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December 21, 2012
12/21 Orange & Blue News
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gator fans are well aware of how wide receiver Percy Harvin can change a game, but it looks like if he has his way he will also be changing teams in 2013. According to ESPN 1500 Radio in Minneapolis, Harvin and Leslie Frazier had a heated exchange that resulted in the team placing the player on injured reserve even though he may have been able to return from his ankle injury this season. In the offseason, Harvin was extremely frustrated with the direction of the offense and the fact that he was not utilized much at the start of his career. He was an MVP candidate through the first few weeks of the 2012 season but seems to still be at odds with management and the coaching staff. Harvin will be in a contract year next season, so a trade may not net the Vikings much in terms of compensation. However, Minnesota may not have another choice at this point.
A decision was made by the New York Jets to bypass Tim Tebow for Greg McElroy after the team decided to bench Mark Sanchez this week. Now that the decision has been made, a plethora of anonymous sources have continued trashing Tebow and what he has done with the season. "A source said the Jets were shocked at how poor Tebow played in practice soon after he arrived," reports the New York Post. "As Tebow struggled, McElroy improved and eventually gained the coaching staff's backing. … One source described the organization as 'frozen with fear' that Tebow would actually excel, creating a quarterback controversy that would wreck Sanchez's psyche." It is unlikely that New York will receive compensation for Tebow in the off-season as the team has absolutely destroyed his value. The Jets will likely have to cut him outright in March, which means the story of the offseason will be whether or not Tebow gets picked up by another NFL team.
Taking and connecting on jump shots is something that has come along gradually for Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, but he has gotten so consistent that over the last two seasons he has adopted a celebration when he nails a J. Noah would fake picking up a pair of six shooters, firing off some shots and re-holstering the weapons while running back down the court after a made basket. Partially in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT and also because he is adamantly against gun violence, Noah promised on his own to stop doing the celebration and come up with something else. Now he shakes his hands as if they're hot which may not be as cool but is certainly more responsible. "We can't joke around with things like that," he told NBA.com. "Too many people are dying because of guns. We have a problem here with guns. So [I'm] just trying to be a little bit compassionate about what's going on."
Olympic silver medalist and former Florida sprinter Tony McQuay was a finalist on Wednesday for The Bowerman, the most prestigious collegiate award for the sport of track & field. McQuay, the second finalist from the Gators in as many years (jumper Christian Taylor), lost out on the award just like his former teammate. Florida has had a finalist for the award in two of the four years it has been awarded. Male winners have come from Oregon (twice), Florida State and this year from Southern Utah.
Really the only way Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey will make the Pro Bowl this year is as a replacement, which is surprising and probably annoying for the player because he is having a fantastic year overall but is simply not getting enough of the fan vote to support his cause. A first-round pick of the team two years ago, Pouncey has already been in two NFL systems but has come out on top as the team's best offensive lineman. Head coach Joe Philbin, discussing injuries to the unit and a lot of turnover this week, praised what Pouncey has done this season. "He's a good football player. Yeah, he's done a good job, he's played well, he has performed well and likes to compete. He's got some energy that rubs off on the other guys. He certainly has confidence," Philbin said.
Sports being played by Florida teams over the next 10 days are limited to two teams - men's and women's basketball. The No. 8/9 Gators men's team will play a pair of neutral site contests over the next two Saturdays, traveling to Kansas City, MO to take on Kansas State on Dec. 22 at 9 p.m. (ESPN2) before participating in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, FL on Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m. against Air Force (FSN). Women's basketball play a pair of games in Gainesville, FL on the Fridays, taking on Central Michigan this week at 7 p.m. and Holy Cross next week at 7 p.m. Florida will have a great chance to end 2012 with four-straight wins.