By BUDDY MARTIN
So it looks like Jeremy Foley has fleeced the entire SEC and picked the pocket of Commissioner Greg Sankey. Clever guy, that “Diamond Jim” Foley.
Of course, Florida’s Athletic Director slow-played everybody, knowing full well Tennessee was going to lose to Texas A&M and that Coach Jim McElwain needed more time for his injured defensive line to heal.
Foley also knew Hurricane Matthew wasn’t really a threat to North Florida and that there would be plenty of emergency personnel available after all.
Maybe LSU-Florida will yet be played, but as of early Sunday, the event which had been slated for noon Saturday at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field is classified as “The Missing Game.”
Meanwhile, I’m surprised and a little amused at some of the whining, cheap-shotting and pure fantasy that I’ve read and heard about how this diabolical plot unfolded.
Personally, I can’t for the life of me wonder why Foley wasn’t willing to move the game to Baton Rouge and Tiger Stadium, which would only be about another 3 or 4 point advantage to LSU.
This just in: Jeremy also declined to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.
Therefore the retiring Florida AD manipulated the whole fiasco that created a scheduling snafu in order to gain a competitive edge for the Gators. A regular Steve Jobs. And he’s coming back in his next life to sell snake oil.
I know this because I’ve been reading the tweets, blogs and columns out of The Bayou.
Some of my favorites:
And later: Joe Alleva says Florida made no offer to #LSU to play a game on Nov. 19. Those conversations have not happened — at least not yet
Tweet by some LSU fan named Jimmy: “Florida should lose eligibility for the SEC Championship Game for refusing to play the game when LSU offered Tiger Stadium.”
Expect Sankey to be pressured by the rest of the league and insist the two schools schedule a time and date before he is forced to do it.
There are many scenarios. I like the Nov. 19 option with Florida buying out Presbyterian and LSU buying out South Alabama and those two playing each other. There would have to be an adjustment in the gate, with Florida paying a larger share, and LSU’s schedule would need to be adjusted to avoid a quick turnaround for its Thanksgiving Night game at Texas A&M. But it makes the most since.
Otherwise Florida and LSU will have to secure permission to move other opponents to their open dates, or Sankey would be forced to delay the SEC Championship Game and move LSU-Florida to Dec. 3.
Just the thought that an LSU-Florida game could possibly disappear from the calendar completely seems pure heresy. #Down Here, that’s like cancelling Michigan State-Ohio State or Cal-Stanford or Texas-Oklahoma. Besides, given the issue of competitive balance in the SEC after Tennessee’s loss, this game must be played. And I think it will be.
Let’s agree that, given Matthew’s “Cone of Uncertainty,” not playing Saturday was the right decision. On the other hand, the bureaucrats made a mistake by putting the game’s future scheduling in jeopardy without a mandate to go forward with a plan.
Hurricanes Cones of Uncertainty … territorial imperatives … bureaucrats – they all were responsible for LSU-Florida’s postponement.
So while we awaited news on the game, we prepped for Matthew.
I over-prepped: Seven bags of ice, four LED lanterns and four mini flashlights, a month’s supply of Boars Head meat, two bags of charcoal and a can of lighter fluid for a borrowed table top grill (because mine is in the fritz). None of it ever used. OK, so I over-reacted, but I lived through Charley’s direct hit on Punta Gorda.
Watching the hurricane symbols hug the eastern coast up Florida, I had a few flashbacks – rooting like crazy for Matthew NOT to make a Charley-like 90-degree turn.
As for those who don’t live around here and really don’t know Florida suggesting Florida could host the game because FSU-Miami was played Saturday — Gainesville is to Miami what Auburn is to College Station. They are over 335 miles apart and Miami was never in the Cone of Uncertainty.
So with no game to cover, I resorted to the sport of collecting favorite weatherperson quips:
“The wind is very windy.” — Orlando weatherman
Orlando reporter in Cocoa: “The biggest problem is it is so dark here guy can’t see a darn thing.
Rick Scott:”If the power is out, using battery-powered lanterns and flashlights is preferred.”
Weather Channel Woman: “You may need shelter within your shelter.”
Jim Cantore of Weather Channel from Fort Pierce: “Here in St. Lucie County we’ve had tree damage … How I know we have tree damage is that I can smell it…if you know the smell of fresh cut wood.”
Of course, after cutting a path of death and destruction though Haiti, Matthew fizzled out
My Saturday ended while watching other Hurricanes fizzle out. Miami kicker Michael Badgley’s had kicked 72 straight extra points until FSU’s DeMarcus Walker blocked his 73rdto preserve the Seminoles’ 20-19 victory.
You don’t suppose Foley had FSU in a bet do you?
(Buddy Martin has been one of America’s great sports journalists as a columnist, editor, broadcaster, author and TV producer for five decades. He has won close to 200 awards, including an Emmy. He co-wrote the best-selling book “”Urban’s Way” with coach Urban Meyer and has just released his latest book, co-authored with recently-retired coach Steve Spurrier, titled “”Head Ball Coach. My Life In Football, Doing It Differently — and Winning.” The book is available on Amazon and already is a best-seller.Buddy’s columns can be read on gridiron.com and southernpigskin.com, and he is the anchor of Southern Pigskin Tonight heard in nine markets in three states.
He is a third-generation Floridian and journalist, having begun his early career at the Ocala Star-Banner where his father and grandfather also launched their careers. From there, Buddy had a distinguished career in newspapers as editor/columnist at Florida Today, Gannett News Service, the St. Petersburg Times, The New York Daily News and The Denver Post. As managing editor of The Charlotte Sun in Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte, Martin directed coverage of Hurricane Charley which won many state and national awards — and was one of three finalists in the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.
For his role as an associate producer and editorial consultant for the NFL Today Show on CBS, Buddy was awarded an Emmy.Returning to his hometown a few years ago, Martin has served as editor in chief of Ocala Magazine and a columnist for Ocala Style.
Martin is the author of eight books. He also wrote the autobiographies of two Hall of Fame athletes – Terry Bradshaw and Dan Issel — and was awarded an Emmy while working with Bradshaw on “The NFL Today” at CBS Sports.
Among the awards he or his newspapers have claimed were best Best Lifestyle Section nationally (Penny-Missouri), Best Sunday Sports Section nationally (APSE), Best Feature Writer New York State (Associated Press) and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news (2005). He has been named best columnist or sports columnist in Florida for both magazines and newspapers six times.
Buddy is a Gator through-and-through. He was educated at the University of Florida. He will occasionally contribute The Buddy Martin column to woodypaige.com.)
Check out Buddy’s latest book, written with Steve Spurrier, “”Head Ball Coach. My Life in Football, Doing It Differently and Winning.” Find the link to Amazon for this book and Buddy’s other books in the book section of woodypaige.com