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The Alligator Army Weekly Open Thread, Vol. LXVII

It’s been a while since one of these. Whoops!

University of Florida Introduces Dan Mullen Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Hi. We’re back. That was a fun break, wasn’t it?

First: I do have to say that I’m sorry for not posting more over the last couple of weeks, personally. It’s been all on me — leli has had to take a step back from posting, about which more later — and I’ve been dealing with some wicked insomnia, so I took the last fortnight or so to get my bearings and take a break from the grind of daily posting.

Mostly, that has meant not having to opine on how adults are reacting to 17-year-olds maybe not wanting to play sports for the adults’ favorite teams. And I fear I missed my chance to write a sweeping condemnation of our communal fascination with recruiting pegged to either Mycah Pittman suggesting that Florida coaches might not be saying the same thing to him and their current players or California-native players choosing USC over Florida.

I’m also supremely confident that such a condemnation would be preaching to the choir rather than reaching those who need to hear it.

More generally, as Jason Kirk noted on Monday, “very little has happened this offseason, news-wise.” And that is true for Florida, too.

What’s the biggest thing that has happened for Florida since the Orange and Blue Game, really? No one remaining on the roster got arrested or so seriously injured as to jeopardize participation in the 2018 season, and the arrest of signee Justin Watkins did not prevent him from enrolling — nor did academics prevent any of the rest of Florida’s 2018 class from reporting to Gainesville. The players who have transferred to or from Florida since the spring profile as potential backups, so they’re minor news hits at best. We’re still, hilariously and/or absurdly, waiting to hear whether Trevon Grimes and/or Van Jefferson will be eligible to play this fall, though everything points to Jefferson’s clearance being all but official and recent rules relaxations are probably a good sign for Grimes, and the holding pattern on both wideouts has been in place since January.

Writing something new or insightful about the Florida Gators is what I try to do when I write about them. Doing that based on a development from this year since, like, April is nigh impossible, I think — partly because I think overreacting to recruiting, good or bad, midway through a cycle doesn’t count — and if I sense myself straining to do that by reaching for an outlandish conclusion or rehashing quotes other sources obtained without the context the obtainers have, I recoil from the task.

But I do also get that you might want to talk about the Gators here, and me posting new news articles helps give you a place to do that. I haven’t done that, lately. Sorry about that.

Today, we’ll get something new to talk about from Florida’s trip to SEC Media Days, and I’m going to be posting about that even though I strongly suspect no one from Florida’s is going to say something truly important. (If you want to ruminate on whether Aung San Suu Kyi is besmirching her legacy by not doing more to stop the Burmese persecution of the Rohingya or something, Cece Jefferson, I say go for it!) The next step in Florida’s switch to Jordan Brand comes tonight, too, with a uniform unveiling I think is going to primarily consist of showing off the fact that Nike can sew the Jumpman logo onto the same parts of a jersey and pants that it once adorned with a swoosh. I’ll be posting about that, too.

And I’ll be posting more — and not just about football — over the next few weeks, too, as I’ve got some ideas lined up. And when August comes, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say as a means of previewing the 2018 season.

I’m doing this alone again, though, and I only have so much to say. I’ve been saying so many of the same things for eight years — I’ve been doing this for eight years, good Tebow — that I just don’t always feel like sinking into the mud every time posting might require a trip to the mire. Taking time off as a semi-sabbatical has helped me fight that feeling — even if it’s literally not helped me sleep better — but it will assuredly stay with me.

But: I also finally have some semblance of a (small) budget to pay contributors for their contributions. And I want to spend SB Nation’s money on helping people who want to write well do so. And so: If you want to write well about the Gators for Alligator Army — or, perhaps, if you want to handle some or all of the social media for various @AlligatorArmy accounts — email me or find me on Twitter (or, gulp, on Facebook) or something and we’ll figure out if that makes sense.


Okay. Break over.