Just got off the phone with my coach. The only man I still call "coach" to this day.
Like me, he's a Gator. Played baseball at Florida in the '70's. Bleeds Orange and Blue. And he reminded me of a few things.
Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Tennessee.
I don't care who the Gators are playing. The bottom line is that no matter how we dissect, analyze, and/or make predictions, the game still has to be played.
And you know what? As a Florida Gator (as proud as they come), I'll take my chances. We have as good a chance of winning against whomever, whenever.
Tomorrow's game against Alabama is no different. They're a very good team. We all know that; but so are we. This isn't about posturing. It's about being excited, nervous, and anxious. Not knowing the outcome, the wait until game time, and the experience of going through something together.
The collective experience of being a fan.
Reminds me of the agony I experienced going pitch-by-pitch through this year's baseball playoffs.
As a die-hard Yankee fan (or any dyed in the wool fanatic), I put my heart and soul into these games. It's often hard to bear.
You don't know where to turn for solace ("How could we lose!"), answers to your pleas ("C'mon Gators! Please make a stop! Please! I'm begging you!"), and collective cheers ("Yes! Yes! Yes!").
Now my focus turns to tomorrow's SEC Championship Game.
Coach and I will speak before the game to get a feel for how we are both feeling. Next, we'll talk at halftime to analyze what's gone on. And finally, we'll talk post game to either celebrate together or cry on each others shoulders.
It's part of what makes us who we are. A big part.