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Guess who's 44 today; Hint: His name rhymes with "inspire." You guessed it, Urban Meyer

GAINESVILLE -- The master of inspiration, psychology, text-messaging and punt coverage turned 44 today. What better time for a college football coach to have a birthday than July 10? He actually has time to enjoy it. But, will Urban Meyer enjoy his 44th birthday? That depends on how many recruits reply to his emails today.

Urban_meyer_poster2Before we reveal one of UF's most improved football players of the year, let's have some fun with Coach Meyer's big day. The Top 10 Moments From Urban Meyer's Birthday.

10. Burned out folk singer Jimmy Buffet sings surprise concert in Meyer's backyard. Next-door neighbor Billy Donovan calls the cops.
9. Emmanuel Moody swings by Publix to pick up the birthday cake but drops it as he's walking in the front door.
8. Chris Leak shows up unannounced. It was a little awkward, but it worked.
7. The party moves to the front yard when Chris Rainey challenges Jeff Demps to a foot race. Meyer nixes the idea and spoils the fun. The reasoning? No one called ESPN.
6. Dorian Munroe relieves himself in the bushes. (This actually happened last summer during preseason practice.)
5. Kyle Jackson doesn't stay long but he brings by some tasty finger foods: deviled eggs, pickled eggs and succotash salsa.
4. Tim Tebow and Louis Murphy bless the food.
3. Bobby Bowden and Randy Shannon were hiding behind Dorian's bushes. That was kind of weird.
2. Wondy Pierre-Louis bumps into the grill and gets burned.
1. Brandon Spikes only needs one swing to decapitate the Knowshon Moreno piñata.

OK, boys and girls. Feel free to get a little creative and write in your own favorite moment of Urban Meyer's birthday bash. Check back tomorrow for UF strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti's most improved player of the year. Hint: It's a South Florida special!

***By the way, this poster of Urban kills me. I know UF is a football school, but come on. First off, aren't there any writers around campus these days who could have posed for this picture? What happened to Harry Crews? (That's a joke, by the way.) And, I know The Swamp is a cradle of knowledge but shouldn't Meyer actually be in front of the library? And "Read...Urban Meyer @ your library."  Since when is "@" part of the English language? What is this, a PSA directed at the text-message generation? And, why is Meyer holding a self-help book? I know a UF professor wrote the book, but is that the best Florida can offer the world of letters these days? OK, random and dorky rant over.

-jo-

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Jo:

Best blog of all the state papers. Keep it up.

#2 reason was great! Unfortunately b/c it's so true. Hopefully Wondy becomes a wonder this year.

"Burned out folk singer, Jimmy Buffett?" What's up with that? As inaccurate as it is insensitive. Jimmy is about as burned out as Warren. And folk singer? Perhaps you have him confused with Pete Seger. Come on. You're a Gator and you cover the Gators. We hold you to a higher standard.

John,

True story here about Buffet. He's actually a family friend. I'm not kidding about this one either. My family is from Mobile (I was born in Mobile but only lived there for a short time) and most of my uncles and cousins went to McGill-Toolen High. Two of my cousins were really good friends with Buffet through middle school and high school (Buffet got kicked out of McGill) and one cousin is still CLOSE (fishing and drinking buddy) friends with Buffet. Trust me, he's a burnout. I have stories.

Now, as far as categorizing Buffet's music as "folk music," that's totally valid. Buffet, Arlo Guthrie, the Dead, et al: those bands and musicians can all be described as folk artists.

-jo-

J in Key West,

It was a pretty funny joke about Wondy, but truth is he's going to be one of the most improved players in the SEC this season. If you continue to read my blog throughout the season this year, you'll come to realize that Wondy is one of my favorite student-athletes on the team. (The other newspapers' beat writers get sick of listening to me explain why Wondy is going to be a great corner this season.) Wondy has battled through so much to get to UF and he's so thankful for everything that has happened to him. He's a great person.

-jo-

No Jo. What you mean to say is that he ought to be a burnout. Or it's a miracle that he isn't a burnout. But I've known plenty of burnouts and JB isn't even close. The guy is a marketing genius and he's very, very good at it. It's pretty hard to think of someone who is fabulously wealthy and still packing houses well into his 60's as a burnout. A burnout has little to say beyond, "Far out man." As for folk singers, once you plug it in, it isn't folk anymore. Don't you remember the controversy when Bob Dylan came out with his first electric set? There is a genre called folk-rock and I'd agree that Arlo belongs there. So to Simon and Garfunkle. But not the dead and certainly not Jimmy. Suppose that's why they make chocolate and vanilla but I remain unconvinced.

OK, good points all around. I was using the euphemism too loosely. I can agree to that. But I would have to argue, however, that The Dead is (among other things) a mixture of blues and folk.

-jo-

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