Sports fans can rarely attribute their pain to an inanimate object, especially one which does not normally play a significant role in the game. Florida Gator fans do not have that luxury, unfortunately, as they can now identify one specific item of clothing as the bane of a possible National Championship season; Kole Taylor’s shoe, of the now-infamous Marco Wilson shoe throw.
The Old King
Florida fans were haunted by another non-football-related object before Kole Taylor’s shoe. A laptop. As in, the laptop that former-Gator Cam Newton decided to steal and then throw out the window when campus police arrived at his dorm room to investigate. This 2008 arrest led to him transferring to Blinn College for a season, followed by Auburn, and you know the rest.
This is the harshest “what if” in the University of Florida’s storied football program. If not for that stupid laptop, does Cam lead the Gators to another National Championship after Tim Tebow graduates? Does Urban Meyer stay at Florida? The possibilities are endless, and they pretty much all suck if you’re a Florida fan.
And yet, despite all of the storylines surrounding that laptop, Kole Taylor’s shoe will probably sting a little more for the Gator-faithful.
The New King
I think it’s because we got to see it up close. Florida’s defense was an abomination all game, but it appeared they had finally put the clamps on with a big third down stop late in the fourth quarter at LSU’s 30 yard line. The Tigers punt, Kyle Trask and Co. gets the ball back with about a minute to play and all their timeouts, they drive down the field and set up Evan McPherson for the game-winning field goal. No problemo. This was what was supposed to happen.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, defensive back Marco Wilson decided to chuck Kole Taylor’s shoe after it came off during the third down tackle. I’m not sure what went through his fucking head in that moment, but it’s pretty fucking clear you’re going to get a fucking penalty for fucking throwing a fucking shoe, buddy. Fuck.
LSU’s win probability before this unbelievable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by Marco Wilson was 39.6%. It jumped to 62.8% afterwards. This blunder instantly sapped the life out of Florida and their fans, and will be ingrained in their memories forever. The guy thought it was a good idea to throw a shoe in the biggest moment of the game. I mean, come on.
Where do we go from here?
On to ‘Bama. Florida will cause some chaos if they manage to get past the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game. The committee doesn’t like two-loss teams, but beating the #1 team in the nation certainly merits consideration for the College Football Playoff. I don’t think they’ll win, but their season certainly isn’t over.
As for Marco Wilson and his shoe throw, I don’t know what to tell ya, pal. You blew it. You blew it big time. Wilson is a talented player and has a chance to make an impact at the next level, but this is gonna follow him for a while. Shit, it might follow him forever. Such is the life of an SEC football player when you make an inexplicable mistake like this.
Life ain’t fair sometimes, kiddo. Ball out against Alabama. That’ll be a good first step.