Urban Meyer decided to lay the smack down on those who might be seeking to get rich off the current popularity of his Florida Gators football team.
The prickly coach recently announced that practices would be closed to the fans this summer so that his players could concentrate on football and not have to deal with the pesky autograph hounds who intend to sell their wares on ebay.
Said Urban, “…you walk across and people just maul you and bother you and Internet people grabbing helmets, ‘Sign this,’ and we don’t have security saying, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ You’ll see a lot more ‘get the heck out of here’ from now on and let the kids go practice and concentrate on football.” (ESPN, 8/8/2010).
“Internet people”?…that’s a lovely choice of words, Urban—is that like some weird cult or something? It sure sounds scary…should we all be on the lookout for this treacherous group of people or what? Just want to know if I should hide the kids.
Anyway, I guess he’s grown a little tired of all the extra attention that comes from putting his players on display. A curious thought when you consider he pimped the heck out of his last star player (ahem, Tim Tebow, cough, cough—promise speech) and his own little Brett Favre moment when he both retired and unretired within a span of 48-hours.
He turned that unnecessary spectacle into one heckuva recruiting haul for 2010.
In all seriousness, though, I can understand Urban’s problem with the “Internet people” who are looking to make a quick buck off a hot signature but, the player doesn’t have to sign the item—does he? I mean, surely the Gators can afford to hire some security to keep the blood hounds at bay, right?… Just a question.
Urban isn’t breaking the mold by closing practices. Many coaches decide to shut out the media and the casual viewer and no one makes a big fuss about it, so, why did he have to come out and make a big spectacle of himself by throwing all those adjectives around?
It sounds to me like he just bought another ticket to drama-ville by calling out the ebay trolls and “Internet people”. Good luck keeping them at bay now, Urban, you just made the value of those autographs go up by making them so much harder to get—tsk…tsk…tsk.