For those who are curious to see what malicious, self-aggrandizing vitriol looks like, look no further than this post by Orange and Blue Hue's Gatorpilot, who some of you may know from the nasty comments he occassionally leaves here at Garnet and Black Attack. I should preface this by saying that I'm a longtime reader of Orange and Blue Hue and usually enjoy reading the stuff that Gatorpilot and his crew have to say about the Gators and the SEC.
See what he had to say after the jump.
That said, this post is patently absurd on a number of levels, and I think it's worth taking the time to say why. One could dwell on Gatorpilot's bizarre desire to see Spurrier fail. As I've said to him before, I think he basically wants to believe that Spurrier isn't the great coach people think (or used to think, as it may be) he is, because he believes that will prove that Florida could have succeeded with any coach. The idea that Spurrier made Florida great is a tough pill to swallow for some Gators fans, especially because he's now trying to prove that he can do for us what he once did for them. Gators fans want to believe that their football program was destined for greatness, and Spurrier succeeding with us would indicate that it was Spurrier, not Florida itself, that led to the emergence of a great football program.
Gatorpilot's other and more insane reason for wanting to see Spurrier fail is his belief that Spurrier has some kind of vendetta against Florida. Apparently, Spurrier doesn't spend his time thinking about how to field an SEC-championship caliber team. No, he spends his days thinking about ways to sabotage his alma mater. Like I said, self-aggrandizing and totally ridiculous. Gatorpilot refuses to believe that Spurrier is a man that wants to challenge himself with a tough job, that of winning the SEC at a school that has never done so before. Spurrier is ambitious and maybe even arrogant for believing he can do it. But he's not obsessed with destroying Florida.
So far, we've seen some pretty wacky stuff. But the part of this post that I really take issue with is the idea that if Spurrier can't make us a winner, then nobody can. I'll admit that if Spurrier leaves Columbia without at least making a New Year's Day bowl, it'll be a blow to our program, and the possibility of that happening seems to be growing by the week. Opposing coaches will use it against us as they try to lure recruits away from us. However, it won't be the end of the world. We have an athletic department that is committed to producing a winner at Carolina, and losing Spurrier won't be the end of the world. One day, we'll go out and we'll find a coach that will produce a winner.
Look around the college football world and you'll notice something: there is lots of parity, and there are lots of schools that are turning the corner. Things change. Wake Forest, a school that was beyond mediocre for years, has become one of the most consistent programs in the ACC, and they have a coach who seems to want to stay instead of using Wake as a stepping stone to a better job. Look at Mizzou. Who would have thought that Mizzou would ever supplant Nebraska as a power in the Big 12 North? Just a few years ago, they were like us, a school that consistently won six or seven games, could spring an upset, but couldn't turn the corner. Now they're a darkhorse national title contender. Even Vandy. They may not have won big yet, but if you had told me a few years ago that Vandy might make a bowl game and would be able to pull off upsets of Georgia and Tennessee, I would have told you that you're crazy. But I believe that Vandy will make a bowl this year, and I also think that they'll pull off at least one more upset.
These are the things that a great coach can do for you, and they can and will happen to us one day. I do agree with Gatorpilot on one thing, and that's that the Spurrier era has been a string of dissapoinments and that Spurrier may not be the one to take us to the promised land (although I'm not giving up on him quite yet). But why he hates Spurrier is beyond me, considering that Spurrier gave more to the University of Florida than Gatorpilot could ever dream of giving. And why he thinks we'll never succeed is also hard to understand. Any Gator fan with a little historical consciousness should realize that a once mediocre program can rise to become one of the best in the nation. But like a lot of Gators, this one believes that college football started in 1990. The year Steve Spurrier came to Gainesville.