News outlets, including ESPN, are reporting that Will Muschamp will be the next head coach at the University of Florida. Considering some reports already pegged Bob Stoops as the next coach and in the process of finalizing a contract, leading to Mr. Stoops denying the rumors, it may pay to wait for the news conference. Still, ESPN , USAToday, and others tend to do better fact checking than Fan Blogs like 'Gator County.' In fact, Muschamp's Wikipedia page already declares him as the head coach of the University of Florida.
Which means that Will Muschamp, Dawg that he was, is now dead to me.
Every Bulldog fan has different feelings about the Big Four rivals: Auburn, Tech, Florida, and Tennessee. The feelings have arisen differently based upon the time periods in which those fans first became Bulldogs. I became a fan of the Bulldogs in the late 1990s. For this reason the greatest evil in the world—college sports-wise—is, to me, the Florida Gators.
I hate them with a passion. Three years of Georgia-Florida games—2000, 2001, and 2002—will do that to you. Having family living in Florida to see how Florida fans behave in their natural environment with others of like minds will also do that to you. (Hint: They don't change. They're still arrogant, ignorant, swaggering and rude fools.)
To give you the idea of the depths of my dislike for the university located in Gainesville consider this: I love my daughter with all my heart, but if she, heaven forbid, chose to attend said university for anything (undergrad, grad school, etc), I would kiss her good luck and tell her I hope she received some good student loans. No dime of mine will be paid to that University. (I even declined an extra copy of an article of mine published in one of their law journals on this principal.)
Which leads to Will Muschamp being dead to me.
Mr. Muschamp was a damn good Dawg. He walked on and fought hard on our defense. He played for the University and did well enough. He fought for the University's honor on the football field and, for that reason, deserve my respect. For all time I shall give that respect to Mr. Muschamp.
Because he's dead to me.
He dies to me the moment he works for Florida. I cannot and willfully chose not to reconcile a Bulldog working for that school as a coach. I will see them no more. They are something beyond what they once were; they are dead to me.
So it is with a heavy heart that I remember a damn good Dawg who is now dead to me. Tomorrow at dinner I shall silently raise a glass in honor of the memories of Mr. Muschamp, the once and former Bulldog. Who is dead to me. And my wife shall look at me as she oft does, wondering most likely in silence (although potentially out-loud) what the heck her husband is doing, and then go back to her own meal.
Oddly, someone can come back to life once they quit working for Florida. Steve Spurrier is one example. He is no longer dead to me. I enjoy his witty banter and amusing jabs. I cheered heartily for his South Carolina team against Florida and then Auburn. Mr. Spurrier, unlike Mr. Muschamp, is not dead to me.
Similarly, Mr. McGarity is no longer dead to me. A Bulldog come back home, someone saved from the taint of death and brought back to the land of the living. Unlike Mr. Muschamp, Mr. McGarity is not dead to me.
Auburn delenda est? No dear Brother King; Florida delenda est! And we shall plow salt into the ground so no living thing shall grow ever again. I have already purchased the salt futures for this endeavor.
Which leads me to this closing question:
Does anyone else have 'dead to me' acts? If someone works for a rival, does that person become dead to me? Does a fumble on the goal line make a player dead to you? Does a Bulldog fan willfully wearing a rival's gear make them dead to you? Permanently? Temporarily?
And, finally, I ask my fellow Bulldogs to raise a glass to toast Will Muschamp, a damn good Dawg who is dead to me and, I hope, to many of you.