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The Alligator Army Weekly Open Thread, Vol. CXVII

The toxicity of overreaction is getting intolerable.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Florida Gainesville Sun-USA TODAY NETWOR

Go back and read the game thread from Saturday. All the comments. I mean it.

I’ll wait.

Still waiting.

Are you back now?

Okay: We need to talk about the toxicity.

Starting in on Todd Grantham and Florida’s defense two comments in and not letting up created a simmering cauldron of negativity in a game in which Florida trailed for all of one offensive possession and won by double digits. That cauldron is not welcoming to new commenters and is not fun for veterans, something people explicitly noted in the postgame thread. And, frankly, I don’t care about how bad you, personally, think the Florida defense is, or how nervous or embarrassed (?) it made you, singular and personally, feel — I care about the larger us of the Alligator Army community (and, to an extent, Florida fans).

And I want us to get through this and every season — but this season more than any other — while still actually enjoying what we all seem to still consider our favorite team and favorite sport.

The battle lines have been drawn in regards to Grantham for two years now; the arguments for and against him have been hashed out for essentially as long. We have been yelling at each other — or arguing forcefully, in some cases — about whether Grantham is going to fashion an excellent or championship-caliber defense for Florida for longer than we did about Will Muschamp being a good head coach, as the true argument about that began midway through the 2013 season and raged until his firing.

It is exceedingly difficult to cover new ground in regards to Grantham or Florida’s defense under him at this point — and though I’m going to keep trying to find some, as that’s at least sort of my job, I don’t think most Florida fans (fairly, as they’re fed up with either Grantham or incessant criticism!) are inclined to do so.

And, to be clear: That’s fine. It’s fine to have an opinion, to have your mind made up, to feel like you need to proselytize or caution or come up with the most cunning or cutting joke when among mixed company. But if you can’t talk about anything else, and can’t say anything new or interesting about the topic, you’re perseverating, not persuading — and that is what I want to avoid.

So I’ll be wading into next week’s game thread in real time to ask those who beat any dead horses — Grantham-related or otherwise — to move on, and to hand out timeouts if necessary. To quote a guy who got made a laughingstock and then saw those jokes curdle: “It’s not funny anymore; try different jokes.”

Like, say, ones about the self-proclaimed best team in Florida losing to Tulsa while committing 18 penalties. There’s new turf there!