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Emmitting an apology to Gator Nation, but why?

Mr. Reporter Man! Mr. Reporter Man! I barely made it out ofGainesville with my scales intact !!! Tell the world my story!

Apparently, there was quite a gnashing of teeth from Gator Nation over the weekend because of Emmitt Smith’s 24-minute non-namedrop during his Hall of Fame induction Saturday. Smith eventually and very publicly apologized Sunday night to the University of Florida and its fans during NBC’s broadcast of the Hall of Fame preseason game:

But here’s something that I came across while combing through stories written about Auburn in the Orlando Sentinel, which has a zillion stories about Auburn’s football team for some reason, most of them focusing on the brouhaha that was Coach Terry Bowden’s firing/the reach of meddlin’ Pat Dye and Bobby Lowder/Eric Ramsey/trustees/boosters/black book/whatnot.

Check out this little interesting quote from Smith waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1993 during the weeklong buildup before the Superbowl where the Dallas Cowboys would WALLOP the Buffalo Bills, 52-17:

“Every year I was there [at Florida], there was some kind of controversy, some kind of dark cloud hanging over us. … It was pure hell down there. … I gave that university everything I could possibly give it.”

Then, Smith mentioned his “fan” mail after he left Gator Nation before his senior season:

“Said I was sorry. Cussed me out. Told me I would never make it in the NFL.”

Yep. Gator Nation sure did send Emmitt Smith off with a nice parting gift there. No wonder he left with such sunny feelings for Gainesville.

But the best part? The very best from the Orlando Sentinel football brief?

Smith told Florida Today‘s Pete Kerasotis and several others with tape recorders he regretted going to Florida, suggesting he might have won the national title or a Heisman Trophy at run-oriented Auburn and lamenting a batch of letters with racial epithets from Gator fans when he left UF a year early.

OH YEAH!!! That’s nice. You can really feel the love there, you know? But I suggest you readers out there pair it with this, Smith’s last shot at beating Auburn, for full enjoyment:

About J.M. Comer

J.M. graduated from Auburn in 1998 and again in 2000 with bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. He is currently a copy editor in Washington, D.C., and lives in Baltimore, Land of Pleasant Living. If you find yourself in beautiful Baltimore, he recommends Faidley's crab cakes, a stop at Atomic Books, an O's game at Camden Yards and plenty of Natty Boh.

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