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Know Your Enemy: Florida Gators Basketball

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Florida? More like, BORE-ida! Or BOR-ophyll! Wow, I am truly great, is there a way to apply a rimshot to the written word? There is? You just type “rimshot” in between parentheses? No, that’ll probably work about as well as that toaster I made out of matchsticks (rimshot). Well what do you know?

So now our beloved Cats get to play newfound arch rival Florida and the coach with the decisiveness of your high school girlfriend (I’m just really confused right now and I need some space). When we’re rational about it though, both Anthony Grant and the Orlando Magic should be more upset with William Elizabeth Donovan than we, and Donovan’s decision reversal makes me wonder what would happen if a coach had left for longer than a few days, then decided he had made the wrong decision. For instance, what if tomorrow Roy Williams said, “After much thought, I have decided that my heart lies in Kansas, and that by remaining here in Chapel Hill, I would be giving up a great deal.”? Would Kansas take him back? Would he be co-coach with Bill Self? Wait a minute–I smell a buddy comedy there. I could package it with a sassy equipment manager (certainly gay) and a wisecracking dolphin and ta-da–you’ve got a hit on your hands. Even better, we’ll call it, “Know Thy Self”! Fantastic. Maybe we got off track a little, let’s bring it back. The Cats trek to Gainesville this weekend and it would appear that Gameday will be on hand for this game between two programs that are down on talent and for a rivalry that is all of five years old. Fans are likely to turn out in droves at the prospect of catching a glimpse of Rece Davis, so the Jerry O’ Connell Center is sure to be rockin’ like a Norah Jones concert (I’m well aware of the fact that Norah Jones’ concerts do not, in fact, rock. Therein lies the joke.). Therefore, you will have to telepathically taunt the Gators and there’s no better way to prepare for taunting than by reading Know Your Enemy…and calisthenics. Calisthenics are good, too. (Insert random pop culture entrance phrase here).

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Seriously, how do you wins two arms full of grammies for one song that’s not even that good? See Alicia Keyes and Amy Winehouse for other examples

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You should really be doing these; it quickens up the humours

Location (Al Gore, if I re-use what I’ve already written that’s recycling, right? Then where’s my parade?)

Most kids choose to attend the University of Florida due to its location as a beach town, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, not every city in Florida is located on the ocean. In fact, U of F is able to recruit kids to Gainesville despite constantly doing it’s best Paraguay impression (it’s also landlocked. Also, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin). Florida is the third largest University in the US by enrollment with over 50,000 students–several of which can accurately name a player on their basketball team. The University itself is also responsible for the invention of both Gatorade and Sentricon Termite Elimination System. No word on whether the same formula is used for both. They also have a $60 million McKnight, Brain Institute on campus.

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Did he really spend $60 million to found an institute on Florida’s campus?

Notable Alumni

If you’re like me, then you are loyal to Tide detergent and have also met a few Floridians that seem to think that they are different from the rest of the south and can’t really be included with the rest of us. However, after diligent research by our crack staff (only 4 of them now. Matt says our margins are Keira Knightly-thin) we have determined that the University of Florida has graduated Mel Tillis, Buddy Ebsen, Bill France, Jr., and not one, but two Bellamy Brothers. This solidifies U of F’s southern credentials forevermore. Throw in Erin Andrews (wassup, girl), SNL’s Darrell Hammond, and Academy Award Winner, Faye Dunaway, and all of a sudden, Florida alums don’t seem so annoying. And then there’s Bob Vila. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the former “This Old House” host, but there was always something that I found a little untoward about him in that he was always just a little too upbeat and excited about home improvement. I would liken him to Bob Ross of “Joy of Painting” fame in that he never appeared frustrated and seemed to really enjoy every day. I don’t trust people that aren’t quite as miserable as me and it wouldn’t surprise me if we one day learned that Vila was an anti-government anarchist aligned with the Michigan Militia.

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Maybe I just don’t trust people with beards?

Cheerleader Scouting Report

Why is it that schools refuse to put a team picture of their respective cheerleading squads on their websites? Are they afraid that an overzealous blogger will use the photos to stalk their cheerleaders? If that’s the case, then I think I’ve demonstrated that I can adhere to restraining orders, so what’s the problem? Again, we are forced to provide a picture of the dance team, although these are the Dazzlers and Erin Andrews used to be a Dazzler pre-augmentation. So, we got that goin’ for us. As you can see from the photo, the Dazzlers were at one point engaged in a promotion with Aeropostale to promote jeans. I assure you it worked as my closet is now packed with 84 pairs of size 2 Aeropostale jeans.

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Basketball History

Florida got a relatively late start on basketball by not starting a team until the 1915-1916 season, although this first edition did go 5-1 despite having a love of long hair and awful celebration dancing. Apparently, the best players on this initial team were very close and all decided to forego their sophomore, junior, and senior seasons in order to participate in World War I (We called it the Great War was I was a boy), because Florida didn’t post teams in years 1916-1919. The Gators return to the hardwood would see them languish in mediocrity and failure for the better part of 70 years as they only hoisted their first SEC regular season championship in 1989 (We weren’t eligible so…). Contrary to popular belief, Florida didn’t emerge from basketball obscurity under the watchful eye of Billy Donovan, rather it was stoic Lon Kruger that took the Gators to their first Final Four. Once Kruger left for a cup of tea with the Atlanta Hawks, Billy D stepped in and up until the last two years was known as someone who could recruit unbelievable talent, but couldn’t coach particularly well or consistently perform in the tournament. Here’s hoping the last few years were an aberration and that Florida will soon return to their roots of failure.

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L to R: Mort Noah, Archibald Horford, Carl Brewer, and Teddy Green–they did everything together

Players

We usually reserve this space for the creation of libel toward players of the opposition (Matt and TH, did I use “libel” properly? If you tell me I didn’t I’ll sue) and today will be no different. But first, we must take time to acknowledge the goodness that is Jai Lucas. I first met Jai at the Nike All-America Camp in Indy last year where he was the most well-mannered kid at the camp and carried himself with the maturity befitting a 30 year old, while maintaining a youthful smile (I’m getting a little Dickensian, aren’t I). Jai was and is a great kid and I would have loved for him to have been a Wildcat, but que sera, sera. Hopefully, his pops will be in attendance and will shout instructions to Jai and his teammates from the stands although the kids can’t hear him, nor are his suggestions coherent. Honestly, when I sat with John Lucas at the Nike Camp, I felt kind of like I feel when I sit next to a schizophrenic on the subway. Mr. Lucas would randomly shout, and it didn’t necessarily have to be a sentence or even intelligible as long as it was loud. I asked Jai about this and his answer was one of “Oh, Dad is just trying to make sure I’m in the right place and doing the right things.”–most kids would have rolled their eyes at their pop’s display, but Jai took it all in stride (John Lucas was extremely nice by the way). Hopefully Jai has a good game and the Cats win by 40. Now that my little schmooze-fest for my Jai-crush is finished, just remember that you will absolutely hate Nick Calathes in the coming years. It’s not that he’s a snotty kid or anything, it’s just that he’s one of these kids that drive you crazy because they are extremely talented, although they don’t look like they should be. You have been forewarned–Calathes will draw the ire of Cat fans for the next four years.

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Photographic trickery folks, calm down

Airtight Predictions

Jasper and Meeks don’t play–Patterson redeems himself with a 61 point, 24 rebound performance and dishes out more assists than Jai Lucas just to rub it in his face–Mark Coury will continue to be needlessly confident–an announcer will make mention that Billy Donovan “spurned” the interest of Kentucky, but will not mention his retreat from Orlando–Tubby Smith’s name will be uttered >4 times–Digger Phelps will be an idiot and insist that the Jamal Mashburn/Stacey Poole matchup is the one to watch during the game–and the Cats will win by 40 points.
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I really would not have predicted that shirt on Digger. Digger, how long does a basketball game last? Why, five-hundred, twenty-five thousand, six-hundred minutes, of course.

Summary

There you have it. A literary masterpiece on par with Dostoyevsky (wonder if he made Billy Madison references?). Welp, the Cats will surely enjoy a victory over the Gators although I’m worried the Gators will be so full of fear they’ll refuse to emerege from the locker room and will instead all huddle together under one big blanket until the “bad men in blue” go away. The Cats have turned a corner ladies and gentlemen, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will immediately translate into wins–the depth of talent just isn’t there without Meeks and Jasper. However, if the effort of the last two games can be consistently sustained, this team will at least be fun to watch and should earn a place in the collective heart of Wilcat Nation. Go Cats.

Article written by Mosley