At times last season, the Gators seemed embroiled in chaos — much like what the citizens of Gotham City experienced at the hands of The Joker in “The Dark Knight.” But with a little help from Batman, the people proved resilient and outlasted the terrorist clown.
Florida will not be so lucky.
No matter how gritty and realistic director Christopher Nolan made “The Dark Knight” trilogy, the caped crusader will not be coming to save the day when things get rough in The Swamp this season.
However, that does not mean there is nothing for the Gators to learn from The Joker. In fact, here is some advice from the villainous clown that Florida should heed in 2012:
“You want to know how I got these scars?” — The 2011 campaign was a damaging one for Florida. After starting 4-0, the Gators dropped six of their final nine games, including four straight losses in October by an average margin of 19.25 points per game.
“I told them, don’t ever forget that feeling,” coach Will Muschamp said. “Embarrassment and failure are huge motivators for competitors.”
It is important the Gators move on from last season, they should keep the memories fresh and remember how they got those scars.
“You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.” — Muschamp gets animated on the sidelines, and that is perfectly fine. I find it encouraging to see a coach so demonstratively invested in his squad. However, with one little push, passion turns to madness. Take the Auburn game last season. Reeling from two straight losses at the time, the last thing the Gators needed was to see their head coach lose his mind over a bad call. Muschamp needs a method to his madness — a clear objective in mind
[To Batman] “Come on, I want you to do it … hit me. Hit me!” — There is absolutely no way The Joker would have survived had Batman decided to hit him with his motorcycle. What does matter is that he was willing to take the punishment. After last season’s 21-7 loss to Florida State, Muschamp called his players “soft.” Junior safety Matt Elam took his coach’s comments to heart.
“We’d like to be the rude nation,” Elam said. “When they know they’re coming in The Swamp, they think ‘Oh, gosh, we might have a long night in The Swamp.’ Just being rude and making people afraid of us.”
Elam says it all. If the Gators want to be a tough football team, they can’t shy away from contact. They need to inflict pain this season.
“I’m going to make this pencil disappear.” — If you just shielded your eyes with your hands after reading that quote, I applaud you. Way to read on your toes. Alertness is key for the Gators. They are not a major player in the Southeastern Conference East this year, so if they want to remain in contention, they cannot make any stupid mistakes. Constant vigilance and attention to detail is key. Otherwise, Florida will not even sniff Atlanta in 2012.
For good measure, I have decided to throw in a bit of The Joker’s wisdom the Gators should ignore:
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” — Unless you are an amateur athlete with NCAA eligibility on the line! Man, if you thought depth was a problem for the Gators last year, imagine what would happen if they all started taking money from agents. Ouch.
At the end of the day, The Joker is a pretty clever fellow. Crossing his path might be a bad idea, but you have to admit his wit is as sharp as the multiple knives he wields. Hopefully, this made you laugh, chuckle or maybe just smile. If it didn’t, I just have one question for you: why so serious?