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The Dark Side Of Championship Mode

The whole point of Championship Mode is to be in a mental state that you are not used to, in order to bring success for your team. This was my thinking leading into the Tennessee game Saturday, as I made sure to drink my usual Championship Mode menu of two Michelob Lights, Gatorades and eat a hot dog from St. Augustine Church. Then, I watched our beloved quarterback jump around in the pocket like an electric football player and our offensive coordinator act like he had not seen game film on Tennessee.

I was joined by Brother Louis, Hanson and Timmy C in cursing our offense and wondering if Steve Addazio had been replaced with Ed Zaunbrecher. When Florida was forced to kick a field goal with 51 seconds left in the first half, I decided to let Addazio know that he should remove his head from the place where bowel movements come from. I may have also accused him of not liking women. Anyway, it was an inspired rant. However, I was in an area of the student section where everyone was quiet, people were sitting down in the first half (it was hot, but you do not sit on the student side in the first half), and my outburst had upset the delicate sensibilities of the middle-aged Gator fan sitting in his portal box.

About 10 seconds later, a UPD cop came up the stairs and asked me to follow him under the stands. When he said he would eject me from the game, I said, "Just for yelling?"

Cop: "Well, did you drink at all before the game?"

Me: "Well, yeah."

Cop: "Then you could be arrested for being drunk and disorderly."

Me: "But I was just yelling!"

Luckily for me, the cop has realized I am not drunk or even buzzed. (At this point in the day, I'd probably sweated out the Gatorade and beer anyway.) However, he said someone complained and that I shouldn't say things that I would not say around my Mother. After that, the cop let me go back to my seat, at which time I realized who complained about me to the cops. This guy would spend the rest of the day glaring at me when ever I yelled. (I should also note here that Timmy C's wife had told another cop that she was my girlfriend, in an effort to make sure I wasn't actually arrested. I was honored she would have fallen on the sword for me and followed me out of the stadium.) Fearing that any curse word I used would get me kicked out, I spent the rest of the game fairly quiet. It did help that Florida only scored 10 points the rest of the way.

Now, we have all been to games with obnoxious people. Some of you may be that person. But, if I'm on the student side, don't I have the ability to work blue? I wasn't saying anything rude towards people in my section, there were no kids around and I was not drinking. And it's not like I casually use curse words, aside from using an occasional PG-13 word on this website. That said, my outburst was probably my best freakout since the ACC Refs Game when I told a FSU fan he would be flipping hamburgers his whole life and he was a waste of a person. I could see why someone complained, but if you're in the student section, no one will be acting like choir boys. To use another example, it would have been like giving warnings to everyone who chanted, "F--k Lane Kiffin" during the game.

This brings up my final point. Among my group of friends, the Tennessee game was seen as a disappointment. To the rest of my section, it was seen as domination or an acceptable win. This is the result of a student body spoiled with championships and they don't know the horror or losing to Tennessee at home and Mississippi State on the road. In fact, some have tried to compare the 2008 and 2009 games to make the point that things aren't so bad. Really? So I can make the case then that since UF won 59-20 in 2007, Tennessee has improved in the Tebow Era and Florida's gotten worse? Or is that as stupid as comparing the 2008 Gators (with Lou Murphy, Percy Harvin, Dan Mullen) to the 2009 Gators (with the flu and Steve Addazio). The fact is that this performance was not acceptable, not the third game into the season. Florida may win a National Championship but it won't happen without aggressive playcalling and a fan base that expects real results.