Last fall, no one believed that Ole Miss had a snowball's chance in Sunrise of beating the Florida Gators. But beat them they did.
Such upsets don't happen without a reason, and former Gators quarterback Shane Matthews offered one up on his Gainesville sports radio show: the Gators weren't aggressive enough in taking advantage of the man-to-man defense at wide receiver.
To put it mildly, Urban Meyer was not pleased -- and he's gone positively communist about the whole affair.
"If you’re a person who’s going to criticize, we don’t need you around," he told a recent gathering of boosters. "I’m also going to talk about loyalty with our former athletes. Some are welcome, some aren’t. We want former Gators to come back, but loyalty’s a two-way street. If you want to be critical of a player on our team or a coach on our team you can buy a ticket for seat 37F, you’re not welcome back in the football office."
"You’re either a Gator or you’re not a Gator."
Seat 37F? Wonder what that letter stands for.
While he didn't mention Matthews by name, it's clear Meyer is still waging a Cold War against the freedom-of-speech-loving alumnus -- who, despite bringing two SEC championships and two SEC Player of the Year trophies home to Gainesville, is apparently now blackballed from the program.
What's more ridiculous: that Meyer thought his team could lose to lowly Ole Miss without escaping a little criticism, or that Meyer thinks he's in a position to determine who among former players are Gators and who's not (will he continue to judge after he leaves Florida for Notre Dame or the NFL?), or that he thinks he should be able to control what paid commentators say about his program?
It's pretty much a three-way tie. And that brings us to the real reason the thin-skinned Meyer is out of line: alumni announcers and commentators are hilarious, and should never be taken away from us, the fans.
Who could forget Miami's Lamar Thomas' on-air desire to join his fellow 'Canes in an on-field fracas? Or the pain on Lee Corso's face when FSU comes up on College Gameday?
Not to mention the mother of all alumni radio meltdowns: Michigan State's Mike Valenti famously lost his mind after his team lost to Notre Dame. "MAAAKE PLAAAAYS!" he wailed into the air, before stating that H.R. Pufnstuf and Teddy Ruxpin would be superior defensive coordinators to the Spartan's Chris Smeland.
Shane Matthews has nothing on this guy, but if Urban Meyer's America doesn't include Mike Valenti crying on air, well, then we don't wanna live in it.