For the entire month of September, former Florida Gators national championship- and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel will be contributing his post-game thoughts about how the team performed the previous Saturday exclusively here on OGGOA at the beginning of each week.
The 1996 winner of eight football and academic awards, Wuerffel has a unique perspective as a four-year player at Florida who passed for 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns in his college career. Enshrined in the team’s Ring of Honor in 2006 and set to be immortalized in a statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2010, he is now the executive director of Desire Street Ministries, which works to revitalize impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development.
I attended an event a few weeks back and heard Amy Grant perform a song with a very thought-provoking line: “You see what you’re looking for.”
After three games this season, there are enough troubling occurrences for some to get discouraged about Florida’s play, and yet there are plenty of encouraging things as well. As I talk with fellow Gator fans, I can quickly discern where they fall on the spectrum, and I can understand both sides of the equation.
On the one side, we are the mighty Gators, and we basically expect that we’ll be playing in the SEC Championship game every year. (I don’t know about you, but I already planned my weekend of Dec. 3-4 in Atlanta, GA, around the game.) We’ve even gotten to the point where not playing in a BCS game is a disappointment. Couple these incredibly high expectations with the first three games this year, and it’s understandable that many Gators are feeling troubled with the team’s start.
On the other hand, Florida is 3-0 and just won a huge SEC East game on the road in a really tough environment. Trust me, I’ve been there and know how loud it can be. But, as I recall, all the noise died down after we put up a quick 28 points my senior year.
The Gators’ defense continues to force turnovers. John Brantley keeps impressing me with his decisions (no interceptions) and passing ability. The receivers are making some big-time catches, and Florida has tons of speed all over the field.
We can watch, celebrate, criticize and even debate about who this team is and how it is performing. But at the end of the day, it’s up to these young guys to define who they are.
So what do you see when you look at the Gators so far this season? Most likely, you see what you’re looking for.
By joining together people from all walks of life who are interested in redeeming the inner-city, Desire Street Ministries believes that they are bringing together leaders who actually move into the neighborhood, indigenous leaders who already live there, and neighbors who “move in” spiritually through prayer, encouragement and financial support. Please take a moment to visit Desire Street Ministries online or in person and find out how you can help support and/or donate.