Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Back Up Spurrier's Words

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Back Up Spurrier's Words

Article excerpt

NEW ORLEANS -- Way back on July 29, at a preseason

gathering of the Jacksonville Gator Club, Florida coach

Steve Spurrier told the chanting, chiding crowd, "I have a

feeling we may be dancing and high-fiving on Bourbon Street come

January 2."

Now five chaotic months and a couple of fatefully fortunate

twists and turns later, Spurrier turned out to be as prophetic

at calling his shots as he is at calling his plays. In the game

he has been waiting for all his life, Spurrier pulled out his

shotgun and blasted gaping holes in Florida State's feared

defense as the Gators likely captured their first national

championship by dismantling and humiliating the Seminoles 52-20

last night.

For both teams, this was it: the ultimate rival, in the

ultimate setting, in the ultimate game. For the ultimate prize.

This was for bragging rights . . . for life.

All those decades of badgering and bickering back and forth

between the teams. All the hard feelings and intense emotions.

All the tears, cheers and Wait Till Next Years. All the jokes,

jabs and jabbering. All the controversy and chaos. From Free

Shoes U. to Lane Fenner to Late Hits, it was all settled on one

fiery, fervid night on the Louisiana Bayou in a stadium that --

thank heavens -- had a roof. This game, this simmering pot of

passion, needed a lid to keep it from boiling over and flooding

the French Quarter.

As far as national appeal, maybe this wasn't the marquee

matchup the Bowl Alliance had hoped. But for the college

football crazies in our state, nothing has been or ever will be

as important as last night's Florida State-Florida ReDeaux on

the Bayou.

Unless some envious coaches in the USA Today-CNN poll get

together and form a voting bloc against Spurrier's Gators,

polls are released today. …

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