Finally, the crisis that has gripped America is all over:
â‡¥Florida coach Urban Meyer apologized Saturday to the reporter he berated earlier this week for publishing a quote by one of his players.â‡¥â‡¥Now that that's over, one question remains: Who didn't ultimately benefit from this situation?
â‡¥Meyer spent more than 20 minutes with the Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler following spring practice. Fowler declined to divulge details of the discussion, but called it a "constructive" conversation and said he accepted Meyer's apology.
Meyer may be the biggest winner. He got to rally his team with some fire-breathing and empty threats, got to mark his territory after a weird offseason of shakiness, and got to emphasize the distance he will keep from the media by pushing Fowler into some kabuki theater with the reporter as subject.
Deonte Thompson's quotes were largely vindicated as correct, if poorly phrased. Fowler and the Orlando Sentinel enjoyed ton of publicity and probably thousands of clicks, which may have been just what they wanted. Journalists indulged in a chance to wag their fingers at a coach being brusque and imperial and toss in rather presumptuous assumptions about Meyer's health. Tim Tebow played the good guy, as usual.
These things were predictable. And the future is, too.
Florida football will remain a story big enough for writers to churn out charged headlines, and various Gators will frequently say things less eloquently than is ideal. Meyer will continue to run his program with an enmity for the media that kindred spirits and inspirations Woody Hayes and Bill Belichick would envy. And journalists will continue lamenting and lambasting the tight-lipped coaches who occasionally rant about coaches ranting at the media for "doing their job" without much acknowledgement that the coaches are usually just "doing their job" by creating a disbelieving and hostile entity that players can show up with stellar play.
This is how that world works. Why was anyone so surprised as to be outraged?â†µ
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