Mar 27, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT
I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read it with my own eyes: several players for the Florida Gators, who have undoubtedly been conditioned from the second they arrived on campus to believe that their beloved coach should not only be revered, but worshiped like a god, amazingly chose to take his side in a feud with a local newspaper reporter.
But that appears to be the case after players stepped forward to support Urban Meyer after he was videotaped shamefully berating Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler for engaging the reprehensible act of performing the duties of a journalist.
Strange days, my friends. Strange days, indeed. I mean, I can only imagine that if the players had chosen to criticize their beloved and clearly megalomaniacal coach, the consequences would have been minimal.
Likely as a result of Meyer’s misdirected and embarrassing temper tantrum Wednesday, Florida officials originally intended to not make players and coaches available to the media after practice on Friday, but I guess they must have felt that the players had received a sufficient amount of “coaching” between Wednesday and Friday afternoon – in more ways than one.
One member of the Gators who was more than happy to come to the defense of his coach was quarterback John Brantley.The QB played a huge role in what originally caused the mess, as the comments from Deonte Thompson reported by Fowler had to do with the quarterback. Fowler quoted Thompson as stating Brantley is a “real quarterback” compared to Tim Tebow and the fact that Fowler included that quote verbatim in his story appear to be the primary source of Meyers’ frustration.
From the AP story:
“Coach has our back,” Brantley said. “That’s what you want to see out of your coaches. We trust our coaches and they trust us, and that’s what we want to see.”
Center Mike Pouncey concurred, saying, “He got our back and we got his back.”
Huh. There appears to be an eerie consistency between the two statements. Obvious coincidence, of course.
Speculation is that the reason Meyer was so infuriated with Fowler was because Thompson is such a good kid, has never been in trouble and shouldn’t have been put in such an unfair position by the reporter. And from what I can gather, the unfair position consists of being held accountable for something he said which was reported accurately and was neither manipulated or twisted by Fowler into something it wasn’t – even if Thompson did ultimately regret saying it.
That Urban Meyer, I tell ya: turning young boys into fine, upstanding men, right before our very eyes. Just as long as they stay in the world he has painstakingly and meticulously created for them, free from the prying eyes and ears of the “bad guys,” as Meyer so eloquently put it.
Florida players applaud Meyer’s rant on reporter [Sporting News/AP]
Morning Tweet: Urban Meyer is 40! He’s a man! [Out of Bounds]
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