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A Long December

Florida fans have been incredibly spoiled this decade and the karma police are making us pay for it with a rough December. We got two football National Championships, only to lose a shot at a third in an epic beatdown. Our coach, seemingly a Boy Wonder, has the body of a man twenty years older. Basketball gave us three Final Fours, two National Championships and three consecutive losses this month, with two coming to mid-majors. Not to mention our back-to-back National Championships being followed by back-to-back NIT flame outs. Of course, none of this compares to losing our boy Tim Tebow for good.

Between Tebow, Urban Meyer's possible permanent leave of absence and Billy Donovan being unable to find the magic touch, 2010 is not looking so hot. Of course, it could be worse. It could always be worse and maybe some humility would do us good. But, damnit, we want to win some ball games. That the three men who had the most impact on Florida athletics this decade have struggled in this long December is painful.

Watching Tebow during the Alabama game was awful, especially when Javier Arenas' interception pointed out Tebow's two glaring flaws; a slow throwing motion and reading coverages. Even worse, him breaking down, as if he nor the Gators knew what it was like to get a proper ass kicking, which happens to everyone, even Mighty Tebow. He won't be coming back around this way and you wonder if we'll ever get someone this good again. 

At the end of the decade, you can see the age showing on Billy Donovan's face. He takes pride in leading the charge for the new Catholic high school in Gainesville and two National Championships. But, he's not The Kid any more. Billy has been through a lot and it is a shame that his decade has to end with losses to Richmond and South Alabama. He can take comfort in that he is as much a part of Gainesville as the building he plays in. As a fellow Rockville Centre boy, this makes me very happy; a piece of Long Island in Alachua County.

Meyer could have been an epic bust. After all, the losses in year one to Alabama and South Carolina did not inspire confidence. We now know they inspired chest pains and paralyzing anxiety. Meyer was at his best when he faced the biggest challenges and his body was crumbling. He lost only one game to the Big Three rivals, is 2-1 in SEC title games and if he wins Friday, Meyer would be 4-0 in his career in BCS Bowl Games. Not bad for a guy who is popping Ambien just to get a few hours sleep.

Tonight is the start of another year. Tomorrow is the end of another football season. A few days later is the start of another SEC basketball season. Each is a chance to win again, even if the wins don't come as quickly as they did recently. But we'll keep winning. We'll find another superstar quarterback and our coaches are more than happy to be sacrificing the prime of their lives for The Old Boys of Florida. When you ring in the New Year tonight, be happy the long December is over. But be happy with what we have gotten and what we will get in the future.