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God help Tebow and those Gators

October 01, 2008|Chris Dufresne; Kevin Baxter; Randy Harvey; Chris Foster

A sampling from some of the entries on The Times Fabulous Forum blog:

Ole Miss 31, Florida 30, meet Matthew 6:13.

The only thing stranger, perhaps, than what happened in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, when unranked Mississippi rolled into town and rolled the No. 4 Florida Gators, is what happened on Sunday and Monday in Gainesville.

On Sunday, Gators Coach Urban Meyer put his players through a rare, 90-minute practice under the lights, no doubt a signal that home losses to inferior opponents will no longer be tolerated.

On Monday, Eric Brown, the 31-year-old minister at Gainesville's Campus Church of Christ, unveiled this message on his church's signage board: "Why I Pray for Tebow."

That would be Tim Tebow, Florida's junior quarterback and last year's Heisman Trophy winner.

To read why Brown prays for Tebow, take a look at the story chronicled by the Miami Herald.

Gator fans might wonder: Why did God stop Tebow on a fourth and one at the Ole Miss 32 in the final minute to preserve Mississippi's upset win?

Florida needed a Hail Mary, but ended up with the Lord's Prayer.

Florida plays this week at lowly Arkansas, which has allowed 101 points in its last two losses, which might prompt a sign from the Fayetteville Church of Christ: "Why I pray for Bobby Petrino."

-- Chris Dufresne


Breaking the tie for Cy

What's more impressive? Twenty-two wins and a 2.54 earned-run average or a single-season record 62 saves? That's what voters choosing between the American League's top two contenders for the Cy Young Award had to figure out.

But there's one other way to look at the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez and the Indians' Cliff Lee -- call it the Mike Redmond factor.

The Minnesota Twins' backup catcher has a .292 lifetime average over 11 big-league seasons, but for some reason, he has dominated a number of past Cy Young winners. He's hitting .500 with six RBIs in 26 career at-bats against Milwaukee's C.C. Sabathia, for example.

He is batting .438 with two homers and seven RBI in 48 at-bats against Atlanta's Tom Glavine. And he's a combined four for 14 with three RBIs against Toronto's Roy Halladay and St. Louis' Chris Carpenter.

Using that as a guide, Cy Young voters should give the nod to Rodriguez. Redmond had an RBI single the only time he faced the Angels closer. Against Lee, he's 0 for 9 with three strikeouts.

-- Kevin Baxter


TV execs want Cubs, Red Sox for ratings

Ask any baseball fan who knows even a little about the TV business which teams Fox would prefer to see in the World Series and the obvious answer is Cubs, Red Sox.

Nothing personal against the other teams, including the big-market Dodgers and Angels, but the Cubs and Red Sox would draw close to historic numbers.

OK. We all get it. But it's not all that often you hear TV execs admitting it.

If a close call goes against your favorite team, the conspiracy theories are sure to follow.

David Stern no doubt is glad to be sitting this one out.

-- Randy Harvey


Back in the day

It's time to give the perspective to the words "The Cubs last won a World Series in 1908."

In 1908 ...

Pilot Orville Wright's plane crashes during a demonstration flight on Sept. 17 at a military installation in Fort Meyer, Va.

On board was Army observer Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, who died from his injuries, making him the first fatality of a military airplane crash.

Cellophane is invented.

The Boys Scouts of Britain are founded (America would wait two more years).

The Dow Jones closes the year at 86.15, up nearly 30 points from the previous year.

Ninety percent of the horsepower on English and Welsh farms comes from horses.

Pat Garrett, killer of Billy the Kid, is himself shot and killed.

First Gideon Bible is put in a hotel room.

Jack Johnson wins the heavyweight title.

The FBI is established (and immediately begins investigating Jack Johnson?).

Petroleum production begins in the Middle East.

Mother's Day is observed for the first time.

A brand new song becomes an immediate hit: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

... and 6,210 fans showed up to see the Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 to win the World Series.

-- Chris Foster

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