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Throwback Thursday: The Florida Gators need a new “Speed Kills”

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Florida’s ascent under Urban Meyer was aided by two of the coolest YouTube videos ever. A third will come.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If Florida Gators fans are going to get everything else about the Urban Meyer era in a slightly different and possibly more palatable form under Dan Mullen, shouldn’t we get new “Speed Kills” videos?

Those videos, specifically the original and the 2.0 version, were formative parts of my rooting experience in the mid-2000s.

These were cool as hell, thanks partly to the music — the imperial “The Second Coming” is one of the best-produced rap beats ever, and had previously been the backing for a similarly cool Nike Basketball spot; hard as this may be for current undergrads to believe, DJ Khaled was vaguely cool before he became a self-parody, and “Go Hard” and “Out Here Grindin” were part of a first years-long hot streak and sound fast — and partly to the highlights being the proof that Meyer’s talk of building “the fastest team in America” had come to fruition, with Gators dusting foes time and again. And back in the early days of YouTube, the lower production values weren’t much of a drawback: Nothing looked all that professional then.

But Meyer left Florida in 2010, and the mystique of Florida being the program with quicksilver athletes and cool to match walked out the door at about the same time Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey did in 2011, with Oregon and other programs rising to fill the void.

There’s a “Speed Kills 3.0” from 2012 on YouTube, but it doesn’t work for a variety of reasons. It’s too long. It mistakenly includes a lot of pre-2000s players — led by the never-that-fast Emmitt Smith, most incongruously — as a failed attempt to point to the past rather than the bleeding edge. And, most ponderously, it uses multiple CyHi the Prynce songs, including one called “Ivy League,” as musical accompaniment — and, even more incredibly, finishes with a remix of “Somebody That I Used To Know.”

If the first two “Speed Kills” videos were chest-thumpers, that attempt at a third on was the meme of Wolverine holding a picture to his chest.

And yet: There is an opening now, or in the near future, for an enterprising Florida fan — or Florida itself, given the rise of the Gators’ video department — to make a new “Speed Kills” video that works as something other than unintentional comedy or pathetic nostalgia trip.

Antonio Callaway was the first fast player (not named Andre Debose, anyway) that had been a fearsome force in the vein of Demps, Rainey, and Percy Harvin as a Gator in years, and he has been followed by Tyrie Cleveland and Malik Davis, each of whom have highlights like those that constitute the early videos. Jacob Copeland and other future Gators have the potential to make more reel-ready plays, and Mullen’s offense should create some of those explosives this fall and beyond. Set those plays to some Kodak Black — “Transportin’” is the painfully obvious choice — or “Look Alive” or whatever hot song that sounds fast drops this or next summer or fall, and the bones of a new hype video that actually works to hype up Florida’s speed are present for the first time in years.

I’m not nearly skilled enough with video editing to make that video. I’m not sure that there will be enough material to make the video without betraying the concept this year. I don’t think that a half-assed “Speed Kills” video accomplishes anything.

But I can promise you that when there is enough tape of Florida being fast as hell to produce a fully fleshed-out video, there will absolutely be a market for it — and that Florida, or a Gators fan, should meet that need.

Throwback Thursday is a new feature intended to look back at something from the Florida Gators’ past — not necessarily the long-ago past — and celebrate, explain, or mark distance from it. It runs on Thursdays.