For a Steeler fan like myself, it was tough to watch the Steelers-Broncos game at our house last weekend. There were two reasons.
1. The Steelers’ defense, #1 in the league, made the NFL’s worst quarterback look like the second coming of Johnny Unitas.
2. Mrs. Poolman actively cheered for Tim Tebow and the Broncos the entire game.
Actually, I have really enjoyed all the fuss and controversy over Tebow this year. Of course, we have followed him since he was recruited by the Gators, his four years of playing for the Gators, a Heisman Trophy and two national championships. These days he has been driving people crazy, again for two reasons.
–As a man, he is the “real deal.” Critics have been searching for some evidence of hypocrisy in Tim for years, but haven’t been able to find any. He is what he is, and that is a strong character and good person.
–He has marginal skills as a traditional NFL quarterback, but that hasn’t kept him from being a major player in a story-book season for the Broncos. The team’s performance, most recently against Pittsburgh last weekend, has caused all kinds of “experts” to eat their words.
It has also given editorial cartoonists plenty of material to work with.
Frankly, I don’t know if Tim has a long-term future as an NFL quarterback. I’m not enough of an expert to make that kind of judgment. But in the meantime, the story has been a lot of fun to watch.
Another reason Timmy has been fun to watch is the criticism and outrage over his public displays of faith. The term “Tebowing” has entered the language. (I also thought it was hysterical when, during one game this season, a defensive player sacked Tim, and then took a knee in the “Tebow pose.” Now that’s funny!)
I ran across this piece from Fox News featuring commentator Bernard Goldberg, who addresses the criticism and defends Tim. As usual, Bernie is right on target.
We’ll be watching the Denver-New England game on Saturday evening. We’ll see if the miracle train continues on down the track.
I knew we were in trouble as soon as I opened the mail box. We had been caught.
The envelope from the University of Florida Athletic Association was addressed to “The Family of ‘my late father-in law.’”
Oops! That does not look good.
My father-in-law, who passed away in 2006, bought season tickets to University of Florida football games back in the late 1980s, when they were practically giving them away. Shortly thereafter Steve Spurrier arrived on the scene, followed later by Urban Meyer. The past two decades have included a handful of conference championships, three national championships and two Heisman Trophy winners. The demand for football tickets has risen dramatically.
Like all major football programs, at UF you must make a donation to the athletic association at a certain level to have the privilege of purchasing season tickets. Today that required donation runs into the thousands of dollars. In the late 80s, it was about a tenth of that. So long as Father-in-Law was alive, he was grandfathered in at his original rate. The athletic association will allow a transfer to a son or daughter, but the expected donation would reset at today’s level. So when FIL died in 2006, we conveniently neglected forgot to tell the athletic association about it.
To be blunt, we cannot afford the donation level they require for our seats. They aren’t great seats, and the donation level is near the bottom of the scale, but it’s still much more than Mrs. Poolman and I can afford or justify.
As Mrs. P said, “It’s like the end of an era.”
Our closest friends
I guess we will be spending more fall Saturdays in front of the TV, rather than enjoying the companionship of 92,000 of our closest friends. I hope they will miss us.
I stayed up late last night to watch the Alabama-Texas game. Unfortunately, I missed the best part of the game. At half-time, it looked as if the Tide had it in their pocket and it was just a matter of running out the clock in the second half. I ended up dozing off early in the second half and completely missed the Longhorns comeback. I awoke as the game ended and saw the final score. I thought the blow out had just continued. I didn’t realize there was any drama until I listened to the radio on the way to work. I hate it when these games are on work nights.
I was very happy to see Alabama win. That is four years in a row for SEC teams. Florida finished third in the polls with a 13-1 record and a Sugar Bowl win against previously undefeated Big East champ Cincinnati. It would have been fun to have watched the Gators play last night, but I can’t complain about that kind of season.
We have a guy here at work who is a Florida State fan. He is always trying to lump the SEC and the ACC together as “southern football.” Sorry, pal, that just doesn’t hold water, at least not for the past several years. In the last weekend of the regular season the ACC division winners (Georgia Tech and Clemson) were soundly beaten by two middle-of-the-pack SEC East teams (Georgia and South Carolina.) What else do you need to know?
The SEC did not have the best bowl record, but then again, the SEC sent 10 of its 12 teams to bowls. Does it really matter that an ACC runner up (Clemson) beat a team that finished fifth out of six teams in the SEC East (Kentucky)? Both SEC’s BCS teams won big.
As there is every year, there is a lot of grumbling out there about the so-called mid-majors and the BCS system. Some radio guys were talking about mounting a protest and voting Boise State #1. I actually have some sympathy for the Boise States of the world, but too much. If you really want to be taken seriously and walk with the big boys, then start acting like one. Upgrade your program and play a serious schedule. Either join a serious conference or upgrade your own. In Boise State’s case, joining the PAC 10 (then 11) would make perfect sense. You go undefeated against that competition and we’ll take you seriously. However, when you play one or two decent teams (especially real early in the season) and then flesh out your schedule with Sister Mary’s School for the Deaf and Blind and the Montana School for Cattle Rustlers, you won’t be taken seriously. Playing a Mountain West or WAC schedule simply does not match up against playing Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, etc week in and week out. You MAY be the best team in the country, but we’ll never know for sure.
Let’s see, signing day is about a month away; spring practice about 3 months down the road and summer camp a few months after that. Fall kick off in 8 and a half months. Can’t wait!
We received a lovely gift in the mail today. The Gator Boosters sent us a miniature model of the Gators’ national championship trophy. The enclosed card said in part:
“…Along with the Gator players and coaches, you played a vital role in this championship and we want you to have your own trophy as a thank you…”
Who ‘da thought? We always thought we did our part but we never realized the importance of our role, or that the coaches and players really acknowledged and appreciated our efforts. I’m touched. We do try. Our efforts include:
Mrs. Poolman’s telepathically “channeling” Coach Meyer to get him psyched up for every game.
Sometimes driving on-campus before dawn on game-day to get our favorite tailgating spot for an early game.
Joining 92,000 of our closest friends to scream our throats sore to drown out the opposing quarterback’s signals.
92,000 of our closest friends on a Saturday afternoon
For the away games, sitting in front of our TV and intently concentrating on every play of every game, yelling encouragement to the team; and even sending in plays (via Mrs. Poolman’s telepathic link.)
Very important – controlling the game atmosphere in our family room during televised games. No extraneous conversation. No distractions. And when things are going our way in a close game, NOBODY MOVES! You don’t want to break the mojo.
We decorate the fireplace mantel in our family (TV) room with Gator flags, stuffed alligators and other memorabilia in late August and leave the “shrine” up until Christmas, when Mrs. Poolman replaces it with Christmas stuff. Of course, it all goes back up in time for the bowl game.
At the end of the third quarter of every game, even when we are watching at home, we stand up, join arm-in-arm, and sing “We are the boys of old Florida.” Some of our non-Gator fan friends think this is a little strange, especially when they see it for the first time.
It’s nice to know we’re appreciated. I wonder if we’ll get an invitation to the President’s Box.