You may have seen the spate of Favorite Highlight posts around the SB Nation network — Team Speed Kills' Year 2 took one I really like, the Percy Harvin dash to paydirt against South Carolina in 2008 — and wondered if Alligator Army would have one. Of course we do!
But while I considered a lot of different possibilities here, like Lawrence Wright's football murder of Joey Kent, Peyton Manning's career against Florida, the christening of Ron Zook Field at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, the end of The Greatest Game Ever Played in The Swamp, and Major Wright's football murder of Manny Johnson, I knew there was really one simple answer: Tim Tebow vs. Eric Berry.
There are other videos of this, but none quite as good or visceral. And visceral is definitely the word for the hit: It was the one everyone was expecting heading into the 2009 season, in the game against Lane Kiffin's Tennessee every Florida fan wanted to win 700-0, and it happened with the score tied early in the second quarter, when fans were starting to realize a blowout in the blinding heat (this remains the hottest Florida sporting event I've ever attended, and I went to a lot of games in broiling heat this "spring") was not in the offing.
I was sitting in the north end zone; this happened at the south end of the field, but I saw it coming as Tebow scrambled and knew the collision was going to be seismic. I thought then, and sometimes think now, that Berry actually won the battle, cutting Tebow down with a tackle — it seemed, at the time, that Berry had stopped a train or a rhinoceros — but Tebow absorbs a big hit from one of the best players in college football by getting lower than Berry, keeps churning his legs, and falls forward. (And he might have given Berry a concussion — Berry's head whips back, and surely his skull rattles against his helmet — though I think wondering if Tebow had one is reasonable, too.)
In any case, this is just about the coolest thing I've ever seen live, and the HD video of it sadly disappearing from YouTube is a modern tragedy.
Now: What's your favorite Gators highlight?