Gators Put It All on the Line

By Pam Robinson

Jan 8, 2009 12:07pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Marilia Brocchetto blogs: It seems like yesterday: Aug. 30th was perhaps the hottest day of the year, but it was also the day the Florida boys marched on to Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and kicked off what should have been a rebound from the not-so-satisfying 2007 season. This season wasn’t all fun, but it sure was satisfying for most Gator Fans.  Remember Ole Miss? Who would have thought Florida’s field goal kicker Jonathan Phillips would miss an extra point? Tebow took the fall. “I just want to say one thing,” as he paused with tears in his eyes, breathing hard to himself, “To the fans and everybody in Gator Nation, um, you know what, I’m sorry.” Tebow, who many call Superman, continued to apologize.  “I’m extremely sorry. We were hoping for an undefeated season. That was my goal – something Florida’s never done here" and so he promised to fight and to make it up to all Gator fans. The loss was a wake-up call for sure, even for the most die-hard fans.  Could UF rebound from losing to an unranked team at home? While all those questions haunted the program, the Florida Faithful worked hard. And so week by week after that infamous Saturday afternoon, the Gators grew strong again. And there were a lot weeks, nine teeth-clenching games to be more specific. No one stood a chance against this super-powered, Tebow- fueled team. Tennesse, Georgia, The Citadel; mere hurdles in the Gators’ dash to the finish line. And Fall 2008 will go down in history as the semester where the Gators grew and learned to believe in themselves again. But while the team and the program were thriving, it seemed that tickets to Gator games were getting harder to come by almost by the minute. Fall 2008 will also go down in history as the year where students were the maddest at the athletic program for all their flaws in the ticketing system. It seems UF officials finally got it right for the last and biggest game of this season. A lottery based on the number of credits, and a lottery that by the sake of its name, grants most students the same odds of winning. No more “my internet is faster than yours” talk. Will we win the game? That I can’t predict, but what I can say is that as a school and as a fan base, we have definitely won immensely. Never have we seen our boys play as hard and forcefully as they have this season. They earned the chance to play in Miami. They believed in themselves and worked hard to prove themselves to us, even when some were calling the season quits after the fourth game. So what if Tebow didn’t win the Heisman? He still won every fan’s hearts with his charisma and charm.

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