From the Trolling-For-Dollars Dept.
We get this gem from Jemele Hill of the Orlando Sentinel. To be honest, Hill started writing for the Sentinel after I started at UF, so I haven’t read much of her work. What I have seen has been good and informative. Until this. I’d have expected Mike Bianchi to write this, but not her.
Anyway, she takes UF fans to task for the boos last night. I’ve already done that so I don’t have a problem with that part of the column, though I think she misses that the fans for the most part were booing the coaches’ decision to pull Tebow, not the presence of Leak. In any event, it’s the end where it takes a turn for the worse.
She echoes the sentiment of a CBS Sportsline writer named Mike Freeman that Leak has been a punching bag at UF because it’s the South and Leak is black. The fans are down on the black starter, and want the white backup to be the savior.
To begin with, that’s crazy. Yes, there were racists in the crowd on Saturday. If you take any random set of 90,000 people on the planet, there will be racists of some type in that group. However, she must be forgetting 2003 when the UF fans were breathlessly pining for Leak to supplant Ingle Martin as starting quarterback. Martin is white. He ended up transferring to I-AA Furman where he played well, and he was a fifth round pick of the Packers in this year’s draft. There also were fans last year who wanted to see Josh Portis take away some of Leak’s snaps because of his running ability. Portis is black. He transferred to Maryland for a variety of reasons this offseason.
The booing only lasted about 2 seconds too, and it was only a small fraction of the people in attendance. It was like the thought process of the fans was:
- What? Tebow’s going out?
- Urban is an idiot for doing this! Tebow deserves to score after all that running!
- Oh crap, it looks like we’re booing Leak.
- Yay! Go Chris Leak!
Now, I know from people who were there that people were cursing Chris Leak’s name in the student section. In the alumni section where I sit with my folks, there were a few people who were booing the player, not the coaches too. However, the vast majority did their best to make up for the others. After a night of offensive frustration, people were excited to see Tebow run all over the field and they wanted to see him get a chance at the touchdown, not see the first team offense get more reps in the red zone. They were thinking about running up the score on Kentucky, not about what will get the team ready for the next four games.
Look, there will always be impatient jerks who either don’t understand that football is about the whole season, not just one game, or who are just too drunk to care. There are others who just want to see the Next Big Thing, regardless of what’s in place now. In Internet parlance, they are trolls: people looking more to stir up trouble to get their way than looking out for what’s best for the team.
Ms. Hill has now joined them. Playing the race card when it is clearly not applicable is a classic troll move. Hopefully people will figure out that there is no quarterback controversy among people who know what’s going on and I won’t have to read anymore ignorant opinion pieces like this. At least until I pick up tomorrow’s Alligator.