Florida Gators: Been A Long Road

Larry SnarkvilleAnalyst INovember 30, 2009

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 28:  Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Denver Broncos walks the sidelines during the NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 28, 2008 in San Diego, California.  The Chargers defeated the Broncos 52--21.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Wayne Peace was the quarterback for the University of Florida back in the early 1980's.

So what?

Contrary to popular belief, the Gators have not always been that dominant team. In fact, there was a time that they were referred to as, "The Choking Gators."

I know.  I've spent most of my life as a fan and alumnus.

But, they came into their own beginning in the 1980's.

As a student, I'd go to every home game for five years. I'd go to many away games too.

I can clearly remember Wayne Peace quarterbacking Florida. I can also clearly remember the moaning and groaning of fans who thought our offense was too conservative.

Peace used to have this patented pass play where he'd sort of sprint out to his right or left and throw to a receiver just off the line and wide on either side. Kind of a "sideways" pass.

The offensive coordinator called it "stretching the defense horizontally." It was sort of a unique offensive concept. We weren't too familiar with it, but we'd adjust to the move, much to the chagrin of many of the Gator faithful.

That offensive coordinator used to get "killed" by the press and fans as being too predictable.

Oh, little did we know.

Now, that same man is called "the best offensive mind in the  N.F.L."  

And he was recently fired after a long run as the head coach of an N.F.L. team. He's the same man now on most team's "short lists" of potential head coaches.

The team was the Denver Broncos. And the man is Mike Shanahan.

Funny how things work out.