How are you? Hopefully well. I imagine it is a busy time up there at the North Pole, lots of presents being finished up and wrapped for kids all around the world. Big week coming up. Have the RVs arrived at the North Pole yet? You get many tailgaters ahead of your big game day?
I imagine you don’t receive many letters from adults but on behalf of all of Gator Nation, I had to step forward. You see, this past year has been a very rough one for us. I don’t know if you get SportsCenter above the Arctic Circle. Maybe you don’t follow @edsbs on Twitter. But like the rest of us, I’m sure you listen to Finebaum every afternoon. So you are aware that the Florida football program is in dire straits.
I know there are a lot of people out there hurting right now. People without jobs, kids without parents, lots of cold and hungry folks. And I surely hope you do what you can for them. But Gator Nation suffered through EIGHT LOSSES this season. We can’t live like this. We’re hungry (for wins) and dying (of embarrassment) too!
You’ve been very good to us in the past, Santa. Since you are so busy with the kids on Christmas, we know our presents don’t usually arrive until after the big day. Take Stephen Orr Spurrier’s return to Gainesville, which you blessed upon us December 31, 1989. Sometimes you even wait as long as the first Wednesday in February. Back in 1992, you delivered Danny Wuerfful . In 2006, we asked for a Baby Rhino and you brought us Tim Tebow.
This year, we’ve been extra good (pay no attention to our behavior on Twitter during games) so that you’ll bring us lots of goodies. Here’s what we’re asking for:
1 – An innovative offensive coordinator. One who doesn’t call speed sweeps and options to the short side of the field. One whose most complex pass play isn’t a bubble screen. One inclined to mix up the play calling, dare I say even throw the ball on first down from time to time. One who can actually coach and develop offensive talent. Most importantly, one who can score points, especially touchdowns in the red zone.
2 – A quarterback. You know, one who can throw the ball downfield to receivers. Our last few haven’t been very good at reads and progressions so some improvement there would be nice. One who doesn’t turn it over multiple times a game. One who can actually win a game when it is on the line.
3 – An offensive line. Is it too much to ask for 7-8 solid, dependable, reliable bulls who can block for more than two seconds? Please do not send us ones that will get whipped for 60 minutes by a FCS defensive line and certainly don’t send us one that will break our new quarterback that you are bringing us.
4 – A kicker. This one should be easy, like filling the kiddies’ stockings with new underwear. These aren’t real football players, just soccer players with low self-esteem that need more in their lives. We used to have really good ones but must have lost them playing in the backyard. One who can make the majority of kicks from inside of 40 yards and occasionally bang home a longer kick would be nice.
5 – Some more students with passion. [Old man climbs onto soap box] Back in my day, students camped out for season tickets, for bowl tickets, knowing they would sell out quickly (for you freshmen, bowls are games played at the end of the season, assuming you are at worst mediocre enough to make one). Going to a game was a duty. We showed up for the big ones and we showed up for directional schools [Old man climbs down, passes out in recliner at 7:40 pm watching Jeopardy]. UF has always been a great academic school so these young kids can’t use that as an excuse.
6 – Discipline. I know you know a thing or two about discipline, Santa. And I’m not just talking about the “who’s naughty and who’s nice” lists. Those presents don’t make themselves and whipping that rag-tag collection of little people into an efficient operation certainly doesn’t happen without some. Would you tolerate your elves putting Ken doll heads on Barbie? Is it OK if one of the reindeers bites another reindeer after the whistle? This is what Florida football has become. We need your guidance and help.
Our list is larger this year because of the depths we’ve reached. And we understand that you may have already delivered some of these gifts. Thanks for the Will Grier, David Sharpe and Drew Sarvary, we look forward to playing with them.
Unlike most children who write to you, we are not blind to all the greatness already in our lives. We understand we are much more fortunate than most. We have more toys than we could ever need. We have one of the finest public universities in the country. Our athletic program is year in and year out one of the top 10. We have one of the best college basketball coaches and programs in the nation. We annually contend for titles in soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball and track and field. But we really NEED those things for the football program. Like really badly. So please, Santa, please!! Won’t you deliver us some football goodies this year?
And if not, we’ll only be asking for one thing next Christmas, but it is a big one – a new head coach.
Love the Gator Nation
P.S. We’ll be sure to leave out a slice from Leonardo’s and a cold draft from the Salty Dog for you!