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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Boys From Old Florida

Book #2 of my '07 reading list was The Boys From Old Florida: Inside Gator Nation by Buddy Martin.

If you're not a Gator fan, you can stop here and move right along to the next book. For Gator fans though, this book provides a nice way to bone up on your Gator history...you know those days before Spurrier?

Martin provides a nice mix of historical facts interlaced with insightful interviews of former players and coaches. Although the prose is a cliched at times and the editing weak, (for instance on pg. 79 we read 'That 70-yard catch of Reaves' missle against Houston may be more famous, but none ever surpassed the amazing grab Alvarez made against Florida State two weeks later" only to read further down the *same page* "Great as the catch against Florida State was it could still never surpass the one against Houston...") Martin's love for the Gators shines through, and this is after all a book about loving the Gators. Another big plus is that the book is surprisingly up-to-date, covering the Gators all the way up to the start of the '06 season. There's coverage of Urban Meyer's hiring (and why Spurrier didn't get the job), his first season as the Gators' head coach, and even a few references to Tim Tebow.

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