Over a year ago, I wrote an article about how great the University of Florida athletes and their Alumni performed at the Olympics (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/07/31/the-university-of-florida-should-be-a-sovereign-nation/). While I am not going to retract anything I said, I will say that the Gators reputation has been tarnished pretty bad of late. Since the end of the amazing Summer Olympics, the UF Alumni have demonstrated many different negative attributes stemming from completely moronic Olympians to murder and ending it all with a delicious cup of racism. While it is tough to argue that UF doesn’t have the greatest Athletics program out of any University in the world, I can guarantee that there won’t be much bragging coming from the Orange and Blue after how this past year has unfolded.
Let’s start with the absolute dumbest Olympian that has ever graced this fine Country we live in. Ryan Lochte made quite a splash (pun intended) entering the 2012 Summer Olympics. He now holds 11 medals and is definitely a favorite to pick up some more in the future, but no one ever said that you need to be educated or sane to win an Olympic Gold. Lochte became an overnight sensation and the world waited on a nightly basis for him to say dumb thing after dumb thing. He became the laughing stock of sports and Pop culture. He even inspired Saturday Night Live to write a segment where Seth McFarlane impersonated the fast swimmer in what was one of the funniest Weekend Update segments in a long time*…outside of Drunk Uncle of course. Ryan’s rise to fame led to him getting his own Reality TV show on E! called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” It’s hard to emphasize how dumb this guy actually is so please watch this video to find out for yourself:
After the rise to Super Star-dumb by Ryan Lochte, it seemed as if Florida was in the clear from any more embarrassments. Not so fast Gators because it gets a helluva lot worse. You might not have heard about it, and if you haven’t you are probably on the wrong website, but there is this guy named Aaron Hernandez who definitely murdered someone. I say it like that because he hasn’t been convicted yet but he for sure as hell will be. The former Gator/Patriot Tight End and BFF of Tim “The Tool man” Tebow, was charged with murder in the death of former semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has also been charged with five other gun-related offenses.
According to the website “The Week,” Hernandez was seen, both by witnesses and on several surveillance cameras, with the victim on the night of the murder. Cell phone geodata also showed Hernandez traveling with Lloyd and arriving at the industrial park where Lloyd’s body was found. The prosecutor further alleged witnesses in the area of that industrial park heard gunshots, and that forensic evidence indicated Hernandez and his accomplices shot Lloyd multiple times, and then, as Lloyd lay on the ground, stood over him and delivered the fatal shots. Though Hernandez destroyed surveillance equipment in his home, the prosecutor said investigators still obtained footage showing Hernandez walking through his home carrying a gun sometime after Lloyd is believed to have been shot.
So maybe Ryan Lochte is only the second dumbest University of Florida Alumni, or even the third. You see, a moronic Olympian and a murderer can destroy any school’s reputation but if you add in an angry racist tirade you find yourself as the most frowned upon Athletic Program in the country. Enter Riley Cooper. The young and talented Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver decided that it was a good idea to spit out some threatening racial slurs during an obviously too intense Kenny Chesney concert. I know that whenever I listen to Kenny Chesney all I want to do is start some hate crimes. This caught-on-camera act led to an off-season suspension and team-sanctioned racial sensitivity training. Riley did return to practice today and will start the regular season as a top-2 option for Michael Vick to throw to, but I can assure you that he will also be the #1 option for every member of every team to hit first. You’re welcome Adrian Peterson, because Riley Cooper just made the target on your back only the second biggest in the NFL.
So while the University of Florida has provided this world with some of the finest athletes ever, we can also thank them for the 3 dumbest!
*Some more Lockte laughs: http://youtu.be/85YfrQn-mFs
Every Saturday when I was young, my grandpa Herbie was glued to the TV. He is without question one of the main contributors to me being a sports-addict. These Saturdays were filled with my grandma Lila stuffing my family’s faces with delicious food as Herbie sat back and taught me all he knew about his favorite college football team: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish. I’ll be honest with you. I never had a true passion for college football because I grew up in New York where it isn’t really a big deal. Having said that, I always had a soft spot for Notre Dame for the sole reason that my grandfather found such enjoyment in watching them. Now I am not trying to look like a front-runner, but I must talk about Notre Dame’s climb back to relevance as they are now on the top of the BCS standings and only one game away from their first National Championship Game since 1988.
When the college football season started, the Irish were a 30 to 1 favorite to win the whole kit and caboodle. Entering this Saturday’s game against the USC Trojans, the Irish find themselves a remarkable 3 to 1 favorite to win it all. This match up is quite fitting considering the fact that Notre Dame is ranked #1 in world while the underachieving Trojans were the preseason #1 ranked team. Oh my, how the tables have turned. Before this past Saturday, the Irish were ranked #3 in the BCS standings, but after Baylor destroyed Kansas State and Stanford won a nail-biter against Oregon, the Irish jumped to the top of the league. It’s pretty amazing that the Irish are the only bowl-eligible undefeated team left in college, but it’s true.
The Irish weren’t the only team that benefited from Kansas State’s and Oregon’s demise; the Alabama Crimson Tide jumped back up into the drivers seat and they too are now in control of their own destiny. If the Tide win on Saturday and then win the SEC Championship game, they will face off with the Irish for the National Championship, assuming Notre Dame wins on Saturday. Rumors are already floating around the gambling world that if the National Championship game is Notre Dame vs Alabama, then it will be the most bet on game in college football history. This could be the best thing that has happened to Notre Dame athletics since Sean Astin donned the Gold and Navy Blue in the movie Rudy.
The Fighting Irish’s head coach, Brian Kelly, is not sitting lightly on his teams #1 ranking. Kelly told the Daily News, “It’s interesting, I kind of wanted to get a sense of how the players felt around this (referring to their #1 ranking), so I went to the training room when the guys were popping in today. They all to a man know that it doesn’t mean much if you’re No. 1 for just three or four days. So they understand the importance of the USC game.” I completely agree with Kelly that there is no reason to even think about the Championship game until they beat a USC team that would love to play spoiler to the Fighting Irish’s dreams.
One of the biggest highlights from this season for the Irish is the emergence of their superstar Captain, Manti Te’o. Te’o is in his senior year and is in the running for the Maxwell Award (Best Player), the Chuck Bednarik Award (Best Defensive Player) and the highly coveted Heisman Trophy. He is the true example of a team leader and Kelly considers Te’o the main reason why his defense is one of the best in the nation. Te’o is not taking these honors lightly. “I’ve never felt so strong” Te’o said. “Something my girlfriend always stressed to me was being humble and if anything, this experience has truly humbled me.” I am praying that my Jets can pick up this stud come draft time.
I honestly couldn’t explain why my grandpa, who went to City College during their point shaving days, became a die hard Notre Dame fan, so I asked him. “Since I have my Jewish heritage, the fighting Irish became my team,” Grandpa Herbie joked to me. His real reason was that the Irish were the only team that was on TV every week so he was a fan by default. I am very happy that his passion rubbed off on me and now I have a vested interest in this Saturday’s important game. Regardless of what happens on Saturday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have had an amazing year and I can only hope they finish it with a National Title. GO IRISH!!!!
The NCAA acted this morning upon the pedophile scandal that has rocked Penn State, doing what it can to send a clear message to that school and all others. The message is simple: the walls that surround a sports stadium do not protect it from outside scrutiny. Good for Mark Emmert for taking these steps and for leaving open the door for further sanctions if warranted.
A $60 million fine and a four-year ban on college bowl games sets the new low marker for penalties imposed upon schools that turn a blind eye towards sexual abuse. That is what Joe Paterno and the football program at Penn State did.It’s time to wipe away the veil of sanctimonious praise for sports programs and athletes that too often helps us all “forgive some of their troublesome indiscretions and bad decisions”.
Let us all be clear about this: shooting your mouth off at a news conference is an indiscretion; hell, shooting your own leg is an indiscretion. Child sex abuse is not an indiscretion, and if you think it is then pony up and send your kids to the nearest rape program with a smile on your face.
Good on you NCAA, and about time to see some teeth in your bite.