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Gators to raise awareness for charities with strength-and-agility competition

GAINESVILLE -- Anyone ever stumble across a cable TV show called Ninja Warrior while flipping through the channels? Hilarious stuff. Basically, it's a Japanese reality show aimed at exploiting dorks. The producers find the weirdest people possible (this is just me assuming everyone in Japan is not like the people on this show) and run the freaks through obstacle courses suspended about 10 feet above some nasty, muddy water. See dork run. See dork fall. See dork splash. Repeat.

Now imagine the freaks on Florida's football team running around and risking bodily harm for your entertainment. (OK, I realize that happens every Saturday in the fall.) ANYWAY, part of Florida's annual summer workout rigors always include a strength-and-agility competition. This is nothing new. What is new is that the competition is open to the public this summer and will take place at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Friday, July 25. Mark your calendars.

Ninja_warrioThe athletic department is calling the event "Friday Night Lights," or some derivative of that. According to one of the football players, a large portion of the football team is going to split into six groups and compete against each other in several different athletic disciplines: Pulling tires, roller derby, four square, calf roping, etc... The winners get nothing. They're amateurs, duh. Each team, however, will "represent" a charity already associated with Shands Medical Center. For some reason, the UAA was hesitant to say the football team was going to raise money for charities. Apparently, the NCAA frowns on raising money for anyone accept the NCAA.

Here's hoping that the athletic department let's crazy ol' coach Urban Meyer design a bizarre obstacle course in the vein of Ninja Warrior. Or, better yet, here's hoping Urban Meyer competes with the dorks of Team Sportwriter against his own players. Now, that would be weird. (All in the name of charity, of course.)

-jo-

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