Chris Leak, the Gators starting QB, has had what I would consider a great season thus far. He has led the Gators to a 4-0 record, helped the team along as they beat Tennessee in Knoxville last weekend, and has shown up on many Heisman hopefuls lists. Even though the season is young, only 1/3 of the way through overall, Leak has shown that he can be a capable leader of a pretty good team and a guy who is easily the best QB on our roster hands down.
During a portion of last night's game against the Kentucky Wildcats, a game that was shown to a national television audience on ESPN, Gators freshman quarterback Tim Tebow came in and busted out with consecutive running plays that amounted for many yards and put the Gators in prime scoring position. After completing this set of snaps, as Tim Tebow trotted off the field and Chris Leak ran on to sub in for him, I heard the familiar sound of booing coming from the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium crowd.
Standing in front of my bleacher seat in the Swamp, I had to stop and wonder, "are our fans really booing the entrance of Chris Leak into this game?" After a quick second of thought it came to my realization that the answer to my inquiry was yes, fans were booing the fact that Tebow exited and Chris Leak entered the game. It was at that point I realized that I was sitting amongst what could be the biggest group of knee jerk and illogical fans in college football history.
I think that We Are the Boys said it best:
You boo: the 4-0 Heisman candidate, the leader of the #5-ranked team in the nation, a week after he played the game of his life against one of the team's biggest rivals.
In favor of: a teenager who runs real fast, and isn't trusted enough by the coaches to even throw a pass.
The pretty much sums it up. Chris Leak is a fine quarterback, easily the best on our roster, probably the best in the SEC and one of the top 5 in the country. We (well, not me) booed when he entered a college football game subbing in for a freshman quarterback who has not yet proven a thing to any of us other than he can run the ball for some pretty big gains every now and then.
In order to see both sides of the story, I decided to peruse some internet fan message boards and see what came out of it. The booers justification for the incident was the disagreement regarding not allowing Tebow to finish off the drive in which he gained a lot of yards on. With this answer comes a few more questions that I think are very relevant:
- Do you know how tiring it would be to run for all those yards in the Florida humidity with big defensive players trying to bring you down? I challenge anybody to try it and then be ready to fully compete against an SEC defense on the next play.
- Were any Gator fans booing last week when Tim Tebow came in the game to obtain first downs here and there? I mean, Chris Leak had orchestrated the whole drive up until that point, why not let him finish the job?
It's really disappointing to me to see so many fans in the stands that really don't know what they're cheering/booing about. You just don't boo a coach, player or team overall when the said team is winning at home...especially on national television. It gives the intelligent fans a pretty bad name, and I think that was something that occurred last night against Kentucky.
Sometimes I do think there should be a "Football Fan 101" study hall.
Pics courtesy of GatorZone