cooler that holds up to 24, 12-oz cans, three BBQ cooking tools, and an array of straps for carrying and pockets for further storage. $197.95 www.picnictime.com
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Fact: UF’s radio and television stations reach audiences from Jacksonville to Tampa and throughout north central Florida.
MUST HAVE TOYS!
Booze Belly Hidden Portable Beverage Flask
Stash the plastic flask under your shirt and use the discreet hidden tube dispenser to serve drinks. It holds up to 25 ounces. $9.95 www.pandpimports.com
Papa Bert’s Sippin’ Seat – Blue/Orange
The easy to use valve lets you keep the party going anywhere you want. The high-quality, fabric cover provides a durable stadium seat cushion with resistance to moisture and staining. It can hold over three cups and can withstand the weight of an average adult. $27 www.papabert.com
UF Propane Tank Wrap
The Go Plate
Crafted from sturdy, reusable, recycled plastic, The Go Plate lets you hold everything securely in one hand. The plate stays put while you eat and when you want to drink, lift the plate off. $13.99 www.thegoplate.com
The UF Propane Tank Wrap hides those embarrassing, rusted tanks. The wraps are made of durable polyvinyl and are weather proof and mildew resistant. $14.99 www.teamsportsamerica.com
Siskiyou Collegiate UF Can Shaft
The Collegiate can shaft keeps up to six cans cold and zips the entire length of the shaft. The heavy duty,
foam insulated cooler features a shoulder strap and sports the GATORS along the side! $25 www.siskiyougifts.com
Fact: UF is a national leader in alternative energy research, with strong programs in ethanol production, and nuclear and solar energy.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 25
PHOTO BY: TIM CASEY
PHOTO BY: MATT TRIP
PHOTO BY: ROB FOLDY
PHOTO BY: UF COMMUNICATIONS
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Fact: UF was awarded $518.8 million - more than all other Florida universities combined - in sponsored research in 2005-2006.
PHOTO BY: TIM CASEY
PHOTO BY: TIM CASEY
PHOTO BY: TIM CASEY
SPORTING MOMENTS DANIEL pigott, bryson smith, tyler THOMPSON Fact: Florida’s home record of 113-13 (.894) since 1990 is the best mark in the country during that time.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 27
TIPS FROM THE PROS!
The Season is Here It’s that time of year again, and the season is about to begin. You probably are thinking this is an article about football season, but it isn’t. Tailgating season is what’s about to begin, and it’s only days away. For the serious tailgaters, that’s barely enough time to get everything together. For the more unfamiliar fans, this is a guide to help you plan on kicking off tailgating season the right way. 1) Location
The three most essential parts of tailgating are the same as real estate: Location, Location, Location. You want to be as close to the stadium as possible to minimize walking and still have enough room for normal tailgating activities. The University has nice areas designed specifically for tailgating all over campus, but most of these spots are nabbed up before 9 in the morning. As the old saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.”
Take a lot of beverages, especially if your mooch friends show up. Keep your drinks in cups. Another good tip is to keep your alcohol in your vehicle because it keeps it out of eyesight for UPD. Remember to take some non-alcoholic beverages too.
3) Separate Coolers
Everyone knows to ice down their beverages in coolers to keep them cold. Having separate coolers for food and drinks may seem petty but let a package of ribs rip open and spill raw meat juice over all of your beer and you’ll never tailgate without two coolers again.
The UAA supplies portable bathrooms for tailgaters in certain areas and some buildings around campus are left unlocked as well. Make sure to pick a spot near an unlocked building or a port-o-potty so you won’t have to walk two miles to relieve yourself.
5) Tailgating Games
Beer Pong, Hillbilly Golf and Cornhole are by far the most popular tailgating games that involve throwing an object at or through something. If you’re tailgating on campus, the University has made Beer Pong illegal, but most UPD officers don’t care if you play “hydration pong” (with water in the cups) instead.
6) Take a TV
It will be a pain to have a TV out in the middle of a parking lot because you will need a generator or power inverter, but it is worth it. If you’re really a football fan, you won’t want to miss the other games’ action, especially when a lot of those games affect the Gators in one way or another.
7) Weather-specific clothing
This is Florida. Whether there is a chance of rain or not, take a rain coat or poncho. Also, don’t forget a hat and some sunscreen for when it isn’t raining.
8) Stand Out
When inviting others to your tailgating spot, it is helpful to have something unique about your set-up or site. Get a 6’ Tall inflatable Albert, Banner, or something to stand out from the crowd.
9) Set the example
Lots of people like sports and drinking, but unfortunately some of those people are tools. All schools have them, including the University of Florida. Not only do you want to avoid them at all costs, but make sure you aren’t being one.
10) Extra beverages
This one should top the list. You can fail at all the other tips listed, but when you run out of alcohol, your tailgate officially takes a nose dive regardless of any other circumstances.
So there is a short list of items you’ll need and a few things to consider for the upcoming football season. GO GATORS! written by Rusty Thompson, one of the founders of GatorTailgating.com. 28 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Fact: As of February 2000, the university had received $61.5 million since it began collecting Gatorade royalties in 1973.
SALES REPS! ARE YOU LOOKING TO UPGRADE YOUR LIFE? The What’s Happening Network has opportunities to sell advertising and earn more than you are making now! We are looking for experienced sales representatives. Email your resume to: Jobs@whpinc.com
Fact: UF’s athletic victories include 26 national team championships, 201 SEC titles, and more than 230 individual national titles.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 29
A STORYBOOK FINISH!
PHOTO BY: don feria, isiphotos.com
Written by Adam Pincus
Comeback for the ages serves up national title for Florida
The Florida Gators proved in Palo Alto that miracles do happen on the tennis court.
30 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Fact: UF has more than $750 million in new research facilities recently completed or under construction.
A STORYBOOK FINISH!
Down three to one in team competition against Stanford, Florida turned its attention to court two where Lauren Embree didn’t just compete against her singles opponent at the NCAA Championships; she faced off against an entire stadium, against a sea of Stanford red. Combine the raucous crowd with a dance team and a marching band and the stage was set for a Gators defeat. Embree’s opponent, Mallory Burdette, played a different style. Burdette dominated her opponents with power, a stark contrast from Embree’s more defensive game.
“I knew I wasn’t going to out power Mallory,”
Embree said.“If I was mentally strong and hit everything back, I knew I could stay in it.” Rewind three months earlier and the Gators found themselves in a similar
Joanna Mather felt sick. The kind of sick you get after losing the biggest tennis match of the season. The kind of match that puts your team one loss away from dropping its second straight national championship. Fact: UF received more than $678 million in research awards in 2009–10.
situation. The ITA National Team Indoor Final on Feb. 21 in Charlottesville, Va., pitted the second- ranked Gators against the top-ranked Stanford Cardinals. Undefeated with 10 straight wins, the Gators thought they were ready for the spotlight. The year before, Florida had fallen to Stanford in the national championship. With the taste of defeat still fresh in their memories, the Gators folded at the opportunity for redemption. Mather, one of only two juniors on the team, pointed to the regular-season loss to Stanford in 2011 at indoors as the turning point of the season. “It was the first time we got beat,” she said. “We didn’t even get to finish all of our matches, because we lost 4–2. It was a wakeup call because we knew where we needed to be and mentally we weren’t ready for that.”
As the Gators soon discovered, they were on a collision course to meet their nemesis from Palo Alto in the last match of the tennis season. After finishing the year at a staggering 22–1 and winning eight straight matches in the postseason, the Gators and the Cardinals held court on national television on May 24 for the national title. Although Florida picked up the doubles point to go up 1–0, the atmosphere was not right for the Gators.
“It was actually cold. We had been in Gainesville. It is so hot and humid. It was dry and cold out there,” Mather said. “That wasn’t fun, because we didn’t pack long-sleeve things.”
Stanford, in classic form, raced out to an early lead in singles play. The Gators dropped the first set on four of the six courts, including a six-game collapse by Embree on court two.
Lauren Embree returns a volley during the Gators’ 7-0 win against South Carolina on April 16 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. photo by Tim Casey
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A STORYBOOK FINISH!
Before long, top-ranked singles player Allie Will, freshman Sofie Oyen and the elder Mather fell to their opponents to put Stanford up 3–1 and one more match win away from clinching the championship. Embree was down a break in the third set at the time of Mather’s defeat on court three. Mather saw a scene reminiscent of the disappointing championship final from the year before.
“Honestly, after I lost my match when we went down 3–1, I thought about it because I saw Lauren down 3–0,”
Mather said. “If Lauren lost that, it’s over. It was just unbelievable.” Unbelievable doesn’t do justice to what transpired next in the championship match. Perhaps epic fits the bill. After freshmen Alex Cercone and Olivia Janowicz picked up victories to tie the overall score at 3–3, the pressure was on for Embree.
All Embree had to do was arc the ball high over the net and spin the ball back into the court. Mather, watching with the rest of the team on a side court, knew Embree had a secret weapon that left the laboring Burdette scrambling to adjust. Conditioning had been harped upon early in the season by head coach Roland Thornqvist, and it was about to even things up in the national title bout.
“I definitely think fitness is key,”
Mather said. “Roland preaches fitness, too. When you know you can stay out there and you know your opponent can’t, it gives you so much more confidence. Lauren is one of the fittest girls. She knew she could out outlast any opponent.” Thornqvist reiterated the importance of fitness and pointed to Embree’s conditioning as one of her greatest strengths. It reminds him of professionals Jelana Jankovic or Caroline Wozniacki.
The sophomore certainly was used to the pressures on the tennis court. Up to her final match against Burdette, she had completed an undefeated dual-court singles campaign with 23 wins and fought back from two wrist surgeries.
“That is one of the cornerstones of our program,”
“Right when Olivia won I got nervous,” Embree said. “I embraced the moment.”
Burdette, who teammates refer to as “The Clincher,” inexplicably continued to try to shorten points. Her aggressive strategy left her vulnerable to unforced errors.
If only embracing the moment guaranteed victory in tennis. With the fifth national championship in school history on the line, Embree found herself in a steep hole. The stronger Burdette was not letting up. Her gambles continued to pay off on the tennis court and on the scoreboard. Burdette held a 4–0 game lead in the deciding set. Then, Burdette’s brashness came back to haunt her. Shots that went in earlier in the third set now sailed long and wide. 32 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Thornqvist said. “Our goal every year is to get to NCAA Championships as the fittest team. If we do that, we will always have a chance.”
While her teammates urged her to victory, Thornqvist recognized a flaw in Burdette’s game. The coach, going into his 11th year at Florida, saw that if Embree could get the ball high on Burdette’s backhand, her opponent would hit a return to Embree’s backhand. Trailing 4–1 in the deciding set, Embree changed her game, using the strategy to carry her back into the match. Fact: Enrolling approximately 50,000 students annually, UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes.
A STORYBOOK FINISH!
PHOTO BY: kathy cafazzo, uf communications
The tables continued to turn in favor of Embree. Burdette could not contend with Embree’s shot-making ability. A lob for a winner finally gave an invigorated Embree her first lead of the third set as her teammates roared with encouragement.
“Our team is pretty amazing,”
Embree said. “It came down to courage and fitness. As a team we wanted to win so badly. If it wasn’t for my teammates I would not have had the opportunity to win.” At five games to four, Embree fell victim to the Burdette serve. Embree dropped two
match points, giving the exhausted Burdette life. The two players held serve to move to a third-set tiebreak, where the first player to get to seven points and win by two takes the entire match. Yet again, Embree found herself in a hole down an early break. After grabbing the lead, she could not close out the match and dropped two more match points at 6–4. That was the last of the tiring Burdette. A failed overhead sealed her fate. On the next point, Embree hit a backhand to her opponent’s forehand. The shot was long, comeback complete.
Fact: Since 1968, 145 Gators and 13 Florida coaches have earned 91 medals (45 gold) while representing 34 countries in 12 Olympiads.
Embree’s racket flew up in the air and her teammates rushed the court in pure celebration, tears soaking the faces of many as they realized a lifelong dream. The Gators had pulled off the upset of Stanford in dramatic fashion. Sickness turned to nostalgia for Mather.
“I couldn’t think straight, I was so excited. I immediately thought of last year losing the close one how much that hurt,” Mather said. “It was a rush of emotions.”
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TAILGATING GAMES By Daniel Sutphin
It’s commonplace in tailgating to have some sort of dessert spread. Now the problem lies in that, by the time you finish the ribs, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, sides, salads, ham… rack of lamb… whatever, it can be tough to muster the effort to eat any other food, especially heavy sweets. That being said, in these economical times, it’s hard to grasp the thought of just throwing away good food. Instead of tossing it in the garbage, do the opposite of what you were told as a child; play with it! Chocolate Unicorn is a game made popular by NBC’s Minute To Win It. To play, participants must stack seven chocolate snack cakes on their forehead while standing and leaning back. When the clock starts, the player must begin using one hand to stack the snack cakes one at a time on their forehead. If a cake or cakes fall, the player may use the same hand to restack them. To complete the game, the player must stack seven snack cakes one by one on top of their forehead within the 60-second time limit so the freestanding structure remains for three seconds. As far as the required items, this one’s easy, seven chocolate snack cakes! Not a chocolate fan (I know it sounds insane), well there isn’t anything in the rules about using vanilla or strawberry, except that the name would be Vanilla or Strawberry Unicorn! 34 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
It’s hot and the sun is high. The drinks are flowing, the food is tended, you’ve worked your way through the first 12-pack and find yourself tired of just sitting around. Well get up, wipe the sweat off, grab all those empty bottles and scattered caps and put them to good use with a little game called Ball Cap. One of precision, this minute-long game pits man versus physics. Players must drop golf balls onto the tops of glass bottles in order to displace an upside-down cap resting on top. If the player hits the bottle cap wrong, the cap and the ball will fall. To set up the game, place 10 glass bottles in a row on a flat surface and rest a cap upside down on top of each. When the clock starts, the player must drop a golf ball onto the top of each bottle in order to displace the cap. The player must shift the cap in a manner that allows the golf ball to land back on top of the bottle. To win the game, three golf balls must be resting on three bottle mouths, in a row, within the 60-second time limit. The required items include: 10 empty glass bottles, 10 bottle caps and golfballs. At least after a few beers you won’t have to worry about nerves getting in the away! Fact: A total of 4,266 students have been members of Greek organizations at UF as of fall 2000.
In tailgating, there has always been the same run of boring, so-called ‘timeless’ games. Someone is sure to be playing bocce ball, throwing beanbags or tossing horseshoes around a spike; but isn’t it time for something new? How many more decades of potentially awesome tailgating will we wind up merely going through the same old motions? If you find yourself answering this with a rambling of excuses and a repetitive muttering of the word tradition, then maybe a new take on an old arcade classic will help you embrace a little bit of change. Broomski Ball applies the same ideas of Skee Ball, but with a new, portable setting. With only one minute on the clock, players must roll three tennis balls over a taped, or somehow secured, broomstick, which will then catapult each ball into one of three baskets. The game starts with three baskets and the broomstick fixed to the floor. The foul line should then be placed nine feet back from the front of the first basket with the broomstick placed horizontally in between. When the clock starts, the player can begin rolling the tennis balls. To complete the game, the player must land at least one ball into each basket. The required items include: three baskets, one broomstick, tennis balls, foul line and tape, however when outdoors, something weighted to hold the broomstick down securely. Despite a few hazards like grass, uneven terrain and the growing influence of alcohol, any generation can feel right at home with this stripped down, yet somehow modernized, classic!
Fact: UF began accepting women in 1947.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 35
GUIDE TIMES Total Time: 1 hr 15 min Prep: 15 min
Cook: 1 hr 0 min Yield: 4 servings Level: Easy
Spice Rub Ingredients
Spice Rubbed Beer Can Chicken Directions •
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander 1 Tablespoon Paprika 1 Tablespoon Kosher Chicken 1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1/2 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil 1 Lemon, zested 1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) Chicken 1 (12-Ounce) Can Beer
By Daniel Sutphin
So you’ve already given that whole chicken a nice, spicy and savory rub down, but you worry that it still might not pack that extra punch. Instead of possibly ruining your well-calculated rub, try popping open a beer and shoving it up the bird’s, um, backside. 36 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Heat a gas or charcoal grill with a lid big enough to accommodate the bird. Put a drip pan below the grates. Mix the ingredients for the Spice rub until they are well blended. (This will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 week.) Rub it all over the chicken, inside and out. Open the beer and take a big swig or just pour out a couple of ounces. Sit the chicken on the beer can so the legs are at the bottom and the wings
are at the top. Stand the beer can on the grates over the drip pan. Put the cover on and cook over indirect heat until the juices run clear or for about one hour. (If using charcoal, push the coals to 1 side so the chicken is not over direct heat.)
Note: This chicken can also be cooked in a 350 degrees F oven. Just stand the beer can in a shallow roasting pan and cook about 1 hour or until juices run clear.
Fact: In 2006, UF became the first university in collegiate history to earn both the national men’s basketball and football titles in the same year
A MESSAGE FROM SADIE DARNELL
smoothies Not all smoothies are created equal. The 2011 University of Florida Gator Football Season kicks off on Saturday, September 3rd at 7:00 p.m. with a home game against Florida Atlantic University. Fans from all over Gator Nation will converge on Gainesville to witness the beginning of what one hopes will be an historic season for the once and future SEC Champs. In response to the influx of traffic, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will be placing additional deputies on the road as well as in and around the stadium. These deputies will be proactively monitoring for underage drinking violations, open containers, noise violations, DUI and other traffic offenses such as speeding, careless driving, seat belt and Move Over laws.
Florida Penalties for DUI First Conviction Traffic fines can start around $119 for speeding, $154 for a moving violation, and $104 for a non-moving violation. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles website, the following are the penalties for a first time DUI conviction. C
• Probation – Not more • Fine – $250 to $500 than 1 year • Community Service – 50 hours • License Revocation – • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 Minimum of 180 days or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months • DUI School – 12 hours
Another statute to keep in mind during game weekends is F.S.S. 856.015 – Open House Parties. This statute states that no adult having control of any residence shall allow an open house party to take place if any alcoholic beverage or drug is possessed or consumed by any minor. If the adult fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the possession or consumption of the alcoholic beverage or drug, the adult can be charged and face a fine of up to $500 and a term of imprisonment not to exceed 60 days in the county jail. K
Sheriff’s deputies urge Gator fans to “Play it Safe” on game days by following these simple tips: • Leave a little early on game days and expect delays when entering and leaving Gainesville. • Plan to take alternate routes in order to ease congestion on main thoroughfares. • If you plan to consume alcohol at your destination, make arrangements for a designated driver or the use of alternate transportation. Motorists can call 911 to report impaired drivers. • Remove all valuables from the interior of your vehicle and lock them in the trunk out of sight.
• Always lock your vehicle and activate the alarm if you have one installed. • Do not carry large sums of cash on your person. • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and heat-related illness. • Law enforcement, including K-9 officers, from several local agencies will be available to assist you in the stadium. • Pay close attention to any instructions given to you by law enforcement – they are there to ensure your safety!
Enjoy the game.
Fact: The freshman retention rate of 95 percent is among the highest in the country.
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SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 37
SEASON PREVIEWS Written by THOMAS GOLDKAMP
Sept. 3 – Florida Atlantic Owls
2010 Record: 4–8 (3–5) Returning Starters: 7 offense, 7 defense Key Returning Players: RB Alfred Morris, LT Sam McRoy, ILB Yourhighness Morgan, FS Marcus Bartels, P Mickey Groody 2010 Recap: Florida Atlantic was a streaky team in 2010, winning their first game against UAB before dropping five straight to fall to 1–5. The Owls rebounded to win their next three before suffering three blowout losses to finish 4–8. Florida Atlantic was plagued by an anemic running game and a defense that had just as many problems stopping the run. The Owls ranked 115th nationally in rushing offense and 105th nationally in rushing defense. Overview: Florida Atlantic figures to be a much different team in 2011. Last year, they were effective as a passing team but couldn’t run the ball. With quarterback Jeff Van Camp and four of the top five receivers from 2010 gone, the Owls will rely on the running game and senior running back Alfred Morris, who finished 2010 just 72 yards shy of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Morris will be running behind a young offensive line that returns all five starters, so Florida Atlantic should be able to run the ball much better than it did last season. The passing game will be a work in progress early in the year, as the Owls let David Kooi and Graham Wilbert battle it out for the starting job. 38 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Defensively, the Owls should be in pretty good shape with a 3–4 defense that returns plenty of experienced playmakers, including the entire starting defensive line. Linebacker Yourhighness Morgan will lead a unit returning three players who started several games in 2010. The unit is aggressive and makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage, as the Owls ranked 24th nationally in tackles for a loss last season. The secondary is young and inexperienced after losing three of four starters. Free safety Marcus Bartels returns as the leader of the defense after leading the team in tackles in each of the past two seasons. He helped Florida Atlantic rank 29th nationally against the pass in 2010, but will have his work cut out for him this year playing with an inexperienced unit. Owls punter Mickey Groody is one of the nation’s best, finishing fifth nationally in punting average in 2010 at 45.8 yards. He will be on the Ray Guy Award shortlist and can help Florida Atlantic flip field position almost every time he punts. Key Matchup: Florida’s offensive line vs. Florida Atlantic’s front seven – Florida Atlantic created a lot of negative plays last season, and the Owls know how to get into the backfield. Florida’s offense struggled providing good pass protection last season, and that’s one of the biggest concerns heading into 2011. If Florida’s offensive line can give quarterback John Brantley ample time to throw, there’s no reason Brantley and the Gators shouldn’t pick apart a young, inexperienced Owls secondary through the air.
What to Expect: Florida’s teams have always stopped the run well, and the running game is Florida Atlantic’s strength. With the Gators’ defensive line expected to be a strong point, it’s improbable the Owls will have any sort of success offensively in Gainesville. What the game boils down to is whether Florida’s offense is as bad as it was in last year’s season opener against Miami (Ohio). Truthfully, it would have to be even worse than that to lose to Florida Atlantic. Looking at how the matchups stack up, Florida will likely have this game well in hand by halftime, new schemes or not. For an offense with a quarterback desperately needing to build some confidence early in the season, you couldn’t ask for a better opening game than Florida Atlantic.
Sept. 10 – University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB)
2010 Record: 4–8 (3–5) Returning Starters: 7 offense, 9 defense Key Returning Players: QB Bryan Ellis, RB Pat Shed, WR Patrick Hearn, DT Elliott Henigan, LB Marvin Burdette 2010 Recap: UAB lost four of its first five games last season, including a one-point loss to Florida Atlantic in the season opener and a three-point loss to Tennessee in double overtime. The Blazers also beat Southern Miss by one in double overtime, winning three of their final seven games. The Blazers were good on offense, ranking 30th nationally in total offense and 24th in passing offense. However, they struggled on defense behind a porous pass defense that finished 105th nationally. Overview: UAB was close to winning a handful more games in 2010, suffering four of its eight losses by less than a touchdown. With so many starters returning, the Blazers will likely be a much-improved team in 2011. Offensively, the Blazers return three of their top skill players in quarterback Bryan Ellis, all-purpose back Pat Shed and wide receiver Patrick Hearn. Ellis finished just shy of 3,000 yards passing in 2010, finishing with 25 touchdown passes while helping lead one of the better passing attacks in the air-it-out Conference USA. Shed is one of the nation’s best allaround backs, having racked up more than 850 yards rushing and 450 yards receiving in 2010. Fact: UF traces its beginnings to a small seminary in 1853.
MEASURING UP Meanwhile, Hearn returns as the most experienced wide receiver after finishing 2010 with more than 500 yards receiving. The receiver position as a whole will need some retooling for the Blazers. That talented trio will also have the luxury of playing behind a veteran offensive line returning four of five starters, meaning the Blazers will have a chance to be a cohesive, effective offense. The UAB offensive line ranked 15th nationally in 2010 in sacks allowed, giving up just 12 on the season. On defense, the Blazers return almost entirely intact, with only two starters gone from 2010. Both of those losses are on the defensive line, where defensive tackle Elliott Henigan returns as one of CUSA’s top linemen. UAB returns its entire starting back seven, including linebacker Marvin Burdette, who has a chance to be the top linebacker in CUSA. He is the top returning tackler, along with safety Jamie Bender. The secondary is led by cornerback T.J. Ballou, who picked off three passes in 2010 in a secondary that struggled as a whole. Key Matchup: Florida’s wide receivers vs. UAB secondary – The Gators have a relatively unproven wide receiver corps, and they’ll go up against a UAB secondary that gave up plenty of yards through the air a year ago. UAB’s offense could put up some points on Florida’s defense, so the Gators need to get into a groove early on offense and take advantage of the Blazers’ weak spot in the secondary. What to Expect: UAB will be a much tougher test than Florida Atlantic, though both games should result in wins for Florida, barring disaster. With the Blazers returning some of their top skill players behind a seasoned offensive line, they will probably be able to stay in the game with Florida in the first half. But Florida’s overwhelming talent should prevail, particularly if UAB’s secondary hasn’t been shorn up much since 2010.
Sept. 17 – Tennessee
2010 Record: 6–7 (3–5) Returning Starters: 7 offense, 6 defense Key Returning Players: QB Tyler Bray, RB Tauren Poole, WR Justin Hunter, DT Malik Jackson, FS Prentiss Waggner 2010 Recap: The Volunteers began the season at just 2-6, before rebounding to win their last four games and earn a bowl berth. Tennessee finished the year at 6-7 after losing to North Carolina in double overtime following a penalty on the Tar Heels that actually helped them win the game. Tennessee’s offensive line struggled all year long with a starting five composed almost entirely of freshmen. The Volunteers finished 105th nationally in rushing offense and gave up more than three sacks per game to finish 115th nationally in sacks allowed. Overview: Tennessee’s season ended on an unquestionably positive note following a horrific start to the Derek Dooley era in Knoxville, despite a fluky season-ending loss to North Carolina. With quarterback Tyler Bray emerging in the second half of the season, along with wide receiver Justin Hunter, the Volunteers looked like a capable offense for the first time in a while. The Volunteers return a young but now experienced offensive line, with four of the five projected starters entering their sophomore seasons after a rough go of it in 2010.
Defensive tackle Malik Jackson returns to anchor the defensive line, but he’s still an undersized body in the middle. Fellow defensive tackle Daniel Hood emerged as a capable starter to couple with Jackson on the interior, but the defensive ends are still a big question mark for Tennessee heading into the season. At linebacker, the Volunteers have to replace a pair of quality starters in Nick Reveiz and Lance Thompson. Herman Lathers returns to lead the linebacking corps, while Austin Johnson got plenty of experience playing there last season. Johnson was arrested for DUI this summer, which could impact his availability against Florida. The secondary should be one of Tennessee’s strong points, as free safety Prentiss Waggner returns after a five-interception, 57-tackle season in 2010. Key Matchup: Florida secondary vs. Tennessee wide receivers – Florida’s secondary is arguably the most inexperienced unit on the team, and while they’ll be going up against a Tennessee receiving corps that lost a few talented players, the game could still hinge on their performance. Hunter and Rogers are expected to be one of the best wide receiver duos in the SEC, and containing them and the passing game by Bray will be crucial for Florida. This matchup will likely shape the outcome of the game.
Senior running back Tauren Poole returns after rushing for more than 1,000 yards a year ago, but he’ll need more help in the backfield than he got last season.
What to Expect: Florida has dominated Tennessee for the past several years, but the matchup in 2011 figures to be much more even than it has during Florida’s recent winning streak over the Volunteers.
The Vols will have to replace NFL-draftee Luke Stocker at tight end, as well as a pair of extremely talented receivers in Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore.
Tennessee has holes in the front seven on defense, which means Florida’s inexperienced and unproven offensive line must play well to exploit them.
Hunter looks to be the SEC’s next star receiver, and, this spring, fellow sophomore Da’Rick Rogers finally flashed the potential everyone saw in him during his recruitment.
The Volunteers should be balanced on offense and stingy in the secondary, which could mean they can score points on the Gators while also limiting Florida’s effectiveness through the air.
Defensively, the Volunteers will have to do a little bit of rebuilding. The entire starting secondary is back, but the defensive line must replace three of four starters from a unit that wasn’t very productive last season.
Fact: Some 50 biotechnology companies have resulted from faculty research programs.
It’s safe to say this will be Florida’s first real test of the season. With the game at home, the Gators have the edge, but this year’s game is far from the guaranteed win it has been the past few seasons. SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 39
Defensively, Kentucky has a chance to field one of its best units in the past few years with nine starters returning. The main question is on the defensive line, where the Wildcats lost a pair of starters. A handful of younger guys who have limited experience will be counted on to fill the gaps. The linebacker position looks excellent for the Wildcats with Danny Trevathan a surefire All-SEC candidate barring injury. The secondary also returns completely intact, led by strong safety Winston Guy, who picked off three passes and recorded 104 tackles in 2010. Key Matchup: Kentucky running backs vs. Florida defensive line – The Wildcats don’t have much experience returning at running back, and their starting running back is only slightly bigger than Chris Rainey.
Sept. 24 – at Kentucky
2010 Record: 6-7 (2-6) Returning Starters: 6 offense, 9 defense Key Returning Players: QB Morgan Newton, LG Stuart Hines, RG Larry Warford, WLB Danny Trevathan, SS Winston Guy 2010 Recap: Kentucky began the season 3-0, before Florida beat them to begin a three-game losing skid. The Wildcats finished the regular season 6-6 before losing to Pittsburgh in their bowl game. Kentucky used an offense that ranked 27th nationally in total offense and a secondary that ranked 14th nationally against the pass to earn its fifth straight bowl bid. Overview: After riding one of their best offenses in years to another bowl bid, the Wildcats will have plenty of work to do offensively to replace the losses of the 2010 core of QB Mike Hartline, RB Derrick Locke and WR Randall Cobb. Cobb’s versatility made the Wildcats unpredictable on offense, something that may have disguised some inferior talent at times. With him gone, the Wildcats will have to play better at every position on offense. 40 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Quarterback Morgan Newton is expected to win the starting job after starting nine games for Hartline over the past two years and playing well. He will have some talent to work with, as Kentucky boasts a tall group of receivers led by La’Rod King, Matt Roark and Brian Adams. Raymond Sanders is expected to win the starting running back job, and he provides Kentucky with a compact, explosive runner who showed real promise in 2010. However, the backfield is fairly weak depth-wise, so someone will have to step up in fall camp to help lighten the burden on the smaller Sanders.
Going against a Florida defensive line that looks dominant entering fall camp, the Wildcats will have to get someone to step up and pack a punch at running back if they hope to hang with the Gators. Best Guess: Kentucky has been its most competitive against Florida when it boasts a good offense that can get into a shootout with the Gators. With an inexperienced Florida secondary, this would be the year to do it. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their losses on offense are greater than the Gators’ losses on defense. Florida’s offense may struggle somewhat against a Kentucky defense that looks very good entering the season, but Kentucky will likely struggle even more against Florida’s defense. This looks like another comfortable win for the Gators.
The offensive line figures to be one of Kentucky’s real strengths, with an interior of the line that should be as good as any in the SEC. Guards Stuart Hines and Larry Warford both have All-SEC potential and should help to anchor the line along with returning center Matt Smith. The two tackle positions are still a bit of a question mark for Kentucky heading into fall camp. Fact: UF’s Century Tower is 157 feet tall.
YOU NEED THESE Ice Cube Trays $17.99:
By Daniel Sutphin
Cool your drinks down with F-shaped ice cubes. The two royal blue, silicone ice trays each have 12 cups and serve multiple uses, such as ice cubes and molds for candy, chocolate and gelatin.
Gator Haven Delivers the Goods
Pop-Up Food Covers $26.99:
Keep your food fly-free with these pop-up food covers. The set features one round and one rectangular design, both of which sport the Gator Head logo.
Gym Bag $34.99:
Hit the weights like the Gators with the team color gym bag. It features an embroidered Gator head logo, carry handles, a removable strap and a large front pocket capable of holding pens, IDs and coins. The bag is made of 100 percent, heavy-duty nylon and is perfect for storing tennis shoes due to its separate bottom compartment.
Big Boy Chair $42.99
Show your support for the orange and blue with the Gator Head Logo folding chair, which features adjustable armrests and cup holders. The chairâ€™s frame holds up to 350 pounds and comes with a matching carry bag.
Products available at www.GatorHaven.com
Fact: In 2009, South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier admitted he did not vote Tim Tebow to first-team All-SEC.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 41
GATORMOTHER KNOWS BEST!
fairy gator mother
Dear Fairy Gatormother, I can’t believe I’m writing in for advice. My problem is such a classic case of “mid-’40s wife and mother of two abandoned by hubby in throes of mid-life crisis.” I’m embarrassed to even reach out. Recovery should be easy: lose some weight, have some flings, watch “Eat, Pray, Love” a thousand times, right? We’re fine financially and that’s half the battle according to all my divorced friends, so, despite the circumstances, I know I should be feeling grateful, but it’s getting increasingly harder for me to get out of bed in the mornings; even to take care of my kids. I always planned for a scenario like this so I’m shocked at my reaction and feel extremely guilty that I’m not handling it better. To make matters worse, in the divorce settlement, I got our season tickets for Gator football but now I’m completely alone. What should I do Fairy Gatormother?
Dear Grieving Gator, Baby doll, my heart bleeds orange and blue for you. There, there muffin. Feel better? Good. Now put on your big Gator girl panties and let’s work though this! First, you ain’t as bad off as you’ve convinced yourself you are. While your heart may be broken your funny bone isn’t and that tells me you may be down but you’re not out. Good to go in the moola department? Seriously? In this economy? If you can feed your younguns’ and keep a roof over their heads you’re right, you should be feeling grateful. You wrote, “I always planned for a scenario like this...” Well, you certainly got what you planned for. If you spent your marriage visualizing exactly what you would do if your husband left you, you helped create the very situation you didn’t want. Over the years, what actions and reactions of yours were colored by the doomsday departure you were so invested in “planning” for?
I ask you this question not to place blame but to point out that we subconsciously mold our words and deeds to continuously bring us closer to the reality we hold in our conscious mind. Bottom line? What’s done is done. Move on. Now is the time for you to focus on what you do want in your life. Only you can create your reality. For information on this process, I highly recommend “The Law of Attraction” by Jerry and Esther Hicks. Finally, you wrote, “...now I’m completely alone and have nobody to go with.” Sista’ puhlease! That’s just too dramatic to be taken seriously! You’ve got season tickets for Florida Gator football! Grab one of your BFFs and plan a whole Swampalicious weekend for the first game! Ya’ll get your toes done! Have a margarita! Have two! Even get in a lil’ cougar action if the spirit moves ya’! I say go for the win. Right now you’re a free agent with lots of options! And isn’t that a great position to be in?
Disclaimer: Fairy Gatormother is not a certified mental health professional other than in the most ironic sense of the term. Her “advice,” like life, is intended for entertainment purposes only, and should not be followed slavishly or even taken seriously, unless that feels right, in which case you are living your life according to the diktats of an anonymous Internet pseudonym. Think about that. 42 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
Fact: UF enrollment is now more than 46,000, and its campus sprawls across 2000 acres.
TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1) Chris Leak, 2) Florida State University, 3) University of Michigan, 4) False, 5) University of Western Kentucky, 6) Vanderbilt University, 7) The Swamp, 8) Ben Hill Griffin Jr., 9) 9–3, 10) Tony Joiner, 11) Urban Meyer, 12) Tulsa, 13) Steve Spurrier, 14) Lorenzo Hampton, 15) Michigan State, 16) Reidel Anthony, 17) Steve Spurrier, 18) Florida State
IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?
GATOR DON’T PLAY THAT! Sure you can spew all the same stats and theories mainstream media has shoved down your throat but how much do you really know about ‘Your’ Florida Gators? Well find out here with Gator Country’s Gator Trivia! We’ll even start you off with some easy ones.
1) Which of the following 7) What is the nickname did not win the Heisman of the football stadium at the University of Florida? Memorial Trophy? Tim Tebow The Jungle Steve Spurrier The Bog Danny Wuerffel The Plain Chris Leak The Swamp 2) Historically, what school is the University of Florida’s main rival? University of Central Florida University of Georgia Florida State University Ohio State University 3) Who did the Gators play against in their Bowl Game on January 1, 2008. University of Michigan Ohio State University University of Kentucky University of Auburn 4) The University of Florida won their bowl game on January 1, 2008 to go on to win two bowl games in a row. True False 5) Which of the following teams is not in the Southeastern Conference? Louisiana State University University of South Carolina University of Western Kentucky Mississippi State University 6) Who did the Gators play in their 2007 homecoming game? Vanderbilt University University of Auburn Troy University Louisiana State University
Fact: UF admitted 1,315 International Baccalaureate students – more than any other university in the U.S. – in fall 2010
8) Who is the Gators’ football stadium named after? Wayne Reitz Tim Tebow Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Steven O’Connell 9) At the end of the 2007 regular season, what was the Gators overall record? 8–3 9–3 8–2 10–2 10) Which member of the Gators team was stripped of his captain status in 2007? Tony Joiner Percy Harvin Chris Ingram Andre Caldwell 11) Who was the head coach of the Gators in 2007? Billy Donovan Jeremy Foley Urban Meyer Les Miles 12) What team did the Gators defeat in the 1953 Gator Bowl, their very first bowl appearance? Florida State Tulsa Tennessee Missouri 13) Who was the first Gator coach to win 100 career games? Galen Hall Doug Dickey Ray Graves Steve Spurrier
14) In 1985, Lomas Brown was drafted 6th overall in the first round. What other Gator was drafted in the first round that year (#27 overall), making it the first time in history that two Gators were drafted in the first round? Lorenzo Hampton John L. Williams Neal Anderson Wilber Marshall 15) The Gators lost the 2000 Citrus Bowl on a game-winning field goal as time expired to what team? Michigan Michigan State Purdue Wisconsin 16) Who returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, the first touchdown return in Fiesta Bowl history? Ike Hilliard Jacquez Green Reidel Anthony Chris Doering 17) Who was the first Gator to win the Heisman Trophy? Emmitt Smith Danny Wuerffel Steve Spurrier Jack Youngblood 18) Who was the only team to defeat the Gators in their 1996 national championship season? Florida State Miami (FL) Tennessee Alabama
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 43
Football Recruiting Recap The University of Florida is off to a blazing start for the 2012 recruiting class. National Signing Day is just less than six months away, but with 17 verbal commitments, the Gators have already filled a good majority of their class. WRITTEN BY Derek Tyson
44 GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | SEPT/2011
According to ESPNU, new Florida head coach Will Muschamp currently has the third-best recruiting class in the country. With several top prospects remaining on the board, Floridaâ€™s class will likely end up in the top five nationally. The Gators are likely to sign between 22â€“25 total players in this class depending on injuries and transfers. With 17 prospects already verbally committed, that leaves only a handful of slots remaining. Here is a look at the 17 prospects who are currently committed to the Gators. Verbal commitments are non-binding until a prospect signs his national letter of intent on National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
Fact: John Kaplan, an associate professor in the College of Journalism and Communications, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1992.
JaFar Mann, (6-4/293, Stone Mountain, GA/Stephenson)
Matt Jones, (6-3/215, Seffner/Armwood)
As a junior, Jones amassed 1,300 yards on 136 carries and scored 23 touchdowns. Jones also recorded 11 catches for 209 yards and another three receiving touchdowns. According to Tom Lemming, Jones is rated the No. 2 “big-back” in the country. Jones suffered a torn meniscus during a pre-season 7-on-7 tournament and is expected to miss the first two games of his senior season.
Jessamen Dunker, (6-6/315, Boynton Beach/Boynton Beach HS) ESPNU rated Dunker a four-star prospect. He is ranked as the No. 7 prospect at his position and the No. 30 player overall.
Willie Bailey, (6-2/170, Hallandale/Hallandale HS) Bailey is ranked as the No. 24 corner in the country by ESPNU. This one-time Miami commitment could end up at safety if he adds some weight.
Mann, who is teammates with running back commit Mike Davis, is ranked as a three-star prospect and the No. 27 defensive tackle in the country by ESPNU.
Rhaheim Ledbetter, (5-11/195, Shelby, NC/Crest)
This hard-hitting safety is ranked four stars and the No. 9 player at his position according to ESPNU. As a junior, Ledbetter was named county co-player of the year. He is also teammates with Jonathan Bullard, a four-star defensive end who is also considering Florida.
Jeremi Powell, (6-2/200, Largo/Pinellas Park)
Powell is ranked the No. 24 outside linebacker by ESPNU. As a junior Powell recorded D.J. Humphries, 15 sacks and two defensive (6-6/275, touchdowns. The athletic Charlotte, NC/ linebacker also added 22 Mike Davis, Mallard Creek) (5-11/195, As the only five- receptions for 478 yards and four touchdowns star prospect Stone Mountain, as a wide receiver. currently Ga/Stephenson) As a junior, Davis committed to Florida, Humphries rushed for 1,200 is the cornerstone of the Florida Lorenzo Phillips, (6-2/205, Patterson, recruiting class. Ranked as the yards and 14 LA/Patterson HS) No. 1 tackle prospect and the touchdowns despite splitting Phillips is ranked as the No. 10 No. 7 player overall by ESPNU, time with USF signee Willie outside linebacker and the No. Humphries will enroll in the Davis. Davis is ranked as the 140 player overall by ESPNU. spring and have a chance to No. 17 running back in the As a junior, Phillips earned class contribute immediately. country by ESPNU. 3A all-state honors. He also recorded 78 tackles and 23 Wide Receiver Defensive Line tackles for a loss.
Latroy Pittman, (6-1/198, Citra/ North Marion)
Pittman was the first player to commit to Florida for the 2012 class, having made his pledge more than a year ago. Pittman is ranked as the No. 15 wide receiver in the country and the No. 105 player overall by ESPNU. Pittman has also become a key recruiter for other uncommitted prospects.
Colin Thompson, (6-5/255, Warminster, Pa/Archbishop Wood) As a junior, Thompson recorded 13 receptions for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Thompson is also an excellent in-line blocker. ESPNU has Thompson ranked as the No. 1 tight end and No. 84 player overall.
Dante Phillips, (6-6/275, Venice/Venice HS)
Phillips is ranked as the No. 16 offensive tackle and the No. 112 player overall by ESPNU. Phillips, however, is being recruited by Florida to play defensive tackle. At 6-foot-6 he does seem tall for a defensive tackle, but his mean streak is what the Florida coaches like.
Quinteze Williams, (6-4/295, Tyrone, GA/Sandy Creek) This strongside defensive end is ranked as the No. 21 prospect at his position by ESPNU. With his size he will undoubtedly be a candidate to move inside to tackle.
Marcus Maye, (6-1/200, Melbourne/Holy Trinity)
Antonio Morrison, (6-3/225, Bolingbrook, IL/Bolingbrook HS) Morrison is ranked as a threestar player and the No. 39 outside linebacker in the country according to ESPNU, even though he is being recruited to play middle linebacker for Florida. As a junior, Morrison tallied 84 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and seven sacks.
Maye is ranked as the No. 13 safety in this class by ESPNU. Maye garnered offers from Florida State, Miami, LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee, among many others.
Austin Hardin, (5-11/200, Atlanta, GA/Marist)
Hardin is ranked as the No. 2 kicker prospect in the country by ESPNU. Hardin Brian Poole, Jr., was 13-of-20 on field goals as (5-11/187, Bradenton/Southeast) a junior, but all seven misses were from 50-yards or longer. Poole is ranked as the No. 9 cornerback and Gator Country Recruiting the No. 134 player overall by ANALYST Derek Tyson ESPNU. The four-star prospect is can be reached at physical enough to play safety but Derek@GatorCountry.com. athletic enough to be a lockdown You can also follow him cornerback on the next level. on Twitter at DerekTysonGC.
Fact: Since 1990, the University of Florida Athletic Association has contributed more than $61 million to UF’s academic endeavors.
SEPT/2011 | GATORCOUNTRY.COM | GATOR COUNTRY MAGAZINE 45
Over 40,000 members Quotes from College Are you one yet? Football’s Greats and Not-So-Greats By Daniel Sutphin
GatOr spOrts maGazine in print!
Throughout the years, college football has produced not only great players and coaches, but also great personalities. It’s no wonder that so many become “analysts,” or should I say, “color commentators.” Thanks to the many networks that have come to employ them, we as fans have been blessed with a seemingly endless amount of quotes, some inspiring, but most, funny. “I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved.” (Urban Meyer)
“He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.” (Torrin Polk on coach John Jenkins)
“The only bowl Rutgers is going to is the one I just got off of.” (Boston College QB Glenn Foley)
“The Rose Bowl is the only bowl I’ve ever seen that I didn’t have to clean.” (Erma Bombeck)
“In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard.” (President Theodore Roosevelt)
“Hawaii doesn’t win many games in the United States.” (Lee Corso) “When Clemson players rub that rock and run down the hill, it’s the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.” (Brent Musberger)
GatOr spOrts site On tHe WeB
“There are two things every man in America thinks he can do: work a grill and coach football.” (Greg Schiano)
“Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.” (John Heisman)
“When I get the ball, for some reason I see holes. I’m not really sure how.” (Mike Bass of the University of Hawaii) “Don’t cuss. Don’t argue with the officials. And don’t lose the game.” (John Heisman)
“College football is a sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture.” (Elbert Hubbard)
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“At Georgia Southern, we don’t cheat. That costs money and we don’t have any.” (Erk Russell)
“It would’ve been worth it if I hadn’t gotten caught.” (Rodney Landingham, University of Nevada defensive back, after being arrested for bank robbery) Fact: The original Florida Field’s capacity was 21,769.
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