How About ‘Dem Gators?

I told everyone previously about the local obsession with sports. I got the next example yesterday when I woke up, and the very first headline reported on the radio was the University of Florida winning the NCAA tournament. It’s definitely a good year to be a Gator, inasmuch as they’re now national champions in both college football and basketball. The co-worker I wrote about who recently moved to Arkansas is a UF graduate; no doubt he’s happy now.  By contrast, I didn’t even know what the NCAA was until I was at least 31 years old, since it’s not a big deal in Orlando.

It didn’t take me long to find out that the University of Kentucky basketball coach, Orlando “Tubby” Smith, is easily the best known, most easily recognized person in Lexington.  In the third week of March, he announced his resignation, so he could take a job offer at the University of Minnesota.  Tubby (despite the nickname, he’s not fat) is leaving some mighty big shoes to fill, because he won at least one championship in the past, and the fans expect their coach to work miracles.  One local radio station announces at the top of every hour that when Tubby’s replacement is hired, they’ll be the first to announce it.

So now that “March Madness” is over, are the fans going to quiet down?  Not by much, if at all.  Baseball season and the horse races both start this week.

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