UF vs FSU

A Gator’s perspective.

“Who cares about college football?”, you may be asking yourself. Well I’m glad you asked.

Imagine college football gameday. Its an image that comes easily to me. You are in a relatively small college town that seems to double in population six weekends every fall. On Friday, the school campus begins to resemble a K.O.A. Alumni and students gather to discuss past glory and the triumph to come. On Saturday morning you awake earlier than normal (for a Saturday), with anticipation not unlike a small child’s on Christmas morning. . . kick-off is near! You make your way to campus as the afternoon approaches. As you near your destination, more and more people join you on your chosen path. You arrive at the stadium, eager to see your school take on one of it’s bitterest rivals. You feel a combination of anticipation, confidence, and doubt; but you won’t admit to the doubt. From the moment of the opening kick-off until the final second has expired from the clock, each play is agonized over until its result is known. The agony of anticipation grows with each play as the game gets closer to its end, but the outcome remains in doubt. Suddenly, from the rhythm of the game arises the “big play.” Pent up nerves are released into the depths of despair, or the heights of exhilaration. Tens of thousands of people screaming in unison are either silenced in that instant, or released into joyous pandemonium as the outcome of the contest SEEMS to become clearer. But more often than not fate is not so easily coaxed from the closet, as the so called “big play” alternately plays the champion for each team, toying with the crowds emotions before the outcome is clear. And when when the last seconds finally tick past, the crowd is left either with the hope that next year will bring better returns, or bragging rights for another year.

That brings me to a little get together that happens in Tallahassee this year. It’s an attractive city to be sure, but it’s not a college town – in the purest sense. I can’t fault the fans. A fine school and a fine team share a north Florida city with our state’s capital. While our rivalry with them is not considered our biggest, it certainly has gotten hotter of late. Our fortunes against them never seemed lower than the “the choke at Doke.” However, a little contest that decided a national championship a few years back more than atoned for that sin.

I am young, my experience is slight, and my knowledge of the history of my alma-matter’s rivalry with FSU is shamefully lacking. But this I know: we have won more often than we have lost. I say this not because we should rest easy on our laurels, but merely that it is easy to do so.

The gauntlet has been thrown down. A line has been drawn in the sand. It’s time to play the game.

In the begining

In the begining I was alone. I was alone for a long time. People were always around but I couldn’t get close. I walked through life like a shadow, with only my brooding thoughts to keep me company.

And then I grew up.

I met Cheryl and finally made a conection. I went to work and made more conections. I came home and made more.

Now my life seems rich. My prayers have been answered.

Independence Day

July 4, 1997 makes it eight years since my own independence day. It was July 4th, 1989 and I was just starting my first semester at UF. I remember sitting alone atop the Broward Hall parking garage. I remember thinking that I should be happy, that I was free on this Independence Day. In reality, I was free to be alone that night. I was free to worry about my future. I was free to have life’s unknowns weigh down on me like the weight of the universe. It was such a beautiful night, looking out across the campus from high above, the sun spectacularly lighting the evening sky. All around was such beauty, yet such turmoil resided within me.

I look back, now eight years later, and I don’t have that freedom anymore. Then I was moving away from a family. Now I’m on the brink of starting my own.

Sometimes freedom is over-rated.

A letter to myself

If talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness, what about writing to yourself? Either way, I’m looking forward to the next month. It’s more than Cheryl can say. The only thing Cheryl likes about this month is it’s the last of her pregnancy – and my heart goes out to her. She has handled all of the discomfort with grace, something I couldn’t equal if I were here (thankfully, barring a miracle I will never to).

Sometime this month I am going to meet my first child – something I have waited almost 9 months to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought I’d have children eventually, but I didn’t really think about it seriously until we found out Cheryl was pregnant. In some ways it still hasn’t sunk in – and it probably won’t until the day comes – the one day this month that I am not looking forward to. Oh, I’m looking forward to seeing my child for the first time, but I’m a little worried about what it will take out of Cheryl getting to that point.

I’m sure it will all be something to remember. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to look back and say it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

I make a lousy optimist.

But what?

I’m tired, but I don’t want to go to bed.

I want to do something, but I’m too tired to do anything.

I want to be creative, but wanting is not enough.

I like my job, but it makes me feel unapretiated.

I like to play tennis, but it is too hard on my knees.

I want to go on a bike tour of north g-ville, but I fear that no one wants to go with me.

I like cold weather, but I live in Florida.

I like Florida, but it rarely has cold weather.

I like to use my computer, but I hate to type.

I want to take more pictures, but developing them is too expensive.

I want to be in better shape, but I hate to work out.

I need to see a dentist, but I keep putting off making the appointment.

I want to make music, but I’m terrible at it.

I would like to drive fast, but I fear the consequences.

I want to express myself, but I fear what others will think.

I felt that Al was a pain in the ass, but I miss him dearly.

I want to continue, but I have to go to bed.

8/14/96