Dooley’s Dozen: Pat’s 12 ideal Groundhog’s Day scenarios

·5 min read

There is this scene in one of my favorite movies Groundhog Day when Bill Murray’s character is lamenting the fact that he is living the same day repeatedly.

He says the following:

“I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank piña coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters. THAT was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get THAT day over, and over, and over.”

Which prompted a discussion with my wife about the one day we would want to live over and over. We both came up with the same one and it is number one on this list and might be a little unexpected.

Obviously, I will stick to sports for this Dooley’s Dozen and I do realize that for everyone the list would be different. But here are my 12 ideal Groundhog Days. But let’s work our way up to that climax, shall we?

Augusta

Rudy Nyhof-The Augusta Chronicle

I’ll start by mentioning that I played Augusta National. The day after Greg Norman choked away the 1996 Masters, I was able to play because I won the media lottery. THAT day I could live every day. Shot an 85.

Camelback

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

So, the night of the 2006 national title game after an incredible week at the Camelback Marriott, we get to the game and find out that we have ethernet hookups for each computer. Then, well, you know the rest. That was a fun locker room.

Ole Miss, 2015

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Now, things didn’t work out in the end, but that night with Florida dominating the No. 3 team in the nation and the soldier running on the field to surprise his family, I don’t know. It just felt like Florida was back. Of course, that wasn’t the case.

Baton Rouge revenge

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Look, I probably shouldn’t have taken things so personally when the media and LSU administrators were taking shots at Florida over the postponed game in 2016. But that game meant a lot to me. The Gators win on a goal-line stand and by the time I get to the field, it looks like that scene from The Patriot with the fans losing it and Gator players waving the flags. It will be forever a snapshot in my mind.

The 2008 SEC title game

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Great day leading up to it. Then in the press box, I find out the media hotel for the title game is the Marriott on Fort Lauderdale Beach. And Florida wins one of the best games you’ll ever see. And I’m on the field and my wife has worked her way to the front row. Yeah, THAT day over again.

Any “Bob” where my dad could play

Courtesy: Pat Dooley

Yeah, just one more. I miss him every day. The Bob Dooley Invitational was started because of a son’s love for his father. He told me near the end that if he could do one thing, it would be to hit a golf ball one more time.

Cheese Sandwich

Elsa/Getty Images

You knew this one was coming. [autotag]Chris Chiozza[/autotag]’s Dash’n’Deliver was not only incredible to see in Madison Square Garden, but to have the celebration spilling into my press row seat was not bad. The presser was epic.

The Show

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

I have told this story before, but in 1999 Florida started becoming a regular in the NCAA Tournament. Which meant I was included. The excitement of that night made me fall in love with the tournament. Harold “The Show” Arceneaux was a big part of it after he destroyed North Carolina while I sat sipping a beer at courtside.

The first time

Doug Pensinger /Allsport

If I could live one three-day stretch over and over, it would be New Orleans in 1996. As much fun as we had, the game itself that brought Florida its first national football title was great and the reaction from fans was greater. Grown men cried and it was the easiest story we ever wrote.

The gapper

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Florida didn’t have enough pitching to win the 1998 Gainesville Regional after losing the first game. Somehow, they won twice on Saturday (these were the old six-team regionals) and played Illinois to go to Omaha. I got my wife front row seats for Derek Nicholson’s walk-off double in the gap and I still get chills thinking about it.

The day before something great

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2008 national championship game was one of the best set-ups for the media ever. But what made the day before the game really something was playing golf at the same course where they filmed Caddyshack. And that they had signs on the course commemorating great lines from the movie. And that I won the media tournament. And that there was this enormous party on the beach where they hand-rolled cigars and, oh, what a tough job I had.

The celebration

The Swamp fireworks
The Swamp fireworks

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After Florida won its first football national championship, the celebration in the Swamp was emotional and exhilarating. God definitely smiled on the Gators that perfect day. But what made it so cool was downtown Gainesville that night. There were people everywhere and you couldn’t swing a wet towel without hitting a former Gator great walking the streets.

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