Untold: Swamp Kings (2023) s01e01 Episode Script

Go Hard or Go Home

[pulsing synth music plays]
[player] Let's go.
[indistinct shouting]
[Tony Joiner] The whole game!
The whole game, go full speed!
Seek the win!
I'm telling you, on the sideline, bitch,
you better be up for every play!
You better be into
this motherfucker here, boy!
[man] Yeah!
[Brandon Siler] Rest of the season here!
This determines the rest of our season.
Get out there! Leave it out there, boy!
When you come to Florida,
football is the world here, you know?
Losing was unacceptable,
and when you did lose, you paid for it.
[Urban Meyer] All right,
listen up, let's go.
May the best team win. You got the edge.
You got toughness, you got togetherness.
There's nothing like the locker room,
there's nothing like a huddle.
I want them to embrace the heart,
embrace the hurt,
embrace the pain, embrace the brotherhood.
No matter how talented you are,
it still comes down to that brotherhood
of playing for one another.
It's all about now. It's all about now.
You work your whole life
for a couple moments.
You got that moment right now.
[Brandon Spikes] You know,
football was my way out. Out of the hood.
So I was willing to do whatever it took.
Bring it on, baby! Bring it on!
[crowd cheering]
Motivation, baby!
[epic music plays]
[Paul Finebaum] In a moment in time,
between 2005 and 2010
National Championship, baby! Number one.
[Finebaum]it looked like
Urban Meyer and Florida
were going to win
the National Championship every year.
- [cheering]
- Let's go! Let's go!
We were The Beatles, you know?
We really were.
[Chris Rainey] It was crazy.
Girls are falling out, fainting.
All Man, you'd be like, "What the?"
[crowd cheers]
I'm sorry. Um, extremely sorry.
And then somehow, it all slipped away.
Put them motherfuckers away, man!
Come on, man.
The pain of greatness is real.
- [grunts]
- [Meyer] And it's not meant for everybody.
[reporter] Two University of Florida
athletes have been suspended.
All right, another Florida Gator
has been arrested.
We got 30 minutes
Let's go!
for the rest of our lives!
I was ready to fight.
"It's time to fight."
[all yelling]
People don't realize the level
of stress and anxiety and pressure
because they really do not know
what it's like
to give so much to something.
[crowd exclaims]
That's everything.
[players yelling]
This is going to be un-fucking-believable.
[thrilling music playing]
[intriguing music playing]
[man] Thank y'all
for coming this afternoon.
Obviously, this is a, um, special day
for the University of Florida.
[Meyer] The day that I walked
into The Swamp, it was like a dream.
[man] Ladies and gentlemen,
Coach Urban Meyer.
[people applauding]
I walked down to the 50-yard-line,
I see the bright blue skies.
It's 80 degrees, everything is beautiful.
And I thought,
"Let's go win a national title."
[bold music plays]
Thank you very much.
I would like to thank Dr. Machen
and Jeremy Foley for the opportunity
to coach the Gators.
[marching band music plays]
[Finebaum] Florida had this incredible run
in the '90s under Steve Spurrier,
playing for national championships
every year.
[announcer] The 1996 National Champions!
That was almost a period
of just drunken joy for Gator fans.
But by 2005, Florida was not winning.
We were letting down the people
that were counting on us by losing,
by not being who we supposed to be,
not doing the things we supposed to do.
The team, just in general,
wasn't really respected with
throughout the community of Gainesville.
We We wasn't winning games,
so no free drinks at the bars. [laughs]
[Pat Dooley] They were a sleeping giant.
And then, of course,
Urban was the hot name.
[Finebaum] I mean, the feeling was that,
with going out and getting Urban Meyer,
Florida could restore what they had lost.
But while it was an exciting hire,
you you were getting someone
that was virtually unknown.
Meyer had only been a head coach
four years at two different places.
Florida fans wanted a winner,
and they're not patient people.
Florida play
in the Southeastern Conference.
We call it the SEC.
And college football in the South
is like a life-and-death experience.
[Finebaum] Watching Florida play Tennessee
or Florida play Georgia
is no different than watching
gladiators fight to the death.
It's the same emotion.
"Kill or be killed."
[Dooley] Urban Meyer did not know the SEC,
he did not know the South,
and sometimes that can be a problem.
You win games, everybody loves you.
If you lose one, or one big game,
that's when the criticism
really starts flying.
And it can get out of hand quick.
[Meyer] I came from a hardcore background.
My father was in the Army.
My sister was in the Air Force.
So I've always been that kind of approach,
a militaristic approach to your team.
And there was a narrative
about the Gators,
about lack of discipline.
And I got after 'em pretty good.
'Cause I knew,
you get discipline into those players,
you should win most games.
[man] Ready?
Coach really I mean, he ripped into us.
[Harris] He called us to the stadium
at five o'clock in the morning,
and he made us run
every step in the stadium.
He called everybody out.
Said whether you got
in trouble with the police,
or with the school or whatever,
that we would not have
any of these problems.
I mean, I'm from Miami, you know?
A fistfight is was nothing for us.
Coach Meyer got there and kicked all of us
out of the home locker room.
Made us get dressed
in the visitors' locker room.
Told us we couldn't wear any Gator stuff.
Like, "You have to earn
the right to be a Florida Gator."
[Meyer] To say it was warm welcoming?
Not at all.
[dramatic music plays]
If I was to win big,
I needed to build this team,
and I need to know who's in and who's out.
[player] Let's go! [screams]
[whistle blowing]
Mat drills completely changed the game.
[players yelling]
[Harris] One person would get down,
the other person would jump on his back,
and you gotta stop him from crawling.
Just the most grueling physical pain
you can be in, right?
And there's a winner and there's a loser.
[players yelling]
[yelling and grunting]
Everybody's screaming,
teammates cheering you on.
I mean, it was it was Vietnam.
It was When I say "hard,"
the hardest thing
I ever went through in my life.
You are fucking giving in.
Stop faking it, bro.
[Meyer] My attempt was to get people
that weren't committed to quit the team,
and find out who was going to be all-in.
It was unmerciful.
[player] Fuck. I'll get your stuff.
[fan whirring]
[Meyer] When I take over a team,
I need to find the leaders.
And the guy that started to rise
to the top was a guy named Brandon Siler.
[Siler] When Urban showed up,
my very first impression of him was bad.
I'm like, "I don't like this guy.
I don't know who this guy is."
[barbell rattles]
I grew up in Pine Hills,
which is the projects
and all that, though.
If you want to play
Grand Theft Auto for real,
go to Pine Hills after dark.
[laughs] So that's where I'm from.
I knew that I wanted something different.
And then when I got on campus,
it was a little bit of a culture shock.
Where I come from,
there's not a lot
of, um, white people, you know?
But real quickly, you start to understand
that there's another world out there
that's different from the one
that you were brought up in.
When Urban came to University of Florida,
he wants you to work out to the death.
I want to work out to the death!
I'll take the big boy.
I'll take the fullback!
He wanted to win. I want to win!
I'll take the fullback down.
And this is where I bought in.
It wasn't about lifting weights.
Go, go, go!
- [Siler] It was about mental toughness.
- Go!
He wanted to understand
what happens after he breaks you.
Straight arms. Straight arms!
Are you gonna just push through it,
or you gonna cry like a baby?
You gonna quit?
- [grunts] One, two, three!
- Straight arms!
[Meyer] Most people grab their bag
and go home.
- I'm going clutch.
- [man] Let's go! Push that shit up!
You know what Brandon Silers do?
That's when they get better.
I mean, he was vocal, a great player,
tough as nails, and all-in.
He was the perfect leader.
But he was far from easy to manage.
[Siler] Everything I did,
I did it to the death.
And I drank a lot, right? I like to drink.
[tense music plays]
So one day, Urban calls me in the office.
He says, "You know what?"
"I'm calling your parents up.
I'mma have a talk with 'em."
My mom's a character.
My step-dad,
he had 13 gold teeth in his mouth.
My mom got gold teeth in her mouth.
They both got ten tattoos.
[chuckling] So, they show up to campus,
they've been drinking all day.
And my mama says, "Meyers, listen."
"My son come here to win
a National Championship
and go to the NFL."
"So if you ain't here to do that,
then you need to get out the way."
"This ain't Utah." [laughs]
[Meyer] I don't understand his world.
I don't know the streets, you know?
That's why I was so shocked.
[Siler] They have this whole conversation,
they walk out the door.
He says, "Come here."
Gives me a hug. He says
"You just keep doing what you're doing."
"That's the craziest set of parents
I've ever met."
[jet engines roaring]
[crowd cheering]
[Meyer] The season started in '05, and
I thought I knew big-time football.
You don't know big-time football
until you start messing around
in that Southeastern Conference.
[players yelling]
[announcer] A new ingredient
into this bitter stew,
the Urban Meyer experience.
[Meyer] I remember hearing a contact
two sledgehammers, every snap.
Never been exposed to the athletic big men
that play the game of football in the SEC.
[sweeping orchestral music plays]
You know, the first game
was against Wyoming.
We won, and it wasn't
It was good, it was great.
We beat Tennessee in game three,
in a really tight game.
We beat Kentucky.
[announcer] Gators score
on seven straight possessions,
as Urban Meyer's fifth-ranked team
wins a fourth straight game.
[Finebaum] There was excitement
about Urban Meyer.
He was a smart,
intellectual tactitioner of the game.
We had heard so much
about, uh, the spread offense
that Urban Meyer brought to Florida.
My offensive philosophy?
Score and score fast.
[Meyer] You know, my reputation
as a younger coach was trick plays,
and fake punts, and spread offense.
Like a fast break on turf.
[Meyer] And then, when I met Dan Mullen,
we shared the same mentality,
and that was the basis
for the philosophy that we built at Utah.
Urban Meyer had been
really good at at Utah,
where he was the previous season.
And Dan Mullen was
an imaginative offensive play-caller.
It was almost like Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid.
[announcer] The dream has been realized.
Utah, you did!
[Dooley] You know,
they'd had unbelievable success.
And there were things that we were seeing
that we had not seen before.
[announcer] Every defensive coach
in the country
is looking at a way
to slow down this spread offense
that has exploded across college football.
[Dan Mullen] The base idea was
to get away from the traditional offense
where the quarterback
just stood in the pocket
and threw the ball,
and you never had to worry
about him running.
We wanted to create this offense
where defenses had to defend
a quarterback that could throw and run,
running backs that could run and catch,
receivers that could come in
and run the ball,
and force you to have to defend
the whole width of the field.
[announcer] Touchdown, Utah!
The narrative at that time
was, "That's great for a Utah,
but that'll never work
in the Southeastern Conference."
[announcer] We welcome you to Tuscaloosa.
It is one of the most electrifying places
in college football.
[Finebaum] You had Urban Meyer from Ohio
and Dan Mullen from New Hampshire,
and they were coming
to Gainesville, Florida
to teach the rest of us
how college football is played.
So there are always going
to be, uh, skeptics
when you're bringing a spread offense
to the Southeastern Conference,
which was still, primarily,
a defensive conference.
[crowd cheering]
[Siler] We roll into Alabama.
We think we're great at this time.
And they were 15th, we were fifth.
We were expected to win.
We expected ourselves to win.
[announcer] Fumbles as he is tackled.
And the ball is recovered by Florida.
[Harris] We were on a winning streak
at that time,
and that's the first time
I got to see Coach Meyer, uh
his desire for winning.
See the fire in his eyes.
[Meyer] Alabama was one
of the first tests.
They were a great defensive team.
And I had to prove
this is not a gimmick offense.
"We gotta win that game."
[tense music plays]
[commentator] Out of the gun,
the spread offense.
[announcer] Three-man defensive line
right away for Alabama.
They've been going to this more often.
[commentator] Here's Leak,
gets it in the
[announcer] Fumble! Fumble.
This is gonna be a physical game.
The offense we ran at the beginning
was the offense they tried to run at Utah.
But we just weren't ready
to be what he wanted us to be.
[announcer] That'll be
the big challenge for Chris Leak.
When he runs this offense,
to really make it go,
you must run your quarterback.
[Siler] Everybody understood
what we were trying to do.
But you have to have the right personnel.
We had Chris Leak playing quarterback.
And he was, like, a drop-back,
shotgun type of guy.
And then Urban comes with this offense
that's used to a running quarterback.
[announcer] He knocks Chris Leak down,
and Penn Wagers says,
"Hey, that was a legitimate play."
He's a quarterback.
He wants to throw it to somebody.
He didn't want to run it.
[commentator]wants to go deep
to Prothro, who's down there!
He's got it!
And he is gone!
No flags.
[Siler] They hit us in the mouth, hard.
I mean, there's losing,
and then,
there's getting your butt whooped.
And we got our butt whooped.
[commentator] This will be
Urban Meyer's first loss
as a coach in his last 21 games.
[announcer] If you're Florida,
at this point, now you've gotta go back
to the drawing board a little bit.
I mean, everything had gone well for you.
Now, you're looking at your first loss,
and a somewhat embarrassing loss
here in Tuscaloosa.
We get hammered by Alabama,
and then we lose to LSU.
[announcer] Nowhere to go
with the football. Look at the coverage.
[commentator] So much conversation
about the spread option.
Does it, does it not work in the SEC?
[Meyer] We all experienced
two devastating losses.
And if we lose one more,
we're out of the SEC race.
[Finebaum] Every time you lose a game
as a coach in the SEC,
it's like suffering a death.
And it it made you wonder
that Urban Meyer had better sign
some big players.
[reflective music playing]
[Mullen] Biggest missing piece
in the puzzle
was that quarterback
that could not just throw,
but also run with the ball.
[Meyer] One day,
as I'm getting off the plane,
a guy that's helping us with our bags,
he said, "Hey, you need
to recruit this Tim Tebow guy."
And I go, "Tim Tebow?"
And it's the first time I heard his name.
He goes, "Well, he's the
He's a quarterback here in Jacksonville
that's a really good player,
and, you know, everybody loves him."
And all that. And I was like, "Okay."
[players grunting]
[Tebow yells]
I take another seven steps,
someone else says, "Hey, Tebow!"
And he starts screaming at me.
Hey! We will not be stopped!
I will not be stopped right now!
And then there's fans
behind a a gated area.
They're Half of 'em
are screaming, "Hey, recruit Tebow!"
It was daily.
You know, "Tebow, Tebow, Tebow."
After a while, you're,
"Okay, enough with the Tebow stuff."
So I went and watched him play.
[players grunting]
I just remember, I was, like, paralyzed,
for just staring at what I was watching.
Hustling on and off the field,
lifting everybody else up around him.
The unselfishness of the way
he was playing the game
and the effort, I mean,
I got in my car and said, "That's
that's gotta be my quarterback."
Hey, out there,
everything for one another, y'all.
Let's go.
My parents told us when we were young,
they're just not gonna be able
to afford college.
So if you wanna go,
you gotta earn a scholarship.
I was rated pretty high.
In the top handful
of quarterbacks in the country.
I was fortunate
to have a lot of schools interested in me.
Alabama, and LSU, and Southern Cal,
and Michigan, and Ohio State.
Florida wasn't even in the picture.
[gloomy music playing]
[Meyer] I knew
that we had to have Tim Tebow.
At that time, offensively,
we were really struggling.
That was ripping my heart apart.
That I'm not holding up
our end of the bargain.
And, uh, sure enough,
we have to go play at South Carolina.
Steve Spurrier's the coach,
he's got a really good team.
[announcer] Folks, it has been 66 years
since South Carolina
has knocked off Florida.
They have lost 14 straight,
including a 37-0 loss to Florida
when Steve Spurrier was quarterback.
[Finebaum] South Carolina was special
because it was Steve Spurrier,
who was a Gator through and through.
Led them to a national championship,
then suddenly, he's on the other sideline,
and it couldn't have gotten
any more personal.
[Meyer] Gator Nation wanted Stephen.
Make no mistake about it.
They wanted Steve Spurrier back.
And I I get it.
[Finebaum] Three losses may work
for South Carolina,
it may work for Mississippi State.
It doesn't work for Florida.
Not when you've hired "Pope Urban"
to come save your program.
We've gotta win this thing,
for my survival.
[announcer] Leak being chased,
and dragged down at the 25-yard line.
Into the end zone
Touchdown, South Carolina!
Touchdown, Gamecocks.
Leak, incomplete,
looking for Dallas Baker.
That is the ballgame.
The South Carolina Gamecocks
have given Steve Spurrier
his first victory as a head coach
against his alma mater,
and the Carolina fans are going crazy
in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Urban Meyer, not happy to say the least.
Coach Meyer is probably one
of the most competitive people I ever met.
He hates losing
more than he loves winning.
Coach Meyer'll make an opening statement
then we'll open it up for questions.
We'll bring selected players in here.
[Dooley] In the post-game
press conference, I saw the first signs
of a stressed Urban.
I'll just I'll answer some questions.
[Dooley] I felt bad for him.
I mean, he looked like somebody who has
whose dog had just died.
[Mullen] It was hard for everyone.
I think especially for Urban.
Because when we lost to Steve Spurrier,
who was what Florida thought
they should be,
that left a lot of doubt.
"Is Urban Meyer the right guy?"
Or did Florida make a mistake
and it was never gonna get better?
Three losses in the SEC,
obviously in Florida, they
You need to do better than that.
That's a very talented league, obviously.
That was a talented team
we just played now.
[smacks lips]
Losing's not in his DNA.
Just want to get back with my team,
and and, uh, get back around my players.
[Mullen] He doesn't handle it very well.
And it's not very comfortable
for anybody when he does lose.
[jet engines decelerating]
[brooding pulsing music plays]
[Meyer] We're flying home,
and I heard some laughing on the plane.
Not all the guys took that loss to heart.
A couple laughs here from guys talking,
and it was a little bit too soon
for all that.
That's where it started,
I think, to bother him.
[Dooley] He keeps 'em on the tarmac
in Gainesville for over an hour.
[Baker] Coach Meyer tells us, "Shut up.
You guys aren't gonna get me fired."
He makes all the coaches
get off the plane.
And he basically was telling us,
he's given everything he have,
but we're not giving everything we have.
[Casey] He's got the ability
to burn a hole in you real quick.
In West Texas, they call it
a "Coming to Jesus" meeting.
[Meyer] It was a tough, tough meeting.
And I told 'em it was gonna be
a miserable time for everybody.
And if you don't want to be here,
we'll help you.
Two players,
he kicked off the team on the tarmac.
They had to go out on
you know, down the stairs,
and off the team. They was done.
[Casey] From there out,
I think that his goal was,
"I'm gonna pound this
in their heads so hard,
that it it's gonna mean
everything to them."
"And if you're not on board with it"
[clicks tongue]
"there's emergency exits right there."
[Meyer] After the South Carolina loss,
after the tarmac meeting
I walk into this restaurant
in Gainesville, Florida.
They boo me.
They boo me.
People starting
to question me as a leader.
And to say that I lost my confidence,
I certainly lost my confidence.
I've never had that much doubt.
I thought,
"There's a decent chance this one's over."
[melancholic music plays]
[Finebaum] How does he save this disaster?
And it really came down to one thing,
landing a major fish
on the recruiting trail.
It keeps the fans excited
during the winter,
and sets up for the next year.
[gentle, reflective music plays]
Tim Tebow, you may not know the name,
but come Tuesday,
he will be the talk of college football.
That's because the Nease quarterback
is the most sought-after player
in the country.
[Siler] Tebow was different,
for a lot of reasons.
You know, here's a guy
that went to homeschool.
Religious background,
mom and dad, they were missionaries.
I didn't understand any of that.
[reporter] On Tuesday,
Tebow will announce on national television
where he plans to attend college.
[Siler] All I knew was
he's the best player in the country.
And we knew he had a lot of heart.
We knew he had grit.
We knew if he was one-on-one
with a tackler, he was gonna win.
[reporter] Did you ever picture one day,
that that a country
would want to see
what you're gonna decide?
Uh, no, sir.
And, you know, we'll just see.
It's just exciting
so I'm trying to concentrate on this.
[Meyer] I put the full-court press
on him for months.
And I was on the phone with him,
writing personal letters, non-stop.
This is from Coach Meyer.
"TT." He calls you TT.
- Yeah.
- Has he been calling you that?
Only in some letters.
[Tebow] Honestly,
I was really, really torn.
And my dad says,
"Timmy, why don't you go do this?"
"Go to your room,
get on your knees, pray about it."
"In the morning, I believe God will put on
your heart where you're supposed to go."
So I wake up the next morning.
And I have no idea
where I'm supposed to go. [laughs]
[Finebaum] The rumor was
he wanted to go to Alabama.
But I'm not sure I understood
what Urban Meyer understood,
that if he missed on Tebow,
he was not going to succeed.
It was really that simple.
[Meyer] He was praying
at the lake all day with his dog.
That was how he was going
to make his decision.
And then finally, at about five till five,
I'm caught in traffic a little bit,
my cell phone rings, I see it's Tim Tebow.
Coach Meyer in a
Panicking, 'cause he knows in ten minutes
I gotta tell the world on TV,
and he can't believe I hadn't called him
to let him know yet.
He goes, "Coach,
I just want you to know that"
And he's, like, sobbing on the phone.
"I've decided to"
And then the phone goes dead.
And I started punching
the dashboard. And I
I really thought we lost him.
The time has come. Tim Tebow,
one of the top-ranked quarterbacks
in all the United States in high school,
and now it's time to go to college.
Where will you be playing
college football?
I will be playing college football
next year at the University of Florida.
[people cheering wildly]
[reporter] Tim Tebow,
considered one of the nation's
top high school quarterbacks,
has committed to Florida.
First and foremost, I would like
to thank the lord Jesus Christ
for giving me the opportunity
to play this awesome game.
His ability to both run and throw
seems to make him an ideal fit
for Urban Meyer's spread offense
with the Gators.
[Meyer] You know, I really believed
that we were gonna win.
And he was gonna lead us
to the promised land.
[Finebaum] It wasn't just a minor event
that occurred that December day.
It changed the history
of college football in the South.
["Jayou" by Jurassic 5 playing]
[Dooley] Everyone wanted
to play with Tebow.
He was that kind of a Pied Piper
kind of a quarterback.
It wasn't just a leader.
It was a guy, you want to be around him.
Brandon, where you gonna go?
Well, next year, I will be attending
University of Florida.
All right, Urban Meyer gets one of
the best defensive players in the country.
[Spikes] One of the reasons I committed
to Florida, the best players was going.
I feel like we had the number one class
and we did had so much talent.
We was loaded!
Let it go, man! Let your body go!
Let your body go!
[Finebaum] You had Brandon Spikes,
Brandon James, you had Percy Harvin.
My major decision was, uh,
based on Tebow, my teammate,
and, uh, I just tried to let 'em know,
in a few years, we gonna win
the National Championship.
[Finebaum] These weren't
just good players.
I mean, these were elite.
I still remember the moment
of coming on campus,
arriving on campus for the first time,
without my mom or my big brother,
or somebody to, like, you know?
I'm like, "I'm really out here by myself."
You got the beautiful women on campus,
studying in no clothes, the palm trees.
I kind of took it all in, and I knew
it was a blessing to be there.
[players exclaim together]
- [man] Bring it in!
- [all clap]
[Dooley] Florida's with the big boys now.
Before, they would have
really nice recruiting classes,
might finish seventh
or eighth in the country.
But now they had the chance
to be the best class in the country.
I told you when camp started,
I've never felt like I've felt this year.
Energized, refreshed,
because we got people
who give a shit about one another.
'Cause you got people who give a shit
about the game of football.
You got people who give a shit
about the University of Florida.
That's a hell of a deal, ain't it?
Come on. That's a hell of a deal.
I wasn't a five-star or four-star recruit,
Parade All-American. None of that stuff.
I was small, tiny. Super tiny.
The minute Coach Meyer walks in the door,
he sits down, we started talking,
he gave, "Look, from day one,
you're gonna have a chance to play."
And no other school had told me that.
Especially my size.
- [whistle blows]
- [man] Down!
[Meyer] You'd have to be blind
not to see great talent.
But I wanted to be as hard
as I could on these players.
You're not performing, you get called out.
That's the way it is.
[Meyer] You know, we're gonna put you
in the most difficult situations.
And some people thrive,
some people pack their bags.
We're all family,
we're gonna be one machine
in about two-and-a-half weeks, that's it.
[players cheer and whoop]
[Baker] We would work out
from midnight until, like, 2:30
on a Friday or a Saturday night,
when you want to go to the club,
or you want to go to a bar,
you want to go to a house party. No.
We would work out at midnight.
[man] Let's go!
Training every day is to the max.
Like, it was literally to the max.
And I didn't want no part of that.
[man] Go, go, go!
It was awesome.
Those are some
of my favorite nights of my life.
[Tebow] No matter how much you'd prepare,
you know in that workout
that everything in you
is going to say, "Stop."
But will you?
Workouts was hard,
'cause it was ones-on-ones sometimes,
Urban didn't care.
He just wanted to see us get better.
His thing was, "Get better every day."
[grunting and yelling]
[Tebow] Everything was win or lose.
Everything is praise or embarrassment.
[Tebow] Every now and then, maybe it
went a little too far into sometimes
embarrassing guys in front of the team.
And for some guys,
it pushed them to never want
to experience that again,
and it made them great.
And for others,
I think it hurt 'em too much.
[Siler] Urban introduced
the champions club.
He put tape on the ground,
and wherever we ate.
And if you were in the champions' club,
you had white linens on your table,
you ate steak,
you ate lobster,
you had a server that brought you food.
If you were on the other side
of that tape,
you ate hot dogs and hamburgers.
You had to go get it yourself.
Urban said, "I'm gonna treat
my superstars like superstars,
and I'mma treat my shit like shit."
"If I treat you like shit,
and you want me to change,
then you find a way
to make yourself into a superstar,
and I'll start treating you like that."
To me, I was like, "Oh!"
"That is so profound."
Every coach does it, but no coach says it.
You go out, and when it's time
for you to make the tackle,
make the fucking tackle.
[crowd cheering]
[drums pounding dramatically]
[Meyer] When we recruit players,
I tell 'em, "This is
the hardest program in America."
There's no second-place trophies
at Florida Gator football.
[music intensifying]
[announcer] What a great day
to lock in, and a lot at stake.
Tonight, either Florida or Tennessee,
these two bitter rivals,
will win a victory,
seize control early of the SEC East.
Tennessee is a fucking joke!
We're set up for us to take this shit!
[Meyer] The SEC eats you up
and spits you right out.
The year before, we lost three SEC games.
You know what happens again
if you lose three SEC games?
There's probably be a new coach there.
[Tebow] Okay, you know,
I don't know how this is gonna go,
but I know there's only one thing
that I can control,
and that's gonna be my attitude,
my effort, and my focus.
You the best in the country!
Do you understand?
Get this shit going right now!
[Baker] Football was all I knew.
I grew up in the hood,
seeing people being killed.
If I don't play football,
like, I'm a nobody.
Make the fucking big play,
Dallas, right now!
Make the big play!
All right? Get the ball, we're
- [players yelling]
- [Meyer speaks indistinctly]
[player] Our father
[all]who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven,
give us this day our daily bread, forgive
I couldn't really feel my hands,
they were shaking.
against us, and lead us not
[Baker] This game is gonna tell us
how good we really are.
It's all about now. It's all about now.
You work your whole life
for a couple moments,
you got that moment right now.
Squeeze tight.
[Meyer] That pressure was immense.
We need this game.
If we fail to win this game,
we're in trouble.
[crowd cheering thunderously]
Let the toughest motherfucker
win this game.
Right now! Right, Joe?
Let the toughest motherfucker
win this game!
- [man] Y'all boys ready? Y'all boys ready?
- [all] Hell yeah!
- Y'all boys ready?
- Shit!
- Y'all boys ready?
- Shit!
- Y'all boys ready?
- Hell yeah!
For Urban Meyer, it was time.
It was time to put up or shut up.
[intense music playing]
[crowd gasps]
[announcer] Urban Meyer has talked
all summer long
about being tough, being composed,
going on the road and winning.
First down and ten.
This is Percy Harvin, the freshman.
He has electrified the crowd.
[whistle blows shrilly]
[Meyer] We started strong.
[announcer] Leak has it,
pulls back, fires left side. Oh!
[Meyer] The crowd was booing us,
and screaming.
And I'm watching this little,
arrogant nut job, Brandon James,
start looking at the crowd
and, like, taunting the crowd.
His arrogance, his confidence
was over the moon.
[James] I came into the game
with the mindset to prove something.
I wanted to prove that even though
I was small, I was able to play.
[Spikes] Freshman, 18 years old,
he hadn't even played in a big game yet.
He would sit and tell me,
"They kick me the ball,
I'm telling you,
I'm taking it to the house."
I'm like,
"You ain't finna do nothing, man."
It's like, "Let 'em kick me the ball.
You'll see."
Like, "I'mma score, I'm telling you.
I'mma score. I might score twice."
[James] Coach Meyer, he go,
"Hey, you're out there." "What?"
[laughs] "Like, now?" He's like, "Yeah."
I didn't give him a chance to say
yea or nay, I just ran on the field.
[whistle blows]
[announcer] Brandon James awaits this one.
[James] The first time
I touched the ball, I caught it.
Kinda split the defense,
running straight up through the defense.
[gentle uplifting music plays]
As I started getting closer
to that checkerboard, I was like, "Oh!"
My eyes started getting big.
"Man, you're about to score a touchdown."
I made a move on the punter
and he actually tripped me.
[announcer] I'll tell you,
that guy is a weapon.
I was watching from the sideline.
I was like, "Wow."
"That's amazing, man."
"They told you you was too small,
and look at you."
[announcer] That's a first down,
Tennessee, here. Florida leading 7-3.
Here's the reverse.
And they set up the pass.
Tennessee, they have great players
all over the field,
and they start kicking us
around a little bit.
[announcer] Oh, they've got
a man wide open!
Lucas Taylor
in the corner.
[crowd cheering]
This one winds up, at the break,
with a Tennessee Volunteer lead.
Too bad we're not in the fucking Swamp.
This would be about 32 to zip right now.
Thirty-two to zip!
What happens, as a coach,
you start to think,
"What if we lose?
How do I keep this team together?"
Togetherness and toughness.
You remember I said that.
Togetherness and toughness,
you fucking win this game.
You win this game, Dallas.
Let's go, right now! Let's go!
- [all] Let's go!
- [player] Get it to ten, baby, come on.
- Showtime on three! One, two, three
- [all] Showtime!
[crowd cheering]
[Baker] So we come out from halftime
[announcer] Second down.
they score just that quick.
[announcer] Hardesty gets it.
Touchdown, Tennessee.
[crowd roars]
[Baker] I knew I need to lead by example.
[announcer] Leak under pressure,
Catch is made by Dallas Baker.
Let's go! Hey! Let's go!
Hey! Make a play! Make a play.
[player] Let's go! Let's go, baby.
[Mullen] The Tennessee game was a battle.
[announcer] Blitz. Leak
[Mullen] And if one play
could encapture that game,
it came in a third down and ten,
late in the game, and we're losing.
[announcer] Leak, quarterback draw,
slides, and he came up short.
And Chris Leak scrambles
and falls just short of the first down.
And here it is, a fourth down and one.
If we don't get this first down,
we lose the game.
And I know that's not going
to be Chris's strong point.
[announcer] Tennessee leads by six, 20-14.
Tim Tebow, the highly-touted
freshman quarterback, is in.
And so we tried out
young freshman Tim Tebow
to just run somebody over,
to get the first down.
It was so loud,
and 110,000 people, national TV,
and I grab him,
and I said, "Okay, it's time."
[Tebow] When the game's on the line
against a huge rival,
in my first-ever SEC game,
my teammates and my coaches,
they were willing
to put it in my hands in that moment.
That meant the world to me.
[bold music plays]
[announcer] Snap is perfect.
Tebow uses that 6'3" frame
to struggle for the first down.
I'm like, "Wow, pretty friggin' fun."
Tim Tebow jumps up, and
It was first down.
[announcer] Chris Leak stoically says,
"Nicely done."
[Mullen] I think in that moment,
he ran off the field,
and Chris ran on.
[announcer] Second and four.
[commentator] Now, anything close,
you're going to continue to go for it,
with under seven minutes
to go in the game.
[announcer] Pulls up, Leak
Got a man wide open!
[Mullen] And two plays later
Chris threw the game-winning
touchdown pass to Dallas Baker.
[sportscaster] Pass complete to Baker
for a Florida touchdown.
It was phenomenal.
[grunts] Dallas!
[announcer] Talk about a signature win.
A huge win.
Maybe this is that moment in time
when Florida gets serious again.
[players cheering]
- Hey!
- [laughing]
After that game, we knew
we were gonna be good.
How sweet, baby! How sweet, baby!
[players yelling and grunting]
[poignant music playing]
[Siler] "National Championship?
It's possible."
Something that has been done only one time
in the history of the hundred years
of Florida football.
Cheer for the team at play ♪
On to the goal
We'll fight our way ♪
[Siler] Let's go chase it.
Let's go get it.
[players cheering]
And I didn't think
that anybody could beat us.
[raucous music playing]
[announcer] Florida Gators
have gone down at Auburn.
To win a National Championship,
it's not that easy.
[announcer] Tim Tebow, the freshman.
[Tebow] This team
has the chance to be so special,
and we were so close to doing it.
[announcer] 90,000-plus
holding their breath.
[sweeping percussive music playing]
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