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Chomping at Bits: Florida football is fun again, but Gainesville is living in fear

For Gators fans, this weekend brought a welcome step forward on the field, and unwelcome fear off of it.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chomping at Bits comes stocked with the best Florida Gators links and news we can find. Got a link we should check out? Email us at, subject line CAB, or find us on Twitter at @AlligatorArmy or on Facebook at

Florida football is fun again: Awwwwwwwww, yeah. (Paul Sjoberg, Our Two Bits)

They won, and then they celebrated: It's been a long, long time coming. (Scott Carter, GatorZone)

Three plays that defined Florida's offense: Good breakdowns here. (Jeff Barlis, ESPN)

Florida vs. Eastern Michigan replay: Split up by quarter and not on ESPN3. (Noonkick)

Why no NFL team wants Tim Tebow... ...or the most ridiculous thing I've read this week. (Steve Matoren, Medium)

Florida to hold student watch party for Florida-Alabama in Champions Club: I'm very, very jealous right now. (GatorZone)

A special note

One of the reasons I hate using words like "inexcusable" or "unacceptable" when talking about sports? When we use them in relation to things we would rather our teams or players not do on the field, I think we cheapen our responses to things that are actually unacceptable in society.

One of those things is sexual violence. And, tragically, there's been some of that — any is too much — in Gainesville over the last several days.

It started last Saturday, in the wake of Florida's cancelled game with Idaho, when two women were assaulted, allegedly by the same man, who attempted to sexually batter them, one north of campus, one on 13th Street. It continued early Friday morning, when another woman was attacked near Library West. Sunday night, another woman was attacked — this time near McCarty Hall.

It's not clear if all of the incidents are related, though Gainesville police have indicated that the first two likely are, with the third possibly related to the first two, and released video and photos of someone they term "very much a person of interest" in at least the first two attacks. The suspect from last Saturday's attacks was described as a white male, 20-30 years old, 6'3" or taller, ~250 pounds, of medium build, possibly with a large stomach, per GPD; the suspect from Sunday's attack was described as a white male, 6'1", 185 pounds, wearing an orange tee shirt, black gym shorts and a black baseball cap.

If you have any information, GPD asks that you call 352-392-1111.

But if you don't have any information, here's what you and I can — should — do.

We should place doing no harm to others at the top of your priorities list. We should realize — or learn, or accept — that violence in search of sex is cruel, inhumane criminality, and that trivializing it is wrong, and damaging. We should do what we can to promote the safety of all people — not just women — because safety is crucial to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We should take some time today to think about how terrifying it is for women to live on a campus that suddenly features the fear of unwanted assault — always, disappointingly, an element of living in a society with men who want to take things — as its defining characteristic. Ask a friend, a classmate, your mother. Listen. Seek to understand, not to explain; to support, not to stand idle. Go to the rally at the Plaza of the Americas tonight, and don't dismiss what you hear.

We should teach our sons that victimizing women — anyone, really — in this way is wrong, no matter what, and that it cannot be supported. We should teach our daughters that, while protecting themselves is common sense, being victimized by a criminal is never their fault, and reassure them that you will support them if the unthinkable happens. (We should consider that the binary of sons and daughters is unfairly limiting, and often used here and elsewhere for its simplicity, though the complexity of gender goes well beyond two choices.)

We should recognize that pursuing perfection can be an impediment to doing good, and do better by the people in your life, in general, even if you can't be perfect. We only have so many days. We should endeavor to make as many happy and as few sad as we can.

We shouldn't do all this just today. I won't.

The comments are yours.