Former Gator QB Critical of Today’s Offense

Finds it offensive, and I’d have to agree that the playcalling seems to lack any discernment of what the defense is doing, from Mike Bianchi and the Orlando Sentinel:

It’s one thing when UF fans are ripping Urban Meyer‘s offense, but it’s another when one of the greatest and most beloved players in Florida history starts taking it apart, too. Former UF quarterback Shane Matthews, a two-time SEC Player of the Year and a former NFL veteran, had this to say about the offensive strategy of Meyer and coordinator Dan Mullen this week: “No matter what defense is thrown at you, there is always a weakness. The offense’s job is to exploit that weakness. When I watched the Ole Miss game (a 31-30 Florida loss), and Ole Miss played our wide receivers about 90 percent man-to-man, it was a slap in the face to our wide receivers and passing game. I can’t understand why we didn’t take advantage of that. I’m just calling a spade a spade. If that’s critical, I guess it’s critical. I call ’em like I see ’em. In the 1990s, we attacked, and we tried to step on people’s throats and put the game out of reach. That’s what irritates former players the most. We let teams hang around that have no business hanging around with us.” To read the full transcript of the Matthews interview, go to my critically acclaimed and wildly popular “Open Mike” blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/openmike. . . .

Oklahoma Gas Prices Lowest

From KSWO in Lawton, OK:

Only a few months ago gas prices were skyrocketing. Now with the economy, gasoline prices are down to an average of $2.89 per gallon locally. AAA reports that Oklahoma prices are some of the lowest in the nation, falling to 64-cents per gallon since September 16th.

Lawtonians are keeping their financial belts tight, and combining trips even as prices fall. AAA says there are a number of reasons for lower gas prices. They say the strength of the US dollar and lack of bad news overseas are keeping prices palatable – and, Lawtonians couldn’t be happier about that.

Lawton drivers are leaving gas stations with a smile, a full tank of gas, and a wallet that is not empty. AAA spokesman Chuck Mai says that prices will continue to drop as long as gas stays below $90 per barrel, reports say that prices in Oklahoma City have dropped as low as $2.57 per gallon today.

Mr. Sternberg Uncover Those Seats!

On television it appears that a large part of Tropicana Field is empty–for a playoff game. It turns out that there is a tarp covering 6,000 seats! Someone needs to alert the ownership that for a playoff game, they’d have no problem selling the place out–get a clue!

From Tampa Bay Online:

For the better part of the Major League Baseball season, Tampa Bay Rays executives have bemoaned, albeit diplomatically, attendance at Tropicana Field. They campaigned to build more public support for the team, whose first winning season has led to its first playoff berth.

Some national writers and broadcasters have even ridiculed area residents for not packing Tropicana Field every game. One knucklehead columnist from Boston had the gall to suggest that MLB move the Rays’ home playoff games to a city where people actually care about the game.

Considering all that, it’s astonishing that the Rays do not plan to remove the tarps covering 6,000 seats in the upper level of the Trop for its playoff games.

The first two playoff games sold out in only hours, which shows the region’s enthusiasm for this Cinderella team. So, at least 36,048 fans – current capacity at the domed stadium – will see the games. Crowd noise will be a major factor, but imagine what the energy would be like if 42,048 filled the Trop to its rafters. It can be deafening in the place as it is.

Fans wanting tickets don’t care that the 6,000 covered seats are either “bench style” or have obstructed views. They want the chance to support their team. The team’s brass, who are trying to expand the fan base and, it should be stressed, want a new ballpark, should not deny them the opportunity.

Yes, the current capacity provides an intimate setting for baseball, but 42,048 fans would represent a true sellout that would make the old dome shake. Fans want to experience the Rays’ first playoff series. They won’t mind if they have to crane their necks or look to the side.

The Rays and MLB already have decided that the tarps will be rolled away and those seats will be made available should the team – and we hope this isn’t a jinx – make it to the World Series. We say, don’t wait; open them up for the first round and, if it happens, the American League Championship series.

Given the intense interest in the team, those seats won’t remain empty.

Rays, uncover those seats.

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