I'd begin this post with puns, but once you start me up, I'll never stop1, so I'll just pass on the news here: The Florida Gators' trip to Omaha came on the Rolling Stones' charter jet, Scott Carter writes in a thoroughly fun blog post over at GatorZone.
If you’re wondering how the Gators ended up leaving for Omaha on Thursday as passengers on the Stones’ plane, more coincidence and the machinations of the charter jet business than anything else.
The Stones played at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Tuesday night, and flew to Orlando early Wednesday for their show Friday night at the Citrus Bowl. They don’t play again until next Wednesday in Nashville, so with a weekend off in Florida, the plane was bid out for other charter flights.
The NCAA, in conjunction with an independent charter travel company, arranges flights for the eight schools and their traveling parties to get to Omaha. As it turns out, the Stones’ plane matched Florida’s criteria, was close by and most importantly, available.
The NCAA's practice of arranging travel for postseason competitions often results in oddities like this. It's long been a bone to pick for some college basketball coaches, with a dwindling number of charter flights making the 2015 NCAA Tournaments a charter flight from California to the D.C. area with regional victors — and Super Regional opponents — Virginia and Maryland on it.
But the real draw of the post is Carter, a Stones diehard, dealing with having tickets to see the band itself in Orlando on Friday and missing the opportunity to fly on the plane that was no doubt the setting for more than a few legendary stories the Stones tell.
Oh, and this tweet happened:
Okay, fine: The Gators will be trying and trying to get satisfaction in Omaha, but you can't always get what you want.
(If they win the title, though? Buy the jet. I want to paint it orange and blue.)