Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Almost enough to make me root for Arkansas this weekend.

MSNBC's Joey Johnston tells Florida fans what Brooklyn Dodger fans used to say to their Yankee-loving counterparts: Wait 'til next year!

OK, I'm game for a wait. After all, I'm a Mets fan, too (must be something about teams that wear blue and orange). But then he raises the spectre of a Gator/Fighting Irish clash in the Sugar Bowl, assuming Florida manages to get by Arkansas in the SEC championship match. Yikes! A replay of the 1992 Cheerios Bowl, which I watched, first joyfully, then in agony, on the Lion's Head TV. Well, OK, shouldn't I want the Gators to get another shot at Notre Dame? Wouldn't victory this time be so sweet? Yeah, but all I can envision is Florida carrying another lead into the final minutes, then the great "Ol' Mo" switcheroo, with the boys from South Bend getting maybe a 45 yard go-ahead FG with seconds left on the clock. And then, the ultimate torture: the assembled commentators squatting on their heels, commencing to kick and, in Tevye mode, chant: "Golden Dome,Tra-di-shon! Joe Montana, Tra-di-shon! ..."

Better the Gators should lose in Atlanta and play Cincinnatti in the Roto-Rooter Bowl.

Addendum: I had a nagging feeling there was some connection between the Florida Gators and the Brooklyn Dodgers (besides being teams that often broke their fans' hearts). Now I remember -- it was Red Barber (see bio here). A native of Mississippi, Barber studied English in Gainesville and found a sideline as an announcer for the campus radio station, where he did live commentary on Gator football games. This started a career that took him to New York, where he became the voice of the Dodgers, and caused phrases like "sittin' in the tall cotton" and "tearin' up the pea patch" to become part of the Brooklyn patois.