Friday, January 9, 2009

Glorious, Glorious Day

Words cannot begin to describe the feeling of winning a national championship. The celebration that ensued here in Gainesville on University Ave. can only be described as a celebration like that of New Year's Eve. The whole city turns into one big party and the streets overflow with joyous students and fans.

As for the game itself, it was not nearly the offensive onslaught many of us expected, though Percy Harvin certainly put on a show for Florida, as he said he would. Instead, it was the defenses that defined the night.

Florida held an Oklahoma offense that averaged nearly 55 points per game to a mere 14. No one moment defined the night more than Major Wright's opening-drive hit on Oklahoma wide receiver Manny Johnson. It was quite possibly the most well-timed hit EVER, and it certainly placed the fear of God into the Sooners' wideouts.

Wright tattooed Johnson, and the Sooners receiving corps, save tight end Jermaine Gresham, were nervous the rest of the game, and it showed. Wright's hit on Johnson had an effect on Johnson's bobbled goal line pass that Wright eventually intercepted, as well as Ahmad Black's interception in the fourth quarter, not to mention the other dropped passes Oklahoma had throughout the game.

Florida's defense set the tone for the game, and while Tim Tebow will get all the praise for being offensive MVP and carrying the team on his back when it mattered most, and Harvin put forth a ridiculous showing despite not being 100%, this championship would not be possible if it weren't for the maturation of this yound defense, which will return at least 10 starters next season, largely thanks to defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.

So thank you, Coach Strong, for your masterful gameplan. Thank you, Major Wright, for your bone-crunching hits. Thank you, Tim Tebow, for your relentless leadership. Thank you, Percy Harvin, for your heart and dedication... and speeeeeed. And thank you, to Coach Urban Meyer and the rest of the Florida Gators, for bringing another championship back to Gainesville and the rest of the Gator Nation.

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