Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Leaving Las Vegas

I’m sitting here at Las Vegas International (McCarran) waiting for my flight out. It also happens to be the first internet access I have been able to get post game.

What to say? I was one of those times of pure, sheer unadulterated joy that one experiences very rarely in life. I was hugging complete strangers by game’s end. Watching the awards ceremony, the words of an older Gator fan sitting in front of me pretty much summed up my feelings – “I never want to leave”.

Henry’s assessment of the stadium is pretty much right on the mark – for a “state of the art” facility, it was woefully inadequate.

There will be time for more assessment on my part later, time to break down the stats, time to analyze the game. But two things I want to say right now.

First, Chris Leak is a champion. I have been critical of Leak in the past, but he just brought the Gators glory that puts him on par with Wuerffel and Spurrier. Chris is one of the greatest Gators ever.

Second, Urban Meyer was the right hire. Case closed.

2006 - The Year of the Gator.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Look Gator fans- not only is it time to acknowledge that Leak is a winner, but please, it is also time to curtial all the Zook bashing. He put the pieces in place here. "Zook free zone" and others of that ilk treat the man like a complete pariah. Yes, the record wasn't outstanding, but he started the project that Urban brought to fruition.

Leak has gotten his share of criticism, but he has always played with poise and class. Leak performance to me last nite was more noteworthy for what he didn't do- make mental mistakes. He didn't force passes, he didn't try to thread needles and get greedy, and when receivers were covered, he got rid of the ball. He took what the O-Zone gave him and played stellar-not outstanding- football. The Gators did not need a dominating figure under center such as Troy Smith- they needed someone to lead and keep opposing defenses off balance- and that's just what he did. And now he's a Champion.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Zook may of "put" the people there, but Meyer could of done the same. Hell, any coach can put the "pieces in the spots"

It takes a REAL coach to win a NC with those players, and all Zook managed to do was lose 3 bowl games and 5 games a season with them.

-Shlomo

Henry Gomez said...

Anonymous number 1,

This blog has never taken shots at Leak. I, in particular, have always supported him. Nobody is above criticism and Leak deserved some over the years but the situation was largely out of his control.

As for Ron Zook, we reserve the right to take shots at him whenever we wish. The evidence is there: Zook was, is, and always will be a loser. Florida was not a project team when took over. He made it into one for Meyer. Zook sucks, period.

Anonymous said...

Of course you all have the right to take all the shots at Zook. All im saying is that there is hardly anyone giving him credit for recruiting all but 2 of the starters on this team. You can call him a loser all you want, but he put the talent in place that has won the Gators a championship, and than is not an insignificant accomplishment no matter how much you talk it down and call him a loser. 22 of 24 starters recruited-there's some counter-evidence for you. He wasn't the master motivator or offensive-guru that Urban is, but not many coaches are. I still think the criticism down in these parts is disproportiante, and there is need to balance that out, hence my post.

And as for Florida not being a "project team" at that time, you are deluding yourself- EVERY team is a ongoing project, and the smallest margins, calls, or flukes are often what determines a team winning a championship from an average season.


By the way Henry- I wasn't directing the comments about the criticisms about Leak to you guys who do a great job with this blog, but at many others in the blogosphere who've been fair weather fans to Leak over the past 4 seasons. Leak will now be enshrined with Wuerffel in Gator lore. Two months ago, the conventional wisdom was he was a big disappointment who never lived up to his potential. It irks me that too many people don't let history settle before they rush to judgement.

That's my two cents, and, im savoring this one with all of you!

Henry Gomez said...

Here's the problem I have with all of the talk of "Zook's Players". It makes it sound as if Foley had hired a qualified coach (instead of Zook who was utterly unqualified) that that coach could not have been as good a recruiter (or better). Florida is not Rutgers. You don't need to be a snake oil salesman to recruit to Florida. We had been in the top 25 for something like 200 weeks prior to Zook.

Also it makes it sound like Spurrier couldn't recruit. That's a lie that we don't accept here. The myth of Zook only grew with this MNC win. He arrived and we had no players and left us with a team ready to win a championship.

Of course that's a lie. Percy and Tebow were huge contributors to the season and the game. Reggie Nelson had to be re-recruited by Florida. Ryan Smith was not a Zook player. Other players were moved from their positions under Zook.

Several of "Zook's players" now have degrees only because of Meyer. Zook gave up on Jarvis Moss and Meyer was determined to find out what was physically wrong with him. It turned out to be an infection in his pelvis.

Zook=snake oil selling garbage.

He's simply an excitable meathead with an inexplicable knack for telling 17 year old boys what they want to hear.