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A lot will happen during Gators spring practices, we just might not get to see it

SIGN_WARNING_TRESPASSERS_WILL_BE_SHOT Good afternoon Clausers. First off, my sincere apology for walking out on you the last couple of weeks. But the good news is, daddy's home and he's ready to shower you with attention. Baseball season is heating up, basketball is headed to the postseason and spring football is right around the corner, so we'll have plenty to talk about.

Speaking of spring football, got some bad news for you. The Gainesville Sun's Robbie Andreu blogged that practices may be closed to the public (and media) this spring. It's based on rumors and the word on the street, but Robbie knows what he's talking about, so there's a good chance this happens.

Two thoughts on this: 1. Huge bummer: With a new coaching staff, there are going to be big changes on both sides of the ball. And there's a quarterback battle! And we can't watch any of it! 2. Smart move: With a new coaching staff, there are going to be big changes on both sides of the ball. And there's a quarterback battle! Why would you want anyone else watching that?

My job will totally suck if this happens because I'll have nothing to go off of besides the coaches' and players' words, which, in four seasons around this program, I have come to realize don't mean s***. We'll hear all the same BS we heard in the past. Remember all that "John Brantley is the most pure passer of all time" stuff everyone used to say? No one knew it wasn't true until we could actually see Brantley play, and this spring will be the same problem.

But I still agree with the decision if they go that route. How does having open practices benefit a program? Don't tell me fan support, not here at least. Y'all Gators fans are straight-up crazy for your team (I mean that lovingly) and you're going to buy your tickets and shirts whether you got to see Frankie Hammond do one-on-one drills or not. This way, they get to work on everything with minimal distractions.

Two more thoughts on this: 1. The Orange and Blue Game is going to be one of the most anticipated ever. It'll be the unveiling of Jeff Driskel and Brantley 2.0 and the first look at the offense Charlie Weis has cooked up. Will it be a ramshackle, cheaply thrown-together fast food offense or an impeccably thought-out five course meal? (Sorry).

2. I really want Will Muschamp to make a commercial for spring practice to parody Eric Cartman's Cartmanland on South Park: "Hey everybody! Check out the all new Florida Gators! It's our grand opening, and we've got more than three returning players who didn't make fools of themselves last year to go along with a ton of young talent! There will be new coaches and lots of surprises, and the best part is...you can't come! So come on down to spring practices, but don't plan on getting past the parking lot, because remember...[Now singing] So much to do at spring practice, but you can't come! Especially Stan and Kyle."

We'll talk more about the main questions heading into spring practice in the next week, it just looks like we won't have those questions answered until the fall. That clearly sucks, but how do you feel about the decision if practices are closed? Think it's a good idea? Would it affect your support of the team? If the only security system at practices was for the quarterbacks to throw footballs at the trespassers, would you just take your chances?

Me? I'll be sitting in the parking lot, relentlessly blaring this song. Should make for a pretty creepy time.


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Yo Mike, welcome back. I totally support the closed practice sessions. Who cares if fans and the media don't find things out until the Spring game? Only thing that matters is what happens in the fall. These guys are revamping the whole program, and that's better done in private. Whatever Muschamp has to do to get us back in SEC championship shape is alright by me. GO GATORS!

mike...your columns suck bro...sorry to say

too much fluff, not enough stuff

I think it's a good idea I mean to me , just think about it wouldn't there be other coaches looking at how they practice ! It's smart , actually genius! Because not having people know what's coming towards them will shock everybody! Can wait to see Jeff driskel wearing that blue and orange. Goo gators!

On hand, I want to quench my Gator-jones each day of Spring ball, however the Gators have too many learning curves to get down this spring, so the closed practice makes sense to me.

...one hand...

Just close the practices. Case closed. There are millions of dollars at stake. Don't think for a second that any SEC school, including Florida, wouldn't sent a scout to the oppositions practice just to get a little leg up on what they are doing and with who.

Although, I would feel seriously creepy going to Athens in UGA gear to watch practice... (((((((shudder))))))

I'm torn between my normal jonesing-for-Gator-football this time of year and ADDED interest with all the changes, on the one hand, but my understanding and protectiveness of the program as a whole while it makes all the necessary adjustments AND does so with as few distractions as possible, on the other.
I'll support the decision either way, of course, especially this first year for Chomp & Co.--but would like to see SOME scrutiny (and resulting pressure?) in that QB-"battle"...like to see Brantley put to as much stress as possible sooner rather than later now. He's been a dud when it mattered so far; we can't afford to "wait'n'see" anymore--not with the talent and depth we've got coming in behind him.

A) You forgot to mention the actual dates of spring practice. Are they confidential too?
B) I heard that since Weis came, we're getting a new, bigger airplane. :) Any truth to that rumor?

Bud, B is definitely true, and word is that celebrity chef Mario Batali has been contracted to cook during flights.

My bad on A. They start March 16, there's no schedule yet, but there is going to be a press conference with Muschamp and Weis a few days before, so I'll certainly have coverage of that for y'all.

To the guy who said that Brantley's 'been a dud when it mattered so far': About 90% of his "dudness" was a direct result of Addazio. The guy has not had a chance to play under sane coaching.
My guess is that he will perform somewhere between very good to excellant this year. We should all hope so; great kid, student, and an athlete with class.

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