Thursday, November 16, 2006


No, I'm NOT the real "Baghead". He disappeared immediately after Ron Zook got canned at Florida. I guess since this is the first post I should give some sort of explanation about what this is all about. I'm a UF alum (class of 1991) and a huge Gator fan. Like a lot of us Gators I was bewildered about the decision to hire Ron Zook as our head coach back before the 2002 season. Zook has been an assistant under Steve Spurrier in the early 90s and had been demoted to special teams coach.

I quickly learned about, just like the rest of the world did, through various stories in the media. At first I had the same reaction that most people had, "this is crazy, the guy hasn't even coached a game yet and somebody is calling for his firing?" I heard that Zook was a "great recruiter," a "hard worker," and "very enthusiastic." I was willing to give him a chance. I remember his first season, UF had scheduled a game against the University of Miami. this was a big event because the Gators hadn't played the canes in a regular season game since 1987. I'm from Miami and I hate the Hurricanes (really it's their front-running, phony fans that I hate) so me and some UF buddies and our wives headed up to Gainesville for the game. The Gators got embarrassed. Still you couldn't really judge Zook. It was only his 2nd game as coach.

The year ended with a disappointing appearance in the Outback Bowl against Michigan. In the first half of the game, after a touchdown, Zook inexplicably called for a 2-pt conversion instead of the sure extra point. This is something he had done and failed at earlier in the season. The Gators didn't convert and, as usually happens in such situations, it came to haunt them. Down by EIGHT, late in the 4th quarter, the Gators were driving the field. They needed to score a TD and a 2-pt conversion to tie the game and go into overtime. Then Zook called for a trick play where a freshman wide receiver would throw a pass to Rex Grossman, our QB, the man who the year before had been the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Of course the play went for an interception, game over. When asked about the decision to take the ball out of Grossman's hands, Zook's response was, "Rex was open."

"Uh oh!" I thought. We have hired ourselves a real moRon. But that was just the beginning. The following year, the Gators were to play the Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl. I had upper deck tickets in the corner near the open end zone. The Gators were up, with something like a 22-point lead before halftime and I was telling the nice older couple next to me whose child was a UM alum that we would find a way to give up the game. They didn't believe me. Sure enough, we handed the Canes the game when the Gators ran out of gas. This was another of the games that Zook went for 2 points early in the game for no reason and came up short.

By then I was a full tilt fan, but my disgust with Zook was only beginning to blossom. I then read an acccount by an AP reporter named Eddie Pells that still pisses me off. The reporter was interviewing Zook on the eve of that second Miami game and Zook commented that the Gators had a good chance, that they weren't intimidated. He said that the previous year when the Canes came out of the tunnel that he had commented to someone on the sideline, "that's how we are going to look in 3 years." I honestly don't know what's worse, that the guy knew before the coin toss that they were going to lose, that he told someone about his feelings (that his team was vastly inferior) or that he repeated it to a reporter a year later! No wonder we lost both games.

Anyway, by now Zook was on a collision course with the unemployment line but he just didn't know it yet. had more traction each and every week and the message board was HOT! It was a huge community and, unlike other message boards, the moderators were cool and pretty much let you say anything. We had a lot of fans from other schools stopping by and lot of them became regulars. It was a place to voice frustrations, dream about a future without the scourge of Zook, etc.

Finally, Zook got canned after losing to Mississippi State in 2004 (Mike Shula might face the same fate at Bama after being "Croomed" in 2006). One of the lead moderators on the message boards decided that it was time to move on to a new venue since the folks behind FRZ announced that site would be taken down soon (it's actually still up, 2-years later). So a new forum was created and named Zook Free Zone. Most of the active posters and readers from the FRZ forum made the move to ZFZ. It was great.

Then we got hit by a troll/hacker, a little pussy with no girlfriend or any prospects for one, named Mikhail Makhatadze. Of course the guy is Hurricane fan and one of the millions of front-runners that never set foot on the Miami campus. Anyway this jackass got ahold of the admin passwords to both the FRZ forum and ZFZ forum. He disabled both boards permanently. We started a second version of ZFZ with a more secure provider and have been there ever since. We lost a lot a members though, as a result of the attacks, and since we don't have access to change the web site, we can't just modify the links to point the curious in the right direction.

So this blog exists to act as a sort of road sign on the information superhighway, pointing the way to Zook Free Zone, which is by my estimation the best Gator fan forum out there. We invite all the former members of the FRZ forum to join us, especially Wahoo who we really miss.

I'll be posting on this blog from time to time, so enjoy it. If you are an Illinois fan, my heart is with you. Keep the faith, all nightmares must come to an end.

Oh and Mikhail, hope you're having fun over at War Chant (now he says he's an FSU fan). You can lurk all you want at ZFZ but you can't post because your idiotic ramblings are so easily detected it's laughable.


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