Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (June 20th)

The Back Nine comes at you after a wonderful Father’s Day that included a lot of watching golf and missing Dad.

 

10.   All of you fathers out there hopefully had a great day and I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have had a Dad around for so long. I still go to call him about twice a week, especially if something happens in a game of any kind. He is the biggest reason I am the sports not (geek?) that I have become. He invented the sports room with three TVs. I hope you all called your fathers this weekend and be happy you can call him every day if you want to.

11.   OK, I’m not trying to lecture, just miss my Dad and I had 66 years of him. For example, I came up with the stat that I would have loved to share with him. Instead, I will share it with all of you who read the Back Nine and I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate it (don’t leave me when vacations come up). I started thinking about the fact that Florida will almost certainly start off the season unranked in both football and men’s basketball. But that’s not the stat. It is this – since Steve Spurrier’s first Florida team was unranked starting the season in 1990, five Florida teams have not been ranked (I use the AP poll) going into their first game. Four of them will have been in the last nine years. Yikes.

12.   Ron Zook’s 2003 team was not ranked at the beginning of the season. Then, we had Will Muschamp’s last season (2014), Jim McElwain’s first (2015), Dan Mullen’s first (2018) and what will be Billy Napier’s first. That’s the list and it tells you two things – Florida has changed coaches a lot and Florida football does not get the bump in the rankings a lot of teams get because the gators have had so many awful seasons of late (three losing seasons this decade). Of course, Florida’s preseason ranking won’t matter if the Gators get off to a good start. But it does tell you why Gator fans have been really grouchy of late.

13.   That includes some of the most over-reactive fans jumping on Napier because a couple of recruits have committed somewhere else. Did you really think that because Napier seems like he knows what he’s doing that the elite coaches in recruiting would just give up. Let’s try to be a little patient for once.

14.   It was a really entertaining U.S. Open and emotional for the winner Matt Fitzpatrick. I was rooting for Will Zalatoris at the end, but mostly I was just happy that Brookline played like a U.S. Open course should play. I like to see golfers get humbled and nobody was more humbled than Phil Mickelson and his 11-over par score. It will be interesting to see how many LIV players lose an edge because they don’t have to play well to make a ton of money.

15.   The College World Series without Florida or a team to really root against is perfect for the second TV with the sound off. I have paid attention and that Oklahoma team being a two seed in Gainesville looks more and more ridiculous every day. Florida would have been better off going to Statesboro or Miami as a two seed instead of hosting. That said, they were this close and that Monday night loss after the rain delay is going to haunt Gator fans for a long time.

16.   Yes, I ordered a Notre Dame baseball t-shirt after the Irish knocked off the villains of the tournament in Knoxville. And the big question now is whether or not Notre Dame will still be playing when the shirt arrives. At least that is my big question. It’s kind of losing its appeal.

17.   It’s talking season and still a ways to go before SEC Media Days when it really cranks up. But any suggestions for something you would like to read about in this space or anywhere else I write or speak are very welcome. I’m running low on ideas.

18.   But not on good songs for my playlist, which is becoming the norm rather than the exception when I play golf:

* “The Kind of Girl I Could Love” by The Monkees. Mike Nesmith was my favorite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02RNkif86Wc

* ”Miss The Misery” by The Foo Fighters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So8pSJ9jn-c

* ”Head Over Heels” by The Go-Go’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQyazt4RDTM

 

About Pat Dooley

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