Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

Veterinarian JERRY DELONEY's 22-foot-long, carpet-and-styrofoam gator with the Seminole spear through its head was designed to tweak Gator fans.

Apparently, it worked, The Associated Press reports.

A band of carousing, tuxedo-clad University of Florida fans with a video camera and doing the "Gator Chomp" with their arms tore the hapless creature to pieces late Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla., and made off with the life-sized, stuffed Wil E. Coyote that had been hammering a hatchet on its head. "I stick it out there to rag 'em, and this time they took the bait," Deloney said Monday, having spent much of Sunday rebuilding the gator. "He's still got a lot of facial damage that I won't be able to get to until next year." The gator was mounted atop Deloney's animal ambulance, along with the stuffed dog dressed in a Florida State football helmet. A pizza delivery man from a neighboring shop noticed the alligator was missing from the van, and later saw several well-dressed men stomping on it. "The UF fans were offended by the speared gator and the dog up there beating hell out of him," Deloney said. "I think they got a little carried away." He hopes to put the alligator back on his ambulance this week - in plenty of time for the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl game between Florida and Florida State. For a while, at least, the gator will have to return without his companion. "We haven't found the coyote yet," Deloney said. "We call him Sammy Seminole." Yo Jerry, better start calling him T-O-A-S-T. Seattle beat the Oakland Raiders 28-21 on Sunday in what Seahawks coach DENNIS ERICKSON described as "one of the better ugly wins I've been around." ART THIEL of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer agreed, noting that the Seattle quarterback, GINO TORRETTA, had not "lifted anything heavier than a clipboard since he picked up the 1992 Heisman Trophy at the University of Miami. …

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