For some unfathomable reason, opponents love pissing the Gators off. Whenever somebody beats Florida, they mock the Gators with the Chomp.
Or talk trash.
Perhaps nobody was better at dealing with that than the Florida coaching staff.
After the 2007 Georgia game, in which the Bulldogs staged their Dunce Dunce Revolution, Urban Meyer was waiting outside strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti’s door later the next night.
“What’s up Coach?” Marotti asked.
“Hey Mick. Listen, we need that memory to be in our hearts for 12 full months.”
“No problem. I’m on it,” replied coach Marotti.
Well, if you call making the Gators do 165 situps (one for every Knowshon Moreno yard gained), 42 pushups (one for every Georgia point) and 6 minutes of chinups (one for every UGA touchdown) being on it, then yes, sir he was.
But the kicker: The offense had to do it too. Even though they had nothing to do with the defense’s performance, they were subject to the same conditioning drills.
The result? Florida 49, Georgia 10, timeout Florida, timeout Florida.
Upon arriving at Tennessee in 2007, Eric Berry vowed to “silence” the Florida crowd. And he did not disappoint, picking Tebow off to cut the Florida lead to 28-20.
Then Meyer got involved.
He gathered his starting 22 and warned them, “If you don’t win by 4 touchdowns, you’re going to have to deal with Coach Mick again. You don’t want that… do you?”
The Gators calmly walked back onto the field and proceeded to tear the Vols to shreds.
Final Score: Florida 59, Tennessee 20.
Later that year, Geno Hayes vowed to “take Tebow down”.
How did Tebow respond?
By taking Hayes down on an option pitch in which he made a truly awesome block on Hayes.
And by crushing the Seminoles, 45-12.
A year later, Ricky Jean Francois vowed to “take Tebow out of the game. They’ve got a trained medical staff at Florida, don’t they? If you get hurt on Saturday, then you can go to the medical facility on Sunday.”
What did Tebow do?
Crushed the Tigers and sent them back heauxme (couldn’t resist) with a 51-21 whopping.
Then there was the Lane Kiffin deal in 2009, and although Florida struggled, they still got the win.
But the fire, the intensity, the burning desire for revenge must back.
Who am I kidding? We’ll never regain the passion of Urban Meyer (the old version). All we can do now is hope that the new kid on the block can have some intensity. He doesn’t have to be caught on youtube jumping into players’ arms, chest bumping them and screaming obscenities. He doesn’t have to be nicknamed Coach Boom. He simply doesn’t have to be known for his intensity, he just has to have just enough.
Ah. But he has, he is and he does.
There’s nobody better at getting his guys ready to play a big game than Mickey Marotti. In fact, the only person that I can think of that might be better is…
He’s got to put friendships and relationships aside (with Georgia, FSU, Alabama, Auburn and LSU) and get his teams ready for war in each of those games.
Who the hell do I think I’m kidding? Asking Will Muschamp to have his guys ready to go is like asking the cops to arrest somebody when he’s been caught on video with rape.
You’ll get the same reaction: Don’t you worry.