I apologize for the inconvenience, folks, but my power went out today, leaving me unable to watch any NCAA basketball. Instead of just leaving you guys hanging, I called my best friend, who happens to be a Florida graduate student, and asked him to cover my post-game recap. Here is what he wrote:
GAINESVILLE - It seemed like things were finally back to normal at the University of Florida on Thursday as head coach Urban Meyer, just 24 hours removed from his subtle return from a much ballyhooed leave of absence, took to the field and instructed his next edition of SEC terrors in the Gators’ first spring practice.
Though still pulling an oxygen cart and being followed by an entourage of doctors, pharmacists and two children carrying the wires connected to his heart monitor, Meyer looked just as focused as he did during the Gator championship season, taking notes and chatting with assistants. His players, visibly excited, spoke openly of their giddiness over their coach being back and finally getting focused on what happens between the hashes. Meyer also spoke of what was most important.
“How about Timmy, yesterday,” Meyer said of former Gator Tim Tebow’s pro day workout. “The kid is just a flat-out football player, huh? The thing people don’t understand is that, sure, we could have fixed his throwing motion in the four years he was here. But what would that say about him? He’s a competitor and wanted to play through it because he is that tough. He’s a competitor. Flat out.”
Meyer continued talking about Tebow for another half an hour or so before finally being interrupted by Clinton Sullivan of the Apopka Daily Planet, who questioned the coach on how Tebow’s successor, John Brantley, stacked up to the former Heisman winner.
“Well, right off the bat, I’d have to say he’s more mobile than people give him credit for, though he won’t barrel through the line like Timmy,” Meyer explained. “Other than that, his arm is exceptionally strong and he’s picking up his playbook, but his butt’s not quite as toned and firm as Tim’s was. He has his teammates respect already, but he’s not as good of a kisser. It’s a bit of a mixed bag at this point.”
Despite his trepidation regarding Brantley’s progress, Meyer’s exuberance could be felt across the entire facility. His high-fives were on point and his pullover was wrinkle-free. It was the patented Meyer smirk, though, that provided the biggest sign that Florida’s head man is as relaxed and driven as he’s ever been.
When a reporter asked how Meyer convinced his kids to give up part of their Spring Break to carry around his heart wires, Meyer turned to the kids, looked back at the reporter and smiled like Lane Kiffin just got busted shirtless in a middle school.
“Those are my kids?” Meyer asked.
When the reporter nodded his head, Meyer just stared at them with amazement and a huge grin before chuckling to himself and muttering, “No s--- ” and heading back out to the field to get the Gators ready for another title run.
Yep, things are back to normal in Gainesville. SEC East, consider yourself warned.
*It was also rumored around the Florida campus that the Gators lost to BYU in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 99-92, in an exciting double-overtime affair. However, not a single soul in Gainesville could confirm this to me.