Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. At least that's what King Henry IV said. Worried about keeping his son away from the throne, Henry knew the burdens that come with being a leader. In the past week the Gators have also experienced some uneasiness. Follow me as we track the Alligator Haters...
--- The namesake of my second child, Joakim Noah, was suspended one game for yelling at his assistant coach. But that wasn't enough as his teammates unanimously decided to suspend him for a second game. So far, Noah and the Bulls have said all the right things concerning the punishment. Noah (seen here being taped by a handsome guy in a orange shirt after the 2006 title) has apologized and accepted his punishment. Bulls' vets Adrian Griffin and Ben Wallace, the guys who called for the vote, have said they want Noah to be a contributing member of the struggling squad.
Since I'm a homer when it comes to New Yorkers associated with the Gators, I'm giving Noah the benefit of the doubt. He went from playing for national titles with his best friends to a team in a free fall where he only plays 12 minutes a night. Forget the college to pro transition, Noah is experiencing a worth transition. How many other Final Four MOPs are 10th men as a rookie? Adding fuel to the fire, if you pull Noah's stats out to 48 minutes, he'd average 16.5 points and 12.2 rebounds. Yes, the 48 minutes stat isn't perfect. But at least it proves Jo is contributing when he is on the floor. I hope this can blow over, but give the Bulls credit for throwing Noah under the bus rather than disciplining him in house. Maybe they should have suspended their overrated point guard too.
--- Recruiting season is a dirty business and two incidents involving the Gators have added to that. First was the move of running backs coach Stan Drayton to Tennessee. That was followed by this flame throwing piece which includes one person on record (a Gator RB kicked out of school for failed drug tests) and an author's note basically saying don't hate me for sitting on an interview and only using it when it would get the most attention.
The people who think Urban is evil will also look to the failed courting of Ohio o-lineman Zebrie Sanders. Sanders apparently waited too long to decide on UF and there were no spots left for him. Georgia, who was also in the hunt, is out of scholarships for the 6-6 270 pounder. That has lead Sanders to settling between FSU and UCLA. Did UF do the right thing and sign kids on before knowing Sanders intent? Depends on what they said to him. Sanders' father is under the impression that the Gators were holding a spot for him. As a Gator fan, I think the team did the right thing. But looking at it from the perspective of a high school senior, I'm not so sure. Sanders had people telling him how great he is and that everyone would want to watch his commitment on TV. He gets sucked into the hype and now he end up having to choose criminals or a degenerate gambler. That sucks.
--- Saturday night, Tom Brady parted Boston Harbor and led the Patriots to the AFC Championship game with a 31-20 win over Jacksonville. The game proved that among quarterbacks who got their ex-girlfriend pregnant and now spend weekends with a Victoria's Secret model, Brady is untouchable. But our boy Reggie Nelson was not impressed.
"It was a check down game," Nelson said, suggesting that most of Brady's completions were short and underneath the pass coverage. "Anybody can go 26-of-28 in a dump-down game."
Nelson gets a pass from me because we were both upset he did not decapitate Randy Moss. Of course Reg took a shot from Kissing Suzy Kolber who attributes Reg's comments to his inability to be impressed by anything.
It's amazing that even in what we would consider a down year Florida can still be all over the headlines. It may not always be good headlines, but at least we're relevant. Plus, I got to reference the Red Hot Chili Peppers and classic literature in one story. That's got to get me on the Pulitzer watch list.