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The Russell Report: Gator Softball, Baseball, and Tim Tebow

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:24 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Unfortunately that big crashing sound you might have heard over the weekend was that of the Gator Softball team’s season coming to a sudden and rather sad ending as the Gators were knocked off at home in a Super Regional, sending Georgia to the College World Series and the Gators to wondering what went wrong. First, give credit to Georgia; they hit well and certainly pitched it well, shutting the Gators out on two consecutive days. So what happened to Florida? Gator coach Tim Walton said after the games that he felt the offense just never really hit its stride, never really hit its full potential and I couldn’t agree more. The offense was inconsistent and spotty all year long and in the end, that cost the Gators dearly. For most other schools, getting to a Super Regional is a successful season, and you have to give credit to this team for getting that far; but the sudden and abrupt way things ended is a tough pill to swallow for a very successful program.

Meanwhile, Gator Baseball gets set to host a Regional this weekend with the hope that coach Kevin O’Sullivan has finally found the right pieces to make a postseason run. With all the preseason expectations and hype put on this team, many believed this group was a lock for the College World Series, but things happened along the way to derail that expectation. Injuries to some pitchers, subpar early defense and a juggling lineup caused the Gators to stop and start for a good part of the year. Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan admitted it has taken longer than expected to find out the right combination for this team and with the possible exception of second base, the Gators seem to have the lineup pieces together and pitching roles better defined. The road to Omaha starts this weekend and we’ll see if the new Florida Ballpark will be filled with Gator fans for the weekend.

I know, you’re probably sick of hearing about Tim Tebow and his tryout with the Jaguars but I just can’t help myself. Some are calling that tryout “white privilege;” make of that what you will. But Tebow is only doing what any of us do in our lives: Using the contacts and people we know to better our situation. Would an almost 34-year-old Tim Tebow have been given a tryout by any other NFL team not coached by Urban Meyer? If your goal is to play in the NFL again, why not use the Meyer connection to make it happen? What’s the downside? There are certainly risks in this whole deal but as long as there isn’t a circus surrounding one player, the process will work itself out.

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