Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This just in: Florida fans not racist, love Chris Leak


We’ve all seen the articles calling Florida fans racist because of a few idiot alumnit. They're all over the place, in a number of forums. Orson recently took Sportsline to task like Reggie Nelson once did to Danny Glover’s police unit. Rather than soak my blade in venom and go on the offensive, as others have done much more effectively than I could manage, I present a counter-point. Florida fans love Chris Leak.

As I am sure most of my readers know, Florida has a huge homecoming ceremony called Gator Growl. It was held last Friday. At Gator Growl, the graduating seniors on the football team are introduced to the crowd, one by one. Meyer says a few words about each player, and the crowd of around forty thousand cheers them on. When it was Leaks turn, the crowd immediately went into a standing ovation before Meyer could say anything. It took Meyer three attempts to get his voice over the chorus of “Leak, Leak, Leak,” and he still could not finish his little spiel for Leak, because the crowd took over again. Leak received the biggest ovation I have ever seen at Growl, and honestly, I felt like I might cry, which is okay, because everyone around me, and Leak himself, looked the same way. Chris Leak is a hero here at Florida. The fanbase knows that this program would never have survived the Zook years without number 12.

Poor Dallas Baker had to follow Leak. During Leak’s ovation, Baker was on camera. While he looked happy for Chris, he kept waving off the cameras, knowing his own ovation could not possibly be as moving. While the cheers for the touchdown maker were great too, it’s hard to believe Leak wasn’t introduced last as his ovation from the Florida faithful was impossible to follow.

Then, the next day during Gameday, they ran a piece about a “Quarterback controversy” at Florida. The crowd behind the set began to chant “Leak for Heisman,” a chant that would continue all over the student section throughout the game on Saturday.

Hell, even the evil Facebook is a good example of pro-Leak sentiment amongst Florida fans. The pro-Leak groups outnumber the one negative group almost 10-1, and far more than that by membership size. My favorite one is called “If you boo Chris Leak, I will punch you in the face.” Oh, to punch an asshole alum in the face, it may just happen one day.

Florida fans love Chris Leak and the media needs to stop creating stories. A few hundred drunk alumni do not represent everyone. Any collection of ninety thousand will have a few idiots, but to act as if they are the majority is asinine. Sell the sport, not the drama.

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