***Because I’ve made the unfortunate mistake of prioritizing real life (and my NCAA 09 dynasty) over my KSR writing efforts the past few weeks, I have nothing of value to give you today on what might be the most important game of the season. So, as a half-assed apology/peace offering, here is something I wrote a year ago when the Gators came to town. I’ve edited a few things that have changed since then.
But, I’m warning you, it sucks pretty bad.
In 1996, a young coach by the name of William John Donovan, Jr. took over a Florida basketball team that had slipped into mediocrity following an appearance in the 1994 Final Four. In the following 12 13 years, Donovan not only revived the Florida program, highlighted with winning back-to-back national titles, but he also brought some of the biggest douches in the history of team sports to forefront of college basketball.
Now, as he comes to Lexington sporting “Beavis” Calathes and Chandler “Yes, I have Vanilla Ice stripes shaved in my hair” Parsons (UPDATE: star head Walter Hodge too), it’s apparent that Donovan is as determined as ever to throw an aesthetically repulsing team on the floor. With apologies to White Chocolate, Teddy Dupay, Brett Nelson and Christian Drejer, here are the Florida’s most egregious offenders, in order of appearance:
Mike Miller – Miller is the patriarch of the Donovan douche troop and instantly made people think “What the hell?” when he first arrived on campus in 1998, sustaining the momentum through a trip to the 2000 NCAA Championship Game. With his gap-toothed smile and that Bronx accent he honed growing up in South Dakota, Miller was almost too embarrassing for Florida fans to root for. Miller, now with the Grizzlies T-Wolves, continues to make you want to throw up on sight alone, as he’s decided to now sport this look.
Matt Bonner – Dude has red hair. I mean RED hair. Let’s just start by getting that out of the way. (UPDATE: sorry to the redheaded guy that was in the blogger contest) Couple that with his goofy jumper and his nearly non-existent inside game and you have a recipe for douche. It would be easy to call Bonner the red-headed step child of the group, but he deserves much more credit than that. He’s as much of a pioneer of this group as Miller.
Matt Walsh – Crazy hair? Check. Jump shooter with a post player’s size? Check. Hated by nearly every opponent? Check. In fact, earning an apology from the opposing school’s AD lands him in the prestigious league of J.J. Redick, which is quite impressive. I’m pretty certain that Walsh deserved what he got, but maybe the blame should have gone to Billy Donovan. I mean, after all, Walsh looked like this when he showed up on campus.
David Lee – If there is a questionable entry on this list (which there probably isn’t), it would have to be Lee. Lee banged inside and had the ability to play above the rim. Unfortunately for him, he also sported a curly, baby fro for a good portion of his career and often used over-the-top cheers like the Gator chomp at inopportune times. I guess that’s how you celebrate parlaying a top 5 ranking into a first weekend tournament exit. He also scores douche points for removing his shirt in celebration.
Joakim Noah – Ahh, Joakim Noah. Where do I start? In sports, there is kind of an unwritten rule that you respect the players that have come before you. In Noah, the Gators got a player that combined all of the most terrible qualities of the douchefathers of Florida basketball. Take a little bit of Miller’s gap-toothed smile and sprinkle in Matt Walsh’s pube head. Then mix in a little bit of David Lee’s over-cheering and top it off with a little bit of Matt Bonner’s ugliness, and you get the biggest douche to ever lace up a pair of sneakers. Noah will long be remembered by the casual sports fan not as the leader of back-to-back championship teams but as “that really ugly guy that played for Florida”. Then, if you consider that he actually did the least with the most, seeing as his mother is a model and his father is a professional athlete, and you’ve got a human being so terribly douchey that it might never be topped. At least, not in our lifetime.
So, remember this weekend when CBS is talking about how Billy Donovan supposedly spurned UK to remain in Florida that we actually ended up with the better end of the deal. Not only did we get a great recruiter and a guy who is probably a better X’s and O’s coach than Donovan, we got a guy that isn’t going to throw players on the court that make it embarrassing to be a Kentucky fan. Thanks Mitch.
Ok, ignore that last paragraph. But, the moral of the story is that there is a lot to hate here (I’m talking about the Gators and not my writing). Even dating back to the pre-Donovan era, the Gators have had what is quite possibly the most ridiculous looking teams to ever lace ’em up. So, since we can’t let my incompetence and laziness ruin a potential day of hate, let’s have at it in the comments. Who or what do you hate most about the Gators? We’re only a few hours away from tip-off and it’s time to get the competitive juices flowing.