Really, I just don’t get what Dan Mullen thinks he’s up to with this.
Of course, just about everything Mullen has done so far has done that organically. His penchant for trolling rivals being one of the chief things fans have loved about him. He’s got a little bit of that Steve Spurrier swagger to him, not afraid to take snipes or joke at a rival’s expense.
The most recent was an announced attendance figure of 39,476 fans at UF’s spring game. After a few days of digging, a fan on the r/FloridaGators Reddit page realized that it had been 39 years since Georgia last won a national title, with the Bulldogs playing that title game 476 games ago.
So when a fan got a chance to ask Mullen if he realized it had been that long since the Bulldogs’ last title, Mullen laughed and explained some of the back story.
“No,” he said. “I will say this, there was a press conference early in the week. And they said, ‘Have you ever done, like, spring game attendance?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, you know what, I’ve had some different numbers out there for spring games before. I was at Mississippi State and it was always like kind of picking on Ole Miss.’
“But I told (the reporters) before the game, I said, ‘Well, if we do it there might be like 41,140 people at the game. Right?’ That one would make sense, y’all could figure that out pretty quickly. (Someone’s) yelling out Florida State in the back.
“So after the game, the press conference, they’re like ‘OK, so what’s the attendance?’ I just looked with a straight face at the media, said, ‘It’s there, you’ve got to figure it out.'”
Of course, the media floated a few different ideas, but none seemed to stick. Not until the Reddit sleuths uncovered the meaning.
If it was planned, Mullen was playing coy about it Monday night when he spoke to the Polk County Gator Club. Of course, not without taking perhaps another little swipe at Georgia.
“I had no idea. I don’t even know how they came up with that number, the most random thing ever,” Mullen said. “But everybody started freaking out about it, I guess, until three days later somebody put enough math together to go figure that out.
“Maybe Georgia fans were really so uptight they haven’t won in 39 years they got all uptight and tried to figure it out. But it was pretty random actually, it was pretty funny.”
I’d have to figure out what he means first before I can get uptight about it.
That line about “He’s got a little bit of that Steve Spurrier swagger to him” cracked me up, though. Kind of reminds me of the way they used to describe Florida football pre-Spurrier — combining the arrogance of Alabama with the history of Vanderbilt. As a head coach, the man’s got a losing record against Georgia and his last two games against Smart saw his teams beaten by double-digit margins in each. There’s a lot of ways I could describe that, but Spurrier-esque wouldn’t be one of them.
If Gator fans are eating this up, bless their hearts.
UPDATE: Welcome to Gatorchatter.