(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Urban Meyer’s out of left field resignation yesterday sent not ripples but a tsunami throughout the Gator Nation as walled off memories of prior years flooded back: Steve Spurrier’s Surprise followed by the disasterous years of Ron Zook and then Billy D’s bizarre defection to the NBA, quickly recanted in a wave of What Did I Just Do?
Sad? Sure. Concerned? Some. But regardless of future outcome, enormously proud of not just the brand, but the type of brand, he expertly stitched together for the school in just a few short years.
Win at any cost? No. Win with class? Absolutely. Coach Meyer and his recruits redefined championship caliber and in so doing raised the bar for years to come. What a ride its been, especially for those of us who recall the mocking meaning behind “Year of the Gator”, expressed as in wait ’til next year.
Regardless of how the next chapters turn out, alumni now know what its like to be associated with a school athletic program unlikely to be matched again for character and accomplishment. And if it never happens again, at least it happened once. Thanks to a guy named Meyer and to those whose talent he was able to interpret and inspire.
A welcome note to end the year on comes from an October report by the Journalism School of Columbia University on The Reconstruction of American Journalism. The PDF download opens with an optimistic forecast before setting the stage by looking back to our journalistic roots beginning in the 18th century.
I agree with the conclusions in general. My reservations spring mostly from concern about the increasing difficulties posed by the exponential expansion of technology and the corresponding very serious problems that arise out of authenticity; as the report notes, “authenticated journalism”.
Just today a mid-afternoon flash on the death of Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy by web site TMZ was cautiously cited as source even though verification was somewhat slow in materializing, highlighting the problems that come with global transmission as near fact that which hasn’t been properly vetted in context.
Is the demise of journalism’s Golden Age premature? The report by authors Leonard Downie, Jr. and Prof. Michael Schudson argues yes – and supports their conclusion with a number of well thought out examples of how, why and when the transformation of the Fourth Estate from ad advertising based model to (perhaps) a community based enterprise will occur.