Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (March 20th)

The Back Nine comes at you after a birthday celebration for my incredible wife Karen, who turned 29 again on Sunday with a birthday brunch at Spurrier’s and a visit to The Salty Dog. Where would I be without her? Don’t answer that.

 

10. So, my policy as the executive director of the Negative Rooting Club is to buy a t-shirt for the team that knocks off the team I least want to win it all this year. Well, that team was Kansas because I didn’t want the Jayhawks repeating for local reasons (see: Florida 2006 and 2007). But at the same time, I can’t buy a shirt from an SEC team. It’s a tough policy. Just know, Arkansas fans, that I was there with you in spirit and I’ll buy a beer for the first Arkansas fan I see when the Hogs come to Gainesville this fall.

11. And I will get back to the tournament, which has been pretty special despite an absence of the Gators again this year (to be honest, Florida looked absent from the NIT as well), but the lead story of this weekend was definitely gymnastics and the ridiculous score (and SEC meet record) the Gators put up to win the SEC Championships up in Duluth, Ga. Trinity Thomas, I am going to miss you. On a scale of 1-to-10 when it comes to the clutch gene, she’s an 11. Just amazing,

12. Oh, but I guess I will have to buy a Kansas State t-shirt after they beat Kentucky. I can’t understand how that assemblage of players lost as many games as it did this season except that defense does tend to be optional. I also can’t figure out how a player on a talented team can play three NCAA tournament games in two years and score 63 points and grab 59 rebounds and go 1-2 in the tournament. Oscar Tshiebwe, it wasn’t your fault.

13. Still. The SEC did pretty well in the first weekend with three teams still around. Tennessee surprised me, Alabama did not and Arkansas, well, we covered that. My bracket is a mess like everyone else’s but at least my two finalists are still playing — Bama and Miami. Don’t hate the messenger. The SEC and Big East have the most teams still playing with three each.

14. One thing in my older years that I have noticed about the NCAA Tournament – it peaks early. The first two days with all of those games are so great and then it’s not quite as good the next two and then it’s just single games with the best teams. I mean, it’s not like it’s bad. It’s just not as good as it is early. I wonder if the expanded football playoff will have that same kind of vibe.

15. It feels like a couple of weeks ago that Florida wrapped up its series with Alabama in baseball. It felt weird not to have any baseball or softball on Saturday in March, but it was a nasty storm. At any rate, Florida faltered in Game Three, but if you are going to win the SEC – something that still matters around here – you have to win your home series and they did just that.

16. It will certainly be an interesting eight days for the Gators as they go to unfriendly FSU on Tuesday, then travel to play three against the defending national champs in Oxford, then play FSU again, this time in Jacksonville. This team has played only two road games this season, so we’re going to find out a lot.

17. And a tip of the batting helmet to the softball team for getting it done with a pair of wins after losing the opening SEC game of the season. We tend to get blasé about the softballers when baseball gets exciting and the basketball tourney is going on, but the ladies are 22-5 and Skylar Wallace has Josh Rivera numbers. Let’s compare:

Rivera — .418, 10 homers, 35 RBI, six steals.

Wallace — .455, 7 homers, 29 RBI, 16 steals.

18. To be honest, my weekend was so decadent that most of the music I saw was on commercials. But I still managed a playlist:

* “Where Is My Mind?” by Tkay Maidza. I can’t even tell you what the commercial was for, but this different cover of the Pixies’ classic made me want to listen to it a dozen times.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFfGf1-y1Bs

* “In The Waiting Line” by Zero 7.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tZlu4wP4pw

* And for Karen, “Happy Birthday” by Lenny Kravitz.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G02AYADKh7g

You didn’t think I’d go cliché did you?

About Pat Dooley

Check Also

Orange & Blue Sports Network

Catch the student-led broadcasts from the College of Journalism and Communications right here.

LIVE THREAD: National Signing Day

Here’s an updated thread of all the recruits who picked the Gator hat today! RB …

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

During last weekend’s NFL Wild Card round, the Steelers made a statement by handing the Dolphins a …

Houston Looking For an Upset in Foxborough

The saying has always been “it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” and in …

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Tonight

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing each other once …

Possible Additions to McElwain’s Recruiting Class Visiting this Weekend

With National Signing Day less than three weeks away, the Gators are hosting several talented …

Florida Gymnastics Prepares for Season Opener

https://vimeo.com/198372157 GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Gator gymnastics team will kick off their season this …

Surprised Gators Promote Randy Shannon To Defensive Coordinator? You Shouldn’t Be

Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the …

Quarterbacks in Spotlight for NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Wild Card kicks off Saturday and the quarterback situations could not be any more different. On …

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

Pat Dooley’s High Five: Florida’s Napier Shows Confidence

SEC Football Media Days/Week finally ended Thursday in Dallas, and I felt a little melancholy. …