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The Dream Dies

I was 11 when Tommie Frazier ran over Florida hearts, so Mark Ingram's 190 yards of offense and three touchdowns are the worst thing that has happened in my life as a Gator. Tonight's 32-13 loss by Florida to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game is the worst loss in Florida's history. Not because it's a blowout, or because Tim Tebow cried (Goddamn I did not want to see that), but because Florida's only accomplishment this season was a division title.

There is no one to blame for today. When you play in a Championship Game, sometimes the other guy will just hit harder, get every bounce and call, and win. You can make the case for a lack of focus (Carlos Dunlap's mistake, the poor tackling, dropped passes), but these are 18-22 year olds. You can never expect a college athlete to be perfect. And that is perfect in the sense of actions, not record.

I feel sorry tonight for all the little boys and girls with number 15 jerseys, who are asking their parents why Florida lost today. It is a hard thing to watch your hero not come through. Tebow is still the best player in Florida history, Brandon Spikes is still the best linebacker, and Joe Haden is still a future pro. This was one night and it will hurt for a while. But it is still one night of many. In the eternal history of Florida Football, there will be epic wins and epic losses. There will be seasons that end with crystal balls, Outback steaks and coal. There are as many blades of grass on Florida Field as there have been days of Florida Football. Not all of those days will be good.

In the Spring, life will begin again with John Brantley. As for now, it all sucks. But the Dream will begin another day.