Anyone out there watching the NFL Draft? If so then no doubt you've seen Steve Spurrier's Under Armour commercial. Something about Spurrier signing off a phone conversation with, "Yeah, click-clack," makes me want to put a Louisville Slugger through my television set. Here's a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moPBR6os8Z0
EA Sports named Florida basketball commitment Nick Calathas to its All-America team today. Calathas, a 6-6 guard from Winter Park Lake Howell High, led his team to a Class 5A state championship, scoring 28.3 points per game. He also averaged 6.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Calathas started for Lake Howell for four seasons, leading his team to a 113-16 record in that time. The incoming freshman is expected to compete for a starting position next season. Former Florida point guard Taurean Green has declared himself eligible for this summer's NBA Draft.
GAINESVILLE -- Something isn't right here. The Gator Clause staff plans to investigate. For now, here's the evidence.
The University of Florida announced this weekend that it will sell pieces of the Final Four court for $224 apiece. From the university's website:
"Own a piece of the 2007 Final Four floor cut from the actual court on which the Gators won the National Championship in Atlanta. Each piece is approximately 1 foot x 2 foot and will be laminated with the full court design."
The University of Florida bought the Final Four court from the NCAA after its basketball team won the national championship. According to athletics director Jeremy Foley, the university paid $71,000 for the parquet. (Pretty expensive for second-hand wood.) "I want to keep buying them," Foley said. "That's the plan." Foley said the profits made from the floor, which will be chopped into 2,200 pieces, will fund scholarships.
Now, here's where the questions begin. Gator Clause was browsing through Ebay.com for Gator memorabilia -- (The GC blog staff is searching for Joakim Noah's used mouthpiece. It is the staff's collective personal mission to track down this mouthpiece and report on its whereabouts. Is someone using this mouthpiece during pick-up games at the Atlanta YMCA?) --when it found this piece of parquet, reportedly, signed by Noah. The highest bid (as of 2:18 p.m. on Sunday) was $13.49. Toss in $10 for shipping and handling and that's a pretty good bargain compared to what the university is charging.
Ebay.com CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK says the bid originated in the Midwest. This all sounds pretty fishy. If you want an authentic piece of the Final Four floor, then your best bet would be to purchase one through the university. If you think like me -- All wood burns the same. Who cares? -- then place your online bid for a fraction of the university's price. Well, if you're like me, then you don't really care at all. I own one piece of sports memorabilia -- a Bo Jackson autographed baseball when he played for the no-more Memphis Chicks.
"April is the cruelest month." The guy who wrote that (T.S. Eliot) was not a Florida Gator. The fourth month of 2007 begins with the University of Florida atop the collegiate athletics world. There's no break in the action for a sports reporter when the college basketball team wins clean through to April and the defending national champion football team is on the spring practice field with a kid at quarterback named Tim Tebow.
Hello, howdy and hola' back:
I'm the new guy on the Florida Gators' beat and this is my blog. It's a place for South Florida sports fans to read my observations and offbeat opinions of everything orange and blue. While I'm new to covering the Gators, I'm not new to The Miami Herald. I moved to South Florida in 2005 and covered Broward County high schools for the The Herald until about a month ago. Needless to say, it has been a pretty remarkable run since then. I have witnessed 10 events involving the Gators and Florida has won every time.
Before we move exclusively to spring football coverage, here are a few things you probably didn't read about the Gators' national championship run...
GET YOUR LIGHT FEET GOING: Bless his heart, but (former) Florida forward Joakim Noah can't dance. Noah unleashed his moves after the Gators won the SEC Tournament in Atlanta. CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH. Noah calls his dance "Light Feet." (Former) Teammate Taurean Green likes to say, "Get your light feet going. Get your light feet going." I've seen electrocuted scarecrows with better steps.
HUMPHREY WOULD RATHER DUNK: (Former) Florida shooting specialist Lee Humphrey made plenty of three-pointers this postseason. He holds the record for most career three-pointers in NCAA Tournament history. Fans love Humphrey for two reasons. He's awe-shucks humble and he's at his best under pressure. After the Gators' win against Purdue in New Orleans, I asked Humphrey if he could dunk. "Yes, but it's not very pretty," he said. Humphrey didn't hesitate when asked this question: Would you rather win a game with a three-point shot or a dunk? "Dunk," Humphrey said. "Every time."
WOULD YOU CATCH NOAH'S MOUTHPIECE? Joakim Noah tossed his shoes and mouthpiece into the crowd after the Gators beat Ohio State in the national championship game. It begs the question: Would you catch Noah's mouthpiece?
MARREESE GOT HIS WISH: Prior to the Final Four, Florida freshman Marreese Speights told me that he didn't expect to receive any playing time. "I hope so, but I doubt it," Speights said. "We'd probably need to be winning pretty good for me to get in." Speights got his wish in the national championship game and played important minutes defending (and fouling) Ohio State's Greg Oden. Speights even made a jump shot.
Did anyone see what Corey Brewer said about Greg Oden during the national championship game? I can read lips. It wasn't: "I love that guy." Oden unintentionally hit Brewer below the belt during first half.
TRESSEL FLASHBACK: Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel watched the Gators during the Final Four. I spoke with Tressel briefly during halftime of the Florida vs. UCLA national semifinal game. "They can get up and down the court," Tressel said of the Gators. Look familiar?
$$$CHRIS RICHARD$$$: No one made more money in Atlanta than Chris Richard. The Gators' career reserve player, Richard impressed many with his exceptional low-post play. If Richard can't find a roster spot in the NBA next season, expect him to make plenty of money in Europe while honing his skills. Sound familiar (Udonis Haslem)?
SPEAKING OF CHRIS RICHARD: Think he can play tight end?
GREEN ON GUMP: Throughout the NCAA Tournament run, Green kept his teammates smiling with impersonations of Private Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue from the movie Forrest Gump. "Barbeque shrimp, shrimp sandwich...," Green said. It was a bit bizarre but seemed appropriate while the Gators were in New Orleans. "He just likes the movie," Richard said.
BREWER WINS THE M.O.P. AWARD: When Corey Brewer told his teammates he would return for his junior season it helped trigger a chain reaction that kept Noah, Green and Al Horford in Gainesville for one more year. Fittingly, Brewer was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Just my opinion, but 10 years from now (after a few NBA All-Star Game appearances) Brewer will be remembered as the Gators' best player in school history.