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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.
Gators fans have always been in quarterback Tim Tebow's corner, but the former Heisman Trophy winner was undoubtedly happy to learn over the last few days how his fellow student-athletes at Florida have been sticking up for him. Among the names tweeting (or reciting to reporters) the phrase "Free Tebow" were Chandler Parsons, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Pouncey and Dorian Munroe among others. Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel, famous for starring in Transformers and on the television program Las Vegas, even lashed out at ESPN analyst Merril Hoge on Twitter. "hey merril. Josh Duhamel here. Wondering why you're such a jealous bitch about Tebow? He's 10x the player you were."
An announcement Tuesday by the NFL listed Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey as the lone former Florida player voted into the 2013 Pro Bowl. As was theorized two days ago in the last O&B News, brother and Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey was overlooked despite having a significantly better year than his sibling. He was none to happy about this occurrence. "It's hard to take, but I'm just blessed that I came out of the season healthy and I gave it my all," he told the Palm Beach Post. "It was just disappointing to hear the news, but I'll come back next year and I'll be in. Trust me, it adds fuel to the fire. Pouncey is a first alternate as AFC center and could theoretically earn an official Pro Bowl berth if his brother decides not to play in the game. He says he would certainly take it but will not hold it at the same level. "I feel like I was the best center in the NFL," he said. "I'd go out there and play and give it my all, but it doesn't mean as much to me now that I'm an alternate."
Thrown through the ringer after honestly admitting that he purposely whiffed on a block and allowed quarterback Scott Mitchell to get injured (unintended) while the two were teammates on the Detroit Lions, former Gators offensive lineman Lomas Brown went on the offensive Wednesday, saying on ESPN's First Take program that he has always looked back on that one particular play with self-disdain. "I regret it happened," he said. "Did I regret it happened then? No, I didn't regret it happened then. For my 18-year career, they say you average probably about 1,000 plays or so per [season]. So I know I've played well over 18,000 plays, excluding practice, in this league. It's one play out of the 18,000 that I regret. [...] That was 1994, and I was extremely frustrated with the situation that was going on. I didn't try to get the guy hurt, but that's what ended up happening."
On Wednesday, Chicago Bears safety Major Wright called out Detroit signal caller (and former Georgia quarterback) Matthew Stafford for not playing well under pressure. Wright would know, considering how the Gators dominated the Bulldogs and limited Stafford's effectiveness when the teams played. "You put a little pressure on him, you close the pocket on him, and he hesitates," said Wright, according to the Detroit News. "He doesn't make that perfect throw. … He can make any throw on that field, so you have to be aware of putting pressure on him because you put a little pressure on him he kind of folds."
Reports of the departure of redshirt junior offensive tackle Matt Patchan broke on Wednesday, and head coach Will Muschamp confirmed Thursday at a pre-Sugar Bowl press conference that he would be transferring. Though the initial report, printed by The Gainesville Sun, stated that Patchan would transfer to either Ohio State (with Urban Meyer) or Boston College (with Steve Addazio), a source close to the program tells me that B.C. is the front-runner for his services and he will likely end up with Addazio when all is said and done. Patchan has already received his four-year degree (graduating in the fall) but will be able to enroll in a graduate program and play right away for the Golden Eagles.
Saturday marks the final neutral site game of the regular season for Florida basketball as it travels south to Sunrise, FL to participate in the 2012 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. The Gators have a long and storied history as the headliner in the event, which is technically a tournament even though it consists of just two games. Florida is participating in the OBBC for the 12th time in the last 13 years and has a record of 9-2 in those 12 appearances heading into Saturday's game against Air Force. The game also marks the final contest of the 2012 calendar year for the Gators athletic program. Florida basketball gets a full week off after the game, not playing again until it travels to New Haven, CT to face Yale in its final non-conference game of the campaign.