by Pat Dooley
I should have retired.
After securing a victory last year as an honorary coach in the Orange and Blue game, I could have walked away undefeated. Instead, I came back for more.
And a wild ending left Andy Staples and I on the short end of a 21-20 score. Our Orange team scored with 23 seconds remaining but didn’t convert a two-point conversion.
After the game, I confronted Will Muschamp.
“If you kick the extra point, I’m 1-0-1. I’m still undefeated,” I said.
“You have to go for two there,” he said with a smile. “You wanted a tie? You’re Pat Dye.”
In all seriousness, it was great fun. The flag football game before the spring game was hilarious, the access was amazing and the opportunity to be in the middle of it all for the second straight year was much appreciated by this old man.
Since Staples and I were on the defensive side, coordinator Dan Quinn asked us before the game what we wanted to call.
“Biltz every time,” I said.
“You don’t have to tell me twice,” he said.
Later, running backs coach Brian White wanted to know if we had any words of wisdom for the team. I had my coaching cliches ready. Then someone said, “And don’t ride motorcycles.”
The Gator Walk was way cool again. We walked from the locker room to the start of it this year instead of taking a bus for a two-block ride. Caleb Sturgis, the Gator placekicker, said to a teammate as they walked, “This is what happens when you go 7-6.”
Talked to Chris Leak. He’s going back to play in Canada. Talked to Alex Brown. He’s working for Comcast in Chicago. Talked to so many great Gators.
It was a great day. Even if I dropped to 1-1.