Monday night, I saw this tweet from former Gator football player and sports radio host Brady Ackerman;
Joker Phillips said Tebow was a goon? Called out UF? I guess he thinks he's the next Lane Kiffin. Maybe he was "taken out of context".
Immediately, I wondered where he got this from. If Kentucky coach Joker Phillips was so aggressive towards the Gators, surely every basement dwelling blogger and Gator beat writer would be all over it. Ackerman got it from this interview, which I originally saw on Team Speed Kills, when a Gator fan writer posted it. Let's take a look at Phillips' quote, which makes it into Ackerman's definition of Lane Kiffinesque.
CBS: Do you sense an opening at Florida with Urban Meyer's status up in the air?
Phillips: "Obviously, Florida won't be the same. They had a goon playing at quarterback. Usually the goon is the offensive or defensive lineman. They've had a goon at quarterback. That guy is a great leader.
"He could play anywhere. He's a coach on the field. He's one of those guys who rarely comes around. Now with him being gone you hope that they take a step back. They will, definitely, in leadership."
Note that the question was about Urban Meyer, a current Gator. Phillips responded by talking about Tim Tebow, a former Gator. Was that calling out UF or Tebow? Is it calling out UF to say they won't be the same with John Brantley, or that UF will miss Tebow's leadership? And isn't Phillips, as a division rival, acting like a normal coach when he hopes that UF takes a step back and someone else (like Kentucky) wins the division? What about this quote implies any excessive negativity towards Florida? Is it anywhere close to Lane Kiffin guaranteeing a victory against Florida ("singing Rocky Top all night long...") or accusing Meyer of cheating? No way.
The other part is Phillips calling Tebow a, "goon." Ackerman apparently takes issue with this, ignoring Phillips calling Tebow, "a great leader...a coach on the field...one of those guys who rarely comes around." I am assuming that Phillips is calling Tebow, "a goon," in the same way that I called Tebow, "a lunatic," or "Cold Blooded" Brandon James. Tebow isn't really a goon or lunatic, just like Brandon James is not a cold blooded killer. But they play that way. In an aggressive and violent game, wouldn't you want the goon on your team?
The final point is that Phillips is doing what Derek Dooley and Skip Holtz did in their new positions; fire up the base, while being as respectful as possible. Phillips is a former UK player who has embraced his new role and appreciates the history of being the first black coach at the first SEC school with black football players. He is excited and speaks about the need to recruit in Florida and Cincinnati, while selling the SEC to recruits. After all that, Ackerman paints Phillips, "as a guy who thinks he has it all figured out." I hope Ackerman based that opinion on the access his credentials get him, not on one interview or a quote, "taken out of context."