I built myself a DVR last year, and this year I decided to record as many different coach’s shows as I could because there’s something inherently funny to me in them. Most are done with laughably bad graphics, very low budgets, and when the team is playing badly or has lost, they’re unintentionally hilarious.
Between SunSports and Cox Sports TV, there’s a lot of different coach’s shows on Gainesville TV. I am going to do mostly satirical reviews of as many as I can find, and to be fair, we start with the Gators. This is required weekly viewing for me, so I can actually comment on how things usually go. For just about all of the rest of them, I will only have one episode to go on.
Official Name: Florida Football with Urban Meyer
Episode Reviewed: After the Ole Miss game
Theme Music: generic hard rock music
Co-Host: Mick Hubert, the voice of the Gators
Coach’s Mood: Stoic, all business. As usual. He has the same demeanor every week on the show.
How do you know the Gators are a tough team? Steel diamond plating on what appears to be rock. If you could make steel out of rock, that’s how tough the Gators would be.
This is Urban’s best attempt at a smile when he’s not on the football field.
They’re a bit hokey, but at least it appears someone spent more than 10 minutes on them. Comparatively speaking, it’s a solid B for this category.
A wide-angle shot of the set as seen every time the show goes to commercial.
The designers tried a little too hard to make this look classy, and the Gators logos on the wall are all distorted and put up on weird angles. At least they’re muted so as not to be too distracting. There’s a wide screen high def display, two Gator helmets, and a wooden desk. This is actually the best set of the shows I’ve seen so far. Grade: A.
Four segments: opening remarks, game review, Inside Gator Football, and All Access Gators. There are brief closing remarks at the end.
Urban was not happy about the game as a whole, so that means he dropped a few of his patented backhanded compliments of the team. He tried to stay positive, but you could tell him the game’s outcome bugged him. He seemed most happy about the way Florida dominated the fourth quarter statistically.
These graphics indicate which segment of the game the highlights are coming from. You know the games are intense because not only is the blue, diamond-plated rock back, but the text distorts light.
Either Urban practices this (unlikely) or someone who puts the show together actually gives him a list of the plays being featured (overwhelmingly likely) because he’s very sharp every week during this segment. He knows what’s going on with every play and how it relates to everything else int he game. Only Mark Richt can pull off the game review segment as well as Urban can. Grade: A.
Inside Gator Football
At least it’s consistent with the rest of the show’s graphics
Longtime SunSports veteran Steve Babik does a segment every week on either a coach or a player in the program currently. This week was Tony Joiner. They’re fluff pieces every week, but you usually find out a couple of interesting things about the people featured. Plus, they’re almost as objective as the College GameDay fluff pieces, so it’s got that going for it. Grade: B. You have to grade on a curve with these shows.
All Access Gators
Where did this come from? It has no diamond plated rock at all!
This segment repeats highlights from earlier, only this time with Mick Hubert’s radio calls over them. After a highlight, you get a 5-second or so video quote from a player involved. This segment has had several names over the years, and it always confused me as to why they were recycling highlights just to show video of players say something like, “Boy, we really tried hard out there today. It was a battle, but we just fought through it, man, and we came out on top.” Grade: C-.
Embarrassing Commercial Starring the Coach
Billy Donovan and Urban Meyer “fly” a biplane to hawk frozen pizza.
Billy flies the plane for most of the ad and then at the end the big reveal is that Urban Meyer was in the other seat. His only line: “Yeah I like to air it out.” This one dates back to when Urban first arrived, so it was a nice surprise the first time we saw it two and a half years ago.
Did Urban even know he was going to be doing a commercial the day they filmed this?
Here, Coach Meyer sits down with some old guy and pretends to interview him about pest control. It appears they roped him into doing this before practice one day because he’s wearing shorts and doesn’t even try to make it look like he’s not reading off of cue cards.
When it comes to making embarrassing commercials, Urban’s one of the best. Grade: A+.
Coach Meyer slips in his quotable sound bites all at the beginning usually. He brought up the youth and inexperience of the team and mentioned that Chris Rainey had asked him earlier in the week if the team left the day before or the day of the game. He questions whether he has a smart team or not because of all of the penalties. At the end, he said he’s glad to have the state of Mississippi “in the rear view mirror” and is not looking forward to returning. We also owe something to Auburn for last year. Overall, pretty tame. Grade: C.
This is one of the best coach’s shows out there. It’s easy to make fun of sometimes, but believe me, it gets a lot easier in that domain once you head up I-75 a bit. Urban has less camera presence than Jamie Hyneman does, but Mick Hubert makes up for it. It’s a good, solid show. Grade: A-