The Silver Lining for Wednesday, July 16

What is this?

This is something I have wanted to bring to OnlyGators.com for a while, a weekly column combining opinion, entertainment and information. Seeing as this is still the offseason – and today also happens to be my birthday – I felt there was no better time than the present to begin The Silver Lining, which will be posted every Wednesday right here on OnlyGators.com. The format may change as the concept develops, and suggestions are both respected and appreciated.

Unprecedented success

The “football school” tag was removed from the Florida Gators long ago, but it is nevertheless noteworthy how much of an impact head basketball coach Billy Donovan has made not just on the school but the NBA as well.

Consider this: On Tuesday, forward Chandler Parsons officially became the best-paid former Florida basketball player in school history (based on average salary) when he signed a three-year, $46 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks. He will earn $14.7 million next year, $15.4 million in 2015-16 and $16.1 million in 2016-17; the latter two salaries are the highest ever scheduled to be paid to a player out of UF.

Consider this, also: During the 2014-15 season, the Gators will have four players earning $12 million or more from their respective NBA teams including Parsons, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee ($15.0 million), Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah ($12.2 million) and Atlanta Hawks F/C Al Horford ($12.0 million).


Additionally, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who two years ago was selected No. 3 overall in the draft, will make $5.7 million as he is still on his rookie deal.

At the conclusion of the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26, there was a ridiculous groundswell of comments pointing out how great of coach Donovan was because he took a group of seniors, none of which were selected that day, all the way to the Final Four. Donovan was a tremendous coach long before this year’s draft and he is likely to remain one for the rest of his career. The Gators had NBA talent on that team, and you will see at least one (C Patric Young) but likely two (point guard Scottie Wilbekin) play in the league at some point.

Vernon Hargreaves III will be remembered

Florida’s had plenty of tremendous cornerbacks take their careers through Ben Hill Griffin Stadium over the years but none was as prepared for their success as sophomore Vernon Hargreaves III has already proven to be.

From the moment he opened eyes with an interception in each of his first three career college football games, though he did not snatch one out of the air the rest of the year, Hargreaves has been poised and professional with a team-first, me-second mindset.

That serves him well with the coaching staff. Head coach Will Muschamp credits his mom (intelligence) and dad (preparedness) for Hargreaves’s maturity. “He’s a guy that’s got a burning desire to be really, really good,” Muschamp said. “He’s in the film room constantly. He’s correcting himself. He’s coachable. All the intangible things you want a player to have, he possesses.”

It is one of those intangibles – leadership – that made Muschamp comfortable enough to bring the second-year player to the 2014 Southeastern Conference Media Days on Monday. That quality also appears to be affecting the team chemistry.

Hargreaves was quick to dismiss talk about his potential greatness on Monday, instead concentrating on his teammates’ ability to break out next season.

Roommates with troubled sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson this spring and summer, Hargreaves sang his praises on Monday. “You heard it here first. He is that good,” Hargreaves said of Robinson to FOX Sports columnist Bruce Feldman.

And how did he respond when asked about starting redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel? “I think he’s the best quarterback in the country,” Hargreaves said.

Even Driskel was taken aback. “That’s a pretty bold statement for the first 10 minutes of media day,” he noted. “I like the confidence that the defense has in me. … Coming from a guy like Vernon, that’s a huge compliment. I can’t wait until this fall to show it.”

This is a second-year player that may be his team’s best talent, leader and character-builder. Sounds like someone else who graduated in 2009, doesn’t it?

Give him a break

Speaking of Driskel, perhaps it is time fans lay off this guy…at least for two more months until he has the opportunity to put some 2014 tape together.

Let’s look at some of the adversity Driskel has faced in his career trajectory since joining Gators, in chronological order:

1. Committed to Florida, only to have one of the primary reasons (Urban Meyer and his spread offense) leave the program.
2. Stayed with the Gators under a brand new, inexperienced head coach (Will Muschamp) with the promise that a top-notch offensive mind (Charlie Weis) will be there to develop him like Tom Brady.
3. Forced to play before he’s ready as a freshman against Alabama, in a game that appeared to be planned out for John Brantley to succeed.
4. Injured his ankle after six attempts against the Crimson Tide, ceding his backup role to Jacoby Brissett, who was equally ill-prepared to play.
5. Began second season with a second offensive coordinator (Brent Pease) in as many years.
6. Went 11-1 during the regular season in 2012, amassing 12 touchdowns to one interception in his first seven games.
7. Struggled mightily against Georgia and Louisville with mental mistakes the primary issue.
8. Opened 2013 with the same coordinator but without a top offensive weapon (Andre Debose) and lineman (Chaz Green).
9. Completed 77.3 percent of his passes in the season opener.
10. Threw for a career-high 291 yards at Miami (mental mistakes cost him again).
11. Broke his ankle early against Tennessee in the third game of the season on a play that just happened to be a pick-six, putting an even more sour taste in fans’ mouths.
12. Enters 2014 with his third offensive coordinator (Kurt Roper) in four seasons. Will finally play in a spread offense that utilizes his mobility, one of the primary reasons he committed to Florida in the first place (see 1).

Taking all of that into consideration, does he perhaps deserve the opportunity to get to Sept. 20 (at Alabama) to work things out and take his best shot at one of the premier programs in the nation?

Not Only Gators I: Derek Jeter and Tony Gwynn

I am an unabashed Derek Jeter fan and was moved more than once during the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night. That’s what happens when you grow up rooting for the New York Yankees, watching some of the greatest to ever play the game. It is tough to believe the Core Four will all be retired at the end of the season with Jorge Posada, Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera and now Jeter hanging up their cleats…and Tuesday night was just a reminder of how special that group was for the Yankees.

But as much as I enjoyed the honoring of Jeter, was perturbed by Adam Wainwright’s inappropriately-timed comment and laughed at a single fan chanting “overrated” only to have Jeter power a double to right field and shut him up just like he has so many other doubters in his career, MLB dropped the ball in a major way.

As important as Jeter is to the game – and guys from New York understandably get more attention, deserved or not, than others in the league – MLB lost another good guy just one month ago in Tony Gwynn…and did not mention him once during the broadcast.

Certainly omitting Gwynn was not purposeful on MLB’s part; the league had no reason whatsoever to leave his memory out of the festivities. But it is nevertheless a major slight and very difficult to fathom how MLB could forget to honor another one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Not Only Gators II: Carmelo Anthony

While we’re on the subject of New York sports, the notion that Carmelo Anthony only went back to the Knicks because the franchise could offer him the most money – a maximum of $129 million over five years – is lazy and ill-conceived. While New York’s monetary advantage was certainly a major consideration in Anthony’s decision, the Knicks also happened to be the second-best winning option for one of the most continuously underrated players in the NBA.

Chicago had the best roster with Noah and Derrick Rose leading the pack but would have been forced to gut the rest of its team just to offer him a deal that fell well short or the maximum. Anthony would have been taking a more significant pay cut than LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did to play in Miami a few years ago – and those three mitigated that reduction in salary with Florida’s lack of state income tax. And while the Bulls would have given Anthony his best surrounding cast and chance to win an NBA title in his career, there are absolutely no guarantees in sports or this world in general, especially when it comes to Rose’s knees.

Neither Houston nor Dallas were serious contenders for his services. The Los Angeles Lakers were, mostly because Anthony wanted to use them as leverage to force New York into a sign-and-trade with Chicago if he decided to make that his destination. “You better trade me to the Bulls so I can get the max, otherwise I’ll leave for the Lakers and you will not get anything.” Los Angeles offered Anthony the max over four years ($97 million), but the organization does not have a head coach, features an older superstar in Kobe Bryant making $25 million over each of the next two seasons on its roster, and is in no better position to win today than the Knicks.

So in the end, Anthony decided to stay in New York. Insinuating that he did not “put winning first” when making that choice is asinine when one considers what he is returning to with the Knicks.

For all its struggles over the last 15 years, mostly due to ownership, New York finally has direction. Phil Jackson is at the helm and has already supplied Anthony the best point guard (Jose Calderon) he has teamed with in his NBA career. Jackson plans to use a ton of open cap space in 2015-16, plus Calderon’s influence, to land arguably the best center Anthony would have ever played with (Marc Gasol) next offseason. And because Anthony gave the Knicks a $5 million discount over the life of his contract, Jackson will have even more flexibility to sign players.

Did Anthony put money or winning first? It doesn’t matter. He made the best decision.

Not Only Gators III: The successful return of 24

Four years after season eight concluded, 24 bounced back this season with Live Another Day, a 12-episode version of the iconic series that picked right up where the old one left off in terms of intensity, plot twists and Jack Bauer awesomeness.

Many forget that 24 truly kicked off the popularization of serialized dramas on television back in 2001. It was a completely original concept that had viewers on the edge of their seats for 60-straight minutes. There were cliffhangers going into commercial breaks, major characters killed off every season and twists that made the show as fun to talk about as it was to watch each week.

That is why, after missing the first two seasons and watching season three week-by-week with friends, I was able to catch up on the first two in just a 72-hour span during the summer of 2003. When you consider that is approximately 1,920 minutes (32 hours) of television watched in three days, you can tell I was addicted.

The 12-episode reincarnation of 24 this year did not get the ratings or national respect of its 24-episode predecessors, but it was nevertheless entertaining and a seamless return to form for the series. Here’s hoping FOX brings it back in 2015.

This Week’s Trailer I

SEC Storied: The Believer (Steve Spurrier):

This Week’s Trailer II

Premature:

The Top 5 List
From the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska…

Trite formats not considered for the name of this column:
1. Mr. __________
2. Dr. __________
3. [Day of the Week] __________
4. Another Florida Gators-related phrase
5. A play on my last name

Thanks for reading.

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33 Responses to “The Silver Lining for Wednesday, July 16”

  1. Drew says:

    24 was amazing. If this is the way it ends for good I’d be ticked. I didn’t discover it until 2012 on Netflix, but was able to watch 8 seasons in a very short time

  2. Fernzpat says:

    Totally agree on Driskel! Gwynn not getting a moment of silence was criminal.

  3. Joe says:

    First, Happy Birthday Adam! I hope you spend your day doing something FANTASTIC. Second, this segment is something I have wanted to see for a while. We rarely get your opinion on this site. I know it’s because you take a professional non-biased approach to your journalism – something that is incredibly respectable in a sea of opiniative sites. The reality is, due to your professionalism, the readers on this site have come to appreciate your opinions and enjoy the discourse. It’s obvious through the thousands of comments and questions directed your way. I believe this is a great addition and look forward to seeing more.

  4. Fernzpat says:

    Dang it! Forgot to say “Happy Birthday”!

  5. sjkoepp says:

    Happy Birthday Adam!This is a great day for gator nation and pop culture enthusiasts. Grantland only goes so far, and it’s great to get some perspective from someone so close to the gators. Definitely will be looking forward to this in the future.

  6. Steve says:

    HBD! I always like reading your thoughts on football and other stuff because I feel like we’re on the same page 80% +… I was disappointed in how 24 ended. I really enjoyed the Al-Harazi arc, and then how they used it to get to Navarro/Adrian Cross as new baddies. But then to use them just to get to Cheng working in concert with the Russians? It all felt very rushed and not built up at all. Plus for all the fan service they did to bring back past beefs with the Russians and the Chinese, the least they could’ve done was teased Tony Almeida.

    Also, loved the Letterman reference at the end there. Keep up the good work!

    • You have to remember that it’s a day of twists in 12 shows, not 24, so they got stuck. They didn’t want to reduce the twists but they also couldn’t go as in-depth on each one. I think killing Audrey brought it all back around and the Russia storyline will work great if the show comes back next year.

    • First (and potentially only) one to get the Letterman reference.

  7. 305Gator says:

    Happy B-day Adam.
    Can’t wait to see Driskel in the spread under the Roper system. There will hang our season, you know the D will be solid we just need to score points and more points.
    MLB did slight Gwynn, wonder why.
    Melo had a much better chance of winning in Chicago. He goes back to the Knicks with Calderon, no big difference. This season the Knicks will be about the same as last year while most other East teams got better and the Heat got worse but is still better than the Knicks.
    Sorry to go against your NYC centric view on your birthday but it is what it is.
    Go Gators.

    • No big difference between Calderon and Felton?! Major difference. Plus a better coach and system, good rookie in Early, second year for Hardaway. If healthy, Knicks will finish top 5 in East with Cleveland, Chicago, Washington, Miami and Indiana.

  8. Ken (CA) says:

    HBD – and 45th Anniv. of Apollo 11 launch as well! coincidence? I’d like to think not!

  9. Frank says:

    Happy Birthday Adam!

    (btw, I’m pretty sure Neal Walk was drafted No. 2 behind Kareem)

  10. Michael J. says:

    Enough with the excuses for why Driskel sucks. As for 2012, even Muschamp said he was just a “caretaker”, so he didn’t lead the Gators to anything, he was only along for the ride. When he has been given a chance to become more like a real quarterback, like when UF ran the spread in the Sugar Bowl, he has failed miserably. It’s not just his mental shortcomings, he is not an accurate passer, which is the most important attribute for a quarterback. It wasn’t a mental mistake against Louisville that gave a heavy underdog the belief they could win. It was an inaccurate pass that was returned for a touchdown that set the tone for the game. Kirk Herbstreit accurately described Driskel in the game. Paraphrasing, but this is essentially what he said; “He has his mind made up before the snap where he’s throwing the ball, he never reads the defense, it doesn’t matter if the receiver is covered or not, whether there’s double coverage, he’s throwing it, regardless.” Is it any wonder that Pease didn’t return to the spread when last season rolled around? He knew Driskel could not be trusted. I think Roper is going to be shocked when he sees Driskel forget everything he did in practice when the gators play a good team this year. Driskel lacks poise and accuracy, those are things you can’t teach. What is surprising is that he was rated so high coming out of high school because he wasn’t a good quarterback then as well. He’s a product of camps and measurements, but has never performed in a real game. It’s great to be able to run like the wind, be as tall as a building, and throw the ball a mile. But what good is it to be fast when you have zero pocket presence and cough up the ball with ease when touched. If you dispute that, look at his first fumble against Toledo last year and tell me your excuse for that bonehead play. What good is it to be tall if you don’t understand anything you see happening downfield. Finally, what good is it to be able to throw a mile when you can’t hit the side of a barn on a deep pass? No, I see no reason to think Driskel will be any good, after all, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…etc. There’s no doubt in my mind that Driskel will still be Driskel when Sept. 20 rolls around. He can’t help it, he will “driskel” again. (to “driskel- a verb describing a bonehead play)

    • Dave Massey says:

      I’m still thinking you might be a troll. Driskell just needs to be more of a game manager, and he can certainly run for a lot of yards out of the spread, just ask Vanderbilt. As for the Louisville game, that first pick six was much more Dubose’s fault than Driskell. He is the one that batted it up in the air while trying to make a one handed catch. And the whole team laid a big fat egg in that game because they didn’t make it to Atlanta and didn’t want to be there. As for Herbstreit, I don’t really care what that guy says. I don’t even listen to him. He is one of the least intelligent announcers out there. All he does is try to criticize people to make his fat ego look better. I mute the TV when that fat mouth of his starts sputtering. Either get behind the Gators or go root for the Canes or the Noles. I’m sure everyone here won’t miss you.

      • Michael J. says:

        I feel like Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.” It’s never Driskel’s fault, the Gators never lose because the other team is better, Herbstreit is unintelligent when he accurately portrays what is happening on the field, and Jeff Driskel being able to run the ball on Vandy is proof of his greatness. I guess a receiver is not supposed to try to catch a ball thrown behind them, it’s unfair to have to play a game if you don’t reach your goal, Herbstreit is part of a conspiracy to put out false information about Jeff Driskel, and the win against Vandy is one that will go down in Gator history with “the run” being one of the all-time great Gator plays. It’d be better to see Driskel be a “caretaker” as Muschamp described him in 2012. The problem with that is that Muschamp knew the Gators had a devastating defense and superb special teams, the offense wasn’t called upon to carry the team to victory. That scenario doesn’t exist this year. The Gators do not have a dominant defense or great special teams. This means that Driskel will actually be called upon to be more than a ‘caretaker.” He has not yet shown he is capable of being a “real” quarterback that defenses need to worry about. Uf has been one of the worst offenses in the country during Driskel’s tenure, and it’s not because of the scheme, it’s because of the players, with Driskel being the leading culprit. How many more excuses will you come up with why Driskel is a poor quarterback? How many more “ifs”, like the one about the Sugar Bowl? Facts are difficult things to deny, and I’ve yet to see you refute any of the facts I’ve laid out, only excuses. To criticize the messenger, like you did with Herbstreit, just proves that you have nothing to counter the truthfulness of what he said. I’d like to come up with some reason to be optimistic about Jeff Driskel, but a long run against Vandy, for instance, is not that impressive. Like Sgt. Friday said; “Just the facts.”, you don’t seem to be able to produce any.

        • Dave Massey says:

          Hey Nole Troll, you are the biggest fact twister that I have ever heard. If you want to have a love affair with Herbie that is your perogative but I never said anything about him being part of a conspiracy to put out false info. There you go again troll boy. IMO the guy is nothing but a sensationalist who doesn’t know crap about the game. As far as I’m concerned he needs to get a part on General Hospital. Now, if Gary Danielson starts making comments like that, I would take them more seriously(or maybe Todd Blackledge), as he is flat out the best college football analyst. Herbie is so clearly biased you are the only one who can’t see it. He is a diehard thee OSU fan, who did a radio show based on OSU football, and played there along with his dad, along with being an admitted huge Urban Meyer fan, and predicted I believe that Urban(the dirtiest mouth in college football) would win six straight NC’s. I don’t have to explain to anybody but you how that can affect his opinions. Being a native of Ohio he picked Toledo to beat the Gators last year. WRONG, pee brain. The guy is a total pig. He is a father of four yet he chooses to cheat on his wife and have a five year affair with a married woman. The guy got run out of Ohio and then moved to guess where, Tennessee. Again, for your benefit, I don’t care what that biased jerk has to say. Try quoting somebody who isn’t so clearly biased against UF. He is still smarting from the spanking we put on his alma mater in the ’06 NC. Driskell being able to run the ball on Vandy for 177 yards on 11 carries for 3 TD’s was just an example of what he is capable of doing, his 70 yard TD run was clearly the game clincher. And that was not the only time during 2012 that his running was very effective. A receiver’s primary responsibility after trying to catch the ball is to make sure the other team doesn’t catch the ball. Receiver’s are specifically taught to reach out with “both” hands and not to knock the ball up in the air where the team (defense) with more players in the area is more likely to catch it (it’s called the palms down technique, not palms up). That pick six is on Debose. You keep making comments about the “spread” being played in the Sugar Bowl ineffectively by Driskell are at best confusing and really are truthfully ignorant. I never said anything about it being unfair to play a game because you don’t reach your goal, that is just more of you twisting the facts. What I said is that the whole team laid an egg in that game. They didn’t want to “be” there. It’s not an excuse for how they played, it’s just an opinion of why they played so poorly. Florida didn’t lose that game because of the way Driskell played, they lost because the entire team stunk. The defense couldn’t stop anything. Actually, I think Florida was lucky the score wasn’t much worse than what it was. You sit there and whine that the Gator offense has been one of the worst offenses during Driskell’s “tenure”. Let’s see he was forced to play as a freshman against Alabama, the eventual national champion, and got injured. Then in 2013, he gets injured early in the third game and is out for the year. So explain to me how the offenses performance those two years are Driskell’s fault. Let’s look at 2012, the one year he was the QB for the whole year. He had one turnover all year. You complain about him being a caretaker and not running up a bunch of statistics to make the offense “highly ranked”. Maybe you should give Muschamp credit for playing to the strength of his team. Wasn’t there some famous coach who said, “Just win baby”? Offense rankings are based mostly on total yards, yards per play, etc. The style Florida played in 2012 was not conducive to having a highly ranked offense. They ran the ball a lot successfully with Gilleslee. Go back and look at time of possession that year. Florida quite often that year ran the clock out in the second half and didn’t give the other team the opportunity to come back. Florida flat out ran the ball right down LSU’s and FSU’s defense in the second half against what almost every analyst in the country called “NFL defensive lines”. It was smash mouth football at its best, and I personally loved it when they did that. It just didn’t lead to being a high ranked offense but 11-1 is the only statistic that counted in the long run now isn’t it. It is widely accepted that during the last three years that Florida has not exactly had stellar receivers. They have lacked speed and elusiveness. It’s hard to complete passes to receivers who aren’t open. Last year there were just way too many injuries to fairly assess this team. These are the facts. You haven’t laid out any facts yourself, just a bunch of twisted bs. One biased jounalist doesn’t create truth. If you don’t have any reason to be optimistic about Driskell and the Gators then please take your troll butt over to the Nole sites, nobody here in Gator Nation is going to care or miss you.

          • You guys really need to start using paragraphs.

          • Michael J. says:

            Once again you make excuses. You again attack the messenger, but don’t say a single thing that refutes what he said about Driskel. You are just another paranoid Gator fan, that’s nothing new. I have no idea what you were trying to say about the “spread’, but the fact is that was run in the Sugar Bowl. Then you rant about winning over FSU, what does that have to do with the critique of Driskel? You again brag about the Vandy game, why would anyone brag about Vandy? Just because UF lost to them at home for the first time since 1945 last year doesn’t mean that UF should ever be at such a low level on offense that a game against Vandy is something to crow about. When you make an argument about someone because of his personal life, like you did with Herbstreit, it just proves your paranoia and lack of a coherent argument against what he said about Driskel. What is particularly funny about that is that Herbstreit’s comments are not very insightful, even a blind man could see that Driskel doesn’t read defenses, locks on to a receiver, and throws the ball into coverage with regularity. I guess you must be more than blind to not see the obvious. You probably think Brantley was a good quarterbck too, and have a list of excuses for why he was a failure. I am not one for making excuses, maybe they are valid occasionally, but when someone performs poorly on a consistent basis, I tend to believe it’s because the individual is incapable of performing. Usually the simplest explanation is correct, in Driskel’s case, the fact is that he has never been a god quarterback because he is capable of doing so. All these excuses everyone makes for him are not the reason he sucks, they’re just manufactured by people like you who can’t bear to admit the truth. It would crush you because all you can see is that he was the number one quarterback out of high school, but so was Brantley, and he sucked too. We will see September 20 if I am right. But I doubt you will be able to see the truth then, I’m sure you’ll have another list of excuses why it was this receivers fault, the offensive line, the defense was unfair since they tried to trick Driskel, etc. Do you realize how silly you sound when you blame the interception in the Sugar Bowl on Debose? No one would say that except someone who is invested so heavily in their fantasy about Jeff Driskel being a good quarterback. It’s going to be quite a blow to you when you realize that was just a fantasy.

            • Dave Massey says:

              Hey Nole Troll,

              Glad to see you took Adam’s suggestion to heart about using paragraphs.

              We are just going to have to agree to disagree. Personally I think you are just ignorant and I am not going to argue with you anymore because that would just make me stupid. I’m going to treat you just like I do Herbie, I’m not going to listen, read, or respond to anything you have to say. I’ll just pass right by it.

              I don’t think Driskell is a great quarterback but I do think he can get the job done, not everybody in the NFL even has a great quarterback, there just aren’t that many to go around. The plain fact of the matter is that he is our quarterback and I am going to stand behind him and the team, good, bad, or otherwise. We’ll just have to wait and see who is right.

              Personally, I can’t stand supposed fans like you who do nothing but moan and groan about everthing and only have negative things to say. You should stick to watching the Noles with the way you obviously hate everything Florida does. C’ya fair weather fan. Good luck to you and your Noles this year.

    • Daniel M. says:

      Troll alert!

  11. Dave Massey says:

    Happy Birthday Adam! I look forward to all your posts and read them on my phone as soon as I get them. I don’t even read any Gator sites anymore. You are always faster than them with the news anyways.
    I get down on my knees and pray every night the BD never leaves the Gators for the NBA but I do fear that it will happen one day. I think he is easily the best coach in college basketball. He won’t ever leave the Gators for another school, it will only be for the NBA and the challenge. And I love seeing all the former Gator hoopsters doing so well in the pros. PY will be there one day no doubt. Surprised the Heat haven’t shown him more interest since they were so weak inside the last couple years and he could be had for a bargain price right now. Really would like to see him end up with the Spurs though, I thought they were interested in him. Would be a perfect fit for both sides.
    I’m not a Yankee fan but I have tremendous respect for Derek Jeter. He is no douby a Hall of Famer. Anybody says he is overrated is biased. MLB definitely should have recognized the tremendous loss in the baseball world of Tony Gwynn. One of the best pure hitters in baseball history who constantly flirted with .400. What a beautiful, sweet swing he had.
    And I agree with you on Driskell. Never really had it put in the perspective that you did. I have been critical of him at times and don’t really believe he is the best QB in college football but all he needs to do is be a good game manager and not turn the ball over. That was a huge reason for the 11-1 regular season record two years ago. The one loss turnovers were the deciding factor and Florida was still in it until the last minute when a turnover inside the 10 killed their chances, and that wasn’t JD’s fault. I am fully behind JD, Coach, and the team. All Gators let’s unite and let everybody know that we are the greatest and loudest fans in the world. Give our team that home team advantage and go back to making the Swamp one of the most difficult places in college football to play in. Time for whining is over, it’s time to cheer. GO GATORS!

  12. Michael Jones says:

    Love Hargreaves leadership!! A kid like that, his mindset, attitude, and personality, along with that special talent, can sometimes singlehandedly turn a team around. Let’s hope he can!

    I agree with you 100% about Driskel. LET’S GET BEHIND DRISKEL!!!

    Respectfully disagree about Anthony. I don’t think he’s underrated. I think he’s overrated. He’s that unique combination of a great scorer who is simultaneously an offense killer. Plus, great scorer does not always = great player. He is too selfish to ever lead a team to a championship.

    But, most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ADAM! Love this piece and looking forward to our weekly dose of Silver Lining!

  13. W2 says:

    HBD. Great Read.

  14. Ken (CA) says:

    whew! so many words, so few spaces and paragraphs! Herbie is one of the best if not the best college football analysts out there and has great insight. Driskel (tired of you calling him Driskell) has been thrown into the fire unprepared for the teams that he is facing, that is the coach’s fault. He has ended up injured most of his career so far, and suddenly changing offense for Louisville from grind it out to spread is unfair to expect him to be perfect, even if that is his forte.

    He is NFL caliber, one of the best QB in CFB, and a reason he was put on the O’Brien watch list. That isn’t Herbie doing that, that is the committee that measures QB.

    He still has a lot to learn to get over the mental mistakes, and maturity does that, as he keeps learning and growing. The issues last year weren’t because he was there, except for Miami, but mainly because he wasn’t. It is just silly to keep beating him down when he has yet to go a full season in an offense that fits his style of play. Yet another new OC trying to get him to do different things makes it incredibly difficult to succeed.

    If what we have been hearing from Roper is even 75% correct, with his talent and the new offense, and some incredibly talented receivers, this could be a great year for him and the Gators. I am not a fan of WM, but I do think Driskel is the real deal and once he gets his head straight, he will be a Sharpshooting killer for us. He isn’t nearly as inaccurate as you claim,e specially with the deep ball.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Here here. Well said. Agree 100%.

      People need to get off of Driskel, already.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Hey Dude, you shouldn’t be making comments about grammar errors. Maybe you should read your post and correct yours. I’ve seen some of your other stuff and you are no English professor. I didn’t know our posts were going to be graded anyways. And besides, you’re only repeating what Adam already said.

      As far as Herbie is concerned, I personally think the guy is biased against Florida and the guy is a pig. Anybody who carries on a four or five year affair with a married woman has at the very least poor decision making skills. He only cares about himself and not the hurt and embarassment it would cause his wife and young children, not to mention the affect it would have on another family. The guy lacks in morals. That is my opinion of him and you are not going to change my mind. If you want to love the guy, go right ahead, I don’t care. When I hear him open his mouth the mute button gets engaged.

      As for the Driskell thing, that is a joke between me and some of my fellow alums who watch the games together. I don’t owe you an explanation about it and I’m not going to give you one, live with it. I am going to continue to call him Driskell. I will support him as my quarterback all the way and that is the only thing that matters. You should see some of the stuff me and my friends come up with about names, including mine, and it doesn’t bother me. It is not done in a harmful manner. Get a grip.

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