Feuding Florida teams take rivalry to new low

The Florida Gators need to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers in Gainesville, Fla., this Saturday if they want to play for the national title in the Rose Bowl.

But without question, the Gators’ most entertaining battle is their current feud with archrival Florida State. The spat stems back to Florida’s 37-13 defeat of the Seminoles Nov. 17, when Florida State defender Darnell Dockett is believed to have intentionally injured Gator tailback Earnest Graham’s knee in a pileup.

“I got tackled on the play,” Graham said. “That was perfectly OK. There were two guys on top of me, and I felt them against my body. And then I felt someone tugging on my leg. He kept twisting harder, harder and harder until I felt it rip and then pop. I heard some moaning and groaning from the guy doing it.”

Further, the Gators believe Dockett tried to stomp on quarterback Rex Grossman’s hand as Grossman was tackled out of bounds.

As any coach worth his salt would do, Steve Spurrier is standing by his players, living up to his nickname “Jaws” in the process.

“I have to speak up on behalf of Rex,” Spurrier said. “His dad called me. He saw the clip. [Dockett] could have ruined his career. We’ve got video on it. I’m not making this stuff up.”

No, of course he’s not making it up. Soap opera scriptwriters couldn’t make this stuff up.

Spurrier launched an all-out offensive on Seminole head coach Bobby Bowden.

“I wonder if he instructs this type of action,” Spurrier said. “Everyone in college football knows this kind of crap should not happen. And it happens over and over when we play these guys.”

After tryouts in the Seminole athletics department to see who was best equipped to combat Spurrier’s words, a winner emerged in athletics director Dave Hart, who was, simply put, more than up to the task.

“It would probably be good if somebody just spanked [Spurrier] and put him to bed and hope he wakes up all grown up,” Hart said at a news conference he called. “I believe strongly in the respect factor. I believe in professional behavior and ethical behavior.”

Oh, so suggesting a college football coach be spanked is professional? Or ethical? Jeez! I don’t know what Hart’s smoking, but I sure wish I had some of it.



Jauron deserves contract

Quick: Name the quarterback of the Chicago Bears. Can’t? OK, how about their running back? Their top two defensive players? Still stumped? By now you get the point. Without any marquis playmakers, the Bears, yes those Monsters of the Midway, are on top of the NFC “Norris” Division with an impressive 8-2 record.

Much of the credit has to go to head coach Dick Jauron ’73 — a former Yale football star running back — who has his players united in their quest for victory. Remarkably, Jauron’s job is in serious jeopardy, because the Bears’ new general manager Jerry Angelo refuses to endorse Jauron even though he is one of the top candidates for coach of the year honors.

Jauron’s contract expires at the end of this season, and Angelo keeps hinting that he wants to bring in a new coach. Jauron’s work is not done — the Bears should not only make, but advance far into the playoffs. But even if the Bears don’t win another game all season, Jauron will have a head coaching job somewhere in the NFL next year. If Angelo has any football acumen, it will in Chicago.



Cha-ching!

Rumor has it that boxer Lennox Lewis bet $2 million on himself in a recent fight with Hasim Rahman, whom he had lost to just seven months earlier. Some of television’s talking heads are calling Lewis’ actions preposterous and disgraceful. Be that as it may, but I call it confidence.

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