I have meant to write this more than a few times this season — before the first game the Florida Gators played, before their games against Charleston Southern and Kentucky, and even earlier this week — but my expectations and my hopes for this fall are and were different.
And my expectations are, well, not binding? I didn’t really know what to expect from this team in its first year in a new system before seeing that system run by this team in a non-spring game setting, and I have calibrated my assessments of this team based on two wildly different results thus far this year.
I still think Florida was really good against Charleston Southern.
I also think Florida was really bad against Kentucky.
But my hope for this team? It really boils down to one thing. A silly thing, even.
I just want this team to win enough that it can get a season highlight set to Jay Rock’s “WIN.”
“WIN” is one of the best songs of the year, in my estimation — it’s not the best Jay Rock song of the year, because “King’s Dead” came out this year and you can skip Future’s verse — and, moreover, it is a fantastic sports song. Buoyed by victorious marching-band horns and skittering snares, it sounds like a championship parade.
And, surprise, people in sports have picked up on that. It’s on the Madden NFL 19 soundtrack, was in a major NBA 2K19 trailer, and has been used as an instrumental bed in ESPN bumpers. It’s a tad NSFW, sure, and not exactly circumspect about the wages of winning — part of the hook is “Fuck everything else / Win, win, win, win” — or politically correct — whatever that means, at this point in human history.
But as tunes for triumph go, you’re not beating “WIN” in 2018.
And so, again: I just want Florida to do enough this year to make a highlight reel with “WIN” underneath or over it, instrumental or clean or dirty, less than totally laughable.
Florida probably won’t be a 10-win team or champion of anything this fall. It is probably going to get stomped by Mississippi State and Georgia, and faces a bunch of other decent-to-good SEC teams. A winning record for these Gators is not assured.
Still, it’s my hope that it’s possible — and that this team, even if it is not a 10-win team or a champion of anything, can set a foundation for more successful teams that could get hailed with triumphant trumpets down the road.
Today, against Colorado State (4 p.m. Eastern, SEC Network or ESPN+ or WatchESPN), Florida should win — win, win, win, win. I expect that and hope for it, and I don’t think I’m wrong to do either.