Tim Tebow still a winner

Dec 8, 2009 5:03 PM
Burnt Offerings by Stan Bergstein |

So much for Florida and Tim Tebow.

Their dreams of an undefeated season, a national championship, and probably a second Heisman trophy for Tebow dissolved in his very public tears last Saturday, as Mark Ingram and Greg McElroy destroyed them, 32-13, with the help of their bruising Alabama defensive and offensive lines.

Ingram fortified his own Heisman chase with a brilliant afternoon’s work, running for three touchdowns, as many as Florida had given up all season. And Alabama coach Nick Saban deserves huge credit for a battle plan that frustrated the feisty Gators all afternoon, and shut down their boisterous strutting.

Ingram’s exceptional performance makes a Heisman choice difficult, but it would be nice if the folks who make that choice look at performance tapes rather than press clippings.

If they do, they would pass on quarterbacks, who have won hyped Heismans three years in a row and in 8 of the last 10 years, and turn their attention to the guys depicted on their trophy – a hard-running back.

Ingram, and his counterpart Toby Gerhart from Stanford, a school better known for brains than brawn, both are deserving. They are the best we’ve seen all year.

Tucson Talkfest

The Tucson Talkfest – also known as the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Symposium – is in full swing at the Westin La Paloma resort this week, with attendance almost halved by the economy and state budget limitations.

That means 500 or 600 racing executives from around the world are on hand, and although the full proceedings didn’t get underway until Tuesday, a room full of judges and racing officials were up early Monday to learn more about their craft.

Although the faculty was impressive, the title of the presentation was down to earth: A Nuts and Bolts Seminar on Equine Medication and Testing and the Prosecution of a Medication Case.

The seminar was sponsored by ROAP, the Racing Officials Accreditation Program, and the University of Arizona’s unique school of racing. Since the presentation title was informal, we can simplify things and say the idea was to teach how to hang the guilty and make sure the noose doesn’t slip.

One of the best racing lawyers in the land – Alan Foreman of Maryland – moderated the discussion, and another – Ira Finkelstein of New York – was a panelist.

The scientific panel was equally impressive. It consisted of Dr. Scott Stanley, director of the K. L. Maddy Equine Laboratory of the University of California at Davis; Dr. George A. Maylin of Cornell, one of the world’s foremost authorities on equine toxicology and pharmacology; and Dr. Scot Waterman, the energetic executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium headquartered in Lexington, KY, which is unifying racing rules that apply to horsemen everywhere.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Stan Bergstein