Posted per advice of John Expat
A late Hog-fan weigh-in on the game:
I haven’t checked around the ‘sphere for individual reactions and comments on the game yet as I spent the weekend hosting house guests who were thankfully college FB fans and were as eager as I was to watch the myriad quality (at least in entertainment value) games this weekend. They were barely taken back by my liberal use of "outdoor voice" and floral language during the game, and for that I compliment them. I was in a house full of Carolina and Bama fans and as the second half of the ARK/FLA game progressed, their polite indifference to my blatant homerism shifted. Much like the crowd of evil Russians who witnessed the legendary Balboa/Drago fight in the 1980’s, they slowly realized that the underdog had more than a puncher’s chance at victory AND that nothing contrasts against the injustice of a predetermined outcome under an authoritarian system better than the simple man battling with all of his guts in support of a universal good.
Slowly, they too were coming out of their chairs, pointing out open receivers, bemoaning blown coverages – imprecise routes and stone-handed incompletions. When the dreaded "bad calls" of the fourth quarter occurred (and no one has mentioned the no-call on the obvious backfield holding on, I believe, the play after the now-infamous personal foul) they, my house guests, were not just metaphorically chanting "Rocky" for the underdog Razorbacks but were ready to, again metaphorically, overthrow the Politburo and burn the Stalinist referees at the steak.
Were the calls the difference maker in what will, in all likelihood, not be a game long discussed by either fan base? I don’t think so. Florida would probably have scored on that drive because the defense had played their hearts out, the tank was dry and, as was pointed out by others, the offense had just left too many opportunities behind that would have seriously changed the complexion of the game. But, just as Rocky 4 moviegoers in the 80’s walked out of that movie convinced of Balboa’s moral superiority and of the overall righteousness of the "American Way", football fans across the nation came away from the Florida/Arkansas game with a new perspective on the assumed and anointed "Nation Champion Florida Gators". No longer do they posses the moral authority of a team led by a Christ-like figure. No longer is their talent level assumed to be beyond reproach. No longer are the Gators viewed through the Rose Bowl-colored glasses of football pundits, analysts, color-commentators, and network lackeys. No friends, they are now the Enemy. (And believe me the #1 BCS ranking has done nothing to help their revised image as the overinflated darlings of the establishment!)
The nation will embrace Mark Ingram and his weeble-wobble-like inability to be tackled. They will cheer Iowa and other plucky non-conference BCS-busters. Hell, they might even start to like Texas, USC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Michigan and other traditional villains. But what they will no longer do is support Florida. Their image is tarnished. I even heard some positive comments on the coaching prowess and surprising commitment shown by Coach Petrino to the U of Arkansas.
Beware Florida. Someone’s gonna make a speech soon to "tear down your wall" of presumed infallibility – Heck, they may even put it on a plaque! – and the world may cheer as the evil empire falls.