Thoughts of the Day: April 28, 2021

A few thoughts to jump start your Wednesday morning:

IN A SEASON OF WHAT IFS, WHICH ONE WAS THE WORST?

“I’ll never forgive Marco Wilson for what he did,” a friend of mine whose passion for the Gators has been known to cause a full mental eclipse when zeal blocks out reality. He was speaking, of course, of what some Gator fans have dubbed “Shoe-Gate” when Marco found himself in possession of Kole Taylor’s shoe after he had tackled Taylor six yards short of a first down on third down with less than two minutes remaining, Florida and LSU tied at 34-34.


Instead of punting, LSU got a first down and wound up kicking a 57-yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the game. Florida’s Evan McPherson had a chance to send the game into overtime but his 51-yard field goal as time expired hooked inches beyond the goal post. Florida lost, 37-34.


“That bonehead Marco cost us the game,” my friend said, forgetting that in the first quarter on fourth and goal inches away the Gators were stuffed because the O-line failed or that Kyle Trask threw an interception that cost the Gators six points in the second quarter and a Trask fumble because the O-line didn’t do its job (again) with 23 seconds left in the half gave LSU a field goal and a 24-17 lead as time expired.


I mentioned those three plays and then asked my friend even if Marco doesn’t throw the shoe do the Gators still have to play Alabama in the SEC Championship Game the next week? And against Alabama what if Marlon Dunlap doesn’t jump offside in the first quarter to extend an Alabama drive that resulted in a TD? And in the second quarter what if Kyree Campbell doesn’t ease up on the way to the sideline, causing a substitution penalty that erases an incomplete pass on third-and-eight? On the next play Bama gets the first down then goes on to finish the drive for a TD that makes the score 28-10. Florida ended up losing 52-46.


Of course, there is the Malik Davis fumble at midfield in the Texas A&M game with 3:40 left. The score was tied 38-38 and the Gators were driving. The Aggies got the ball and drove for the game-winning field goal with 3:40 left.


And what about the Cotton Bowl? What if Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes and Brad Stewart had played?


My friend had no answers and blamed me for injecting logic into the argument he was trying to make.