Drove up on a fender bender the other day between a pickup with truck nutz and a Lincoln Town Car and thought this is something you’d see in Florida, which led to thoughts of the Florida Gators, which quickly served up that dangling hunk of inedible and ever so indelible gristle we know as the Great Kentucky Losing Streak.
With the ghosts of Tennessee and the Ol Ball Coach exorcised, we can now fully focus our futility on Florida. An NCAA leading 26 losses in a row, at the time of publication, and no end in sight.
The modern day Kentucky/Florida series is played under the hypothesis of, when really fast and strong object (a) collides with much slower and smaller object (b), object (a) will be victorious. It’s sort of like the tortoise and the hare, except there are no life lessons in store and the hare just steamrolls the tortoise, backs up, and runs over it again.
Typically a merciless slaughter…
Visions of The Visor coldly calculating a play action deep post off a 4th quarter turnover to put the Gators up 56. Flashbacks to the days of Urban and Tebow that looked as if UK showed up to the track at Daytona on horseback.
…with the sporadic heartbreaker mixed in for added cruelty.
The Wuerffel to Doering, 1993. I was at this game. The oh so familiar “stand up and holler” for a 25 yard skinny post game winning touchdown with no time on the clock. Florida literally tried to give Kentucky this game in the form of 7 interceptions, and still, Kentucky refused. Too proud, us Cats, we don’t need your charity we’re doing just fine things are really lookin up. I vividly remember a bourbon inspired man in front of me loudly cursing the sky, and perhaps Bill Curry. A sweet old lady kindly asked him to watch his language and get over it, to which he replied, “shut up, bitch.” It was lovely. I entered the stadium an impressionable young boy with a ballcap and a bag of peanuts and left a hardened cynic with a drinking problem. On the plus side, I was equipped to handle the improbable, if not expected heartbreak we’ve endured through the years. Gators 24, Cats 20
The Abney, 2002. Florida tried valiantly once again that season to bury the hatchet when they selected Ron Zook to replace the Ball Coach. Derek Abney went off in the Swamp, catching a TD, returning a kickoff 100yds for a TD, and adding in a 49yds punt return for a score. He failed to rush for a TD however, and that proved to be the difference, Gators 41, UK 34
The Flip, 2003. I was at this game. A piece of me never left. Pappy Brooks did his best in year one to light some fire into a depleted roster, and UK entered the 4th quarter with an insurmountable 21-3 lead. Until Kentucky got all Kentucky, J-Lo flipped a ball over his head and into the the hands of the white shirts and the streak unfathomably marched on. Gators 24, Cats 21
There was a glimmer of optimism in 2007. College Gameday, an offense that could score on anyone still swaggin from the LSU win. But Tebow, yeah, that Tebow. Gators 45, Cats 37.
Nothing but your text book woodsheddings and blocked punts since, and the road just seems to get more impassable each year. Say what you want about the ’93 collapse, that was still Spurrier vs. Curry. Come on. Not pouncing on Zook was the deathblow, and while Muschamp’s Gators are far from juggernauts, they’re still Florida, they’re still fast, and Kentucky’s still a couple years off from making weight.
So we count, and we wait, we hope, and we dream for that one day when the talent gap doesn’t jump out at you, smack you in the face and fondle your woman, and perhaps a lucky bounce or two, conflux into a pool of overdue upset.
Until then, see ya in March. Right BBN?! Right!?