I have been surfing the comment boards of Gator and football fans in general. The consensus seems to be that Meyer did the right thing, in protecting his players.
The reporter involved, Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel printed the following quote, as part of a story on Deonte Thompson.
“You never know with Tim,” Thompson said. “He can bolt. You’ll think he’s running, but then he’ll just come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, time. Like, you know what I mean, a real quarterback.”
Here’s Thompon’s comments on video:
Considering that among the ranks of Gator fans Tebow possesses iconic, almost saint status, this quote turned heads among UF and all football fans alike. Welcome to the post Tim Tebow era Gators.
Was Meyer right in dressing down Fowler on the practice field? Was Fowler wrong for printing a quote?
I would answer yes to both.
When the story broke, every major newspaper in Florda, and every Gator fan site carried the news. Thompson stated Tebow wasn’t a real quarterback. Fans commented, a few Tebow holdouts criticized Thompson. Some fans criticized Meyer for the rant– but most felt the situation justified Meyer’s response.
Meyer forms strong bonds with players. Though, his relationship with Tebow became front page news, he cares deeply for all his players. He always spoke well, and defended Chris Leake, even when the throngs demanded Tebow lead the team. He defended Brandon Spikes last season when heat came about the alleged “Eye Goughing” incident during the Florida vs. Georgia game. Good coaches protect their players.
Jeremy Fowler provided his side of the story on his Swamp Thing Blog for the Orlando Sentinel. His defense– and many reporters around the country have said the same thing, was it was a quote. Fowler even says this to Meyer in the video.
Not so fast my friend. Yes, it was a quote, but not the whole quote. Fowler only quoted the part containing Tebow’s name. There was more said. Here it is the full quote from Palm Beach Post reporter Ben Volin:
Reporter: What’s the biggest difference between Brantley and Tebow?
Thompson: Brantley is a pure passer. He ain’t trying to run. He’s just going to straight pass.
Reporter: How is that better for receivers?
Thompson: ‘Cause Tebow, you never know. He’ll be running but then he’ll just come up and pass it to you, so you just gotta be ready at all times. But with Brantley, you know, everything with rhythm, time, like a real quarterback.
Big difference when seen in context.
Fowler in his response to the incident, never mentions the rest of the conversation. I question his motive in only printing the part of the conversation that he did. Fowler stated that the story blew up nationally. Yes Mr. Fowler it did, and I’m pretty sure you knew it would. Your editors knew this as well.
Reportedly Thompson became very distressed over the negative attention. Think about what he may be going through. My bet is that Thompson and probably his family have received many disparaging phone calls, text messages or what ever. The Gators Athletic Department wouldn’t tell you this, because it makes the fans and the program look bad.
So life without Tebow begins in Gainesville. When it comes to situations concerning the chosen one– Tebow, maybe players and reporters need to take advice from a young man at the NFL combine.
“Shut the F- Up!”