Florida coach Jim McElwain reaches back 31 years for his April Fool’s joke

By Adam Silverstein
April 1, 2016
Florida coach Jim McElwain reaches back 31 years for his April Fool’s joke
Football

Image Credit: GatorVision

Though some have criticized Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain on not being the most forthcoming during his media availabilities, there’s no questioning that the guy has a sense of humor.

So with McElwain speaking to the media on April Fool’s Day, he was bound to reference the occasion in some manner. His choice was recalling a sports journalism hoax from 1985 that, while tremendous at the time, could never be pulled off today.

“We’re still not going to unveil Sidd Finch to anybody,” McElwain said with a grin. “He’s going to be held out of all public viewing until we get to the UMass game.”

Sidd Finch, subject of Sports Illustrated‘s “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” was plucked out of obscurity and became national name on April 1, 1985 when his tale was told by the magazine. Raised in an English orphanage, Finch spent time in Tibet and could reach 168 miles per hour on his fastball, according to author George Plimpton, who noted that Finch was on the precipice of joining the New York Mets.

Last year, ESPN produced a great 30 for 30 Short on the Finch fiasco, which is highly recommended viewing (see below).

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