PGA Tour pro Chris DiMarco will serve as the celebrity Mr. Two Bits for Florida's Saturday night clash with Arkansas, GatorZone announced on Thursday. And that's weird.
Don't get me wrong: DiMarco was a three-time All-American at Florida, was the SEC's Player of the Year in 1990, contributed to the Gators winning an SEC title in 1989 by winning medalist honors at the SEC Championships, and has repped Gator Nation long since leaving Gainesville. He'll do a great job of getting the crowd fired up, because he's going to be fired up.
But, well: He's not a big name, right? He barely moves the meter?
Following up Errict Rhett and Danny Wuerffel is a hard task Florida's University Athletic Association set up for DiMarco, but it set itself up for this by picking two huge names to get a fledgling tradition off the ground. Florida's got one running back definitively better than Rhett in its history, and no quarterbacks definitively better than Wuerffel — plus, you obviously can't waste those huge names, like Emmitt Smith and Tim Tebow, on a middling Arkansas team.
That obviously begs the question of why Florida tabbed Rhett and Wuerffel as its first two celebrity Mssrs. Two Bits, though. Is the endgame for this program to just use Tebow for this year's finale against Florida State and then not bring it back, or is it making this a permanent part of the Florida pregame, which would require a lot more long-term planning than we've seen?
You can credit the UAA for doing a lot of great long-view things during Jeremy Foley's tenure, but it sometimes gets the short-term things — like grounding cheerleaders out of an almost patronizing concern for safety — rather wrong. The way the UAA is handling its casting of Gators greats as Mr. Two Bits is a suggestion to me that this may fall into the latter category.
On the bright side, Albert's definitely still got his Mr. Two Bits get-up.