The wine served as a metaphor for the island, good and evil twinned as one. With the removal of good, the island and the world would descend into darkness and the smoke monster would rule. In the wake of Urban Meyer's confrontation with a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, I'm now convinced that art is reflecting life. Tim Tebow's departure from Gainesville, playing the role of Lost's Jacob, has sent Meyer, the smoke monster, into a tailspin. I've written before that Meyer's pure evil, and now we have the perfect description of him, in a post-Tim Tebow world Urban Meyer is Lost's unleashed smoke monster.
By now, you've seen Urban Meyer turn into a snarling high school principal and treat Jeremy Fowler like he was a dog who peed on Meyer's Persian rug. What did the reporter have the audacity to do? He accurately reported the direct quotes of rising junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson.
The "incendiary" quotes.
"You never know with Tim," Deonte Thompson said. "You can bolt, you think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback."
Meyer exploded over what he believed was a contextual error, confronting the reporter after practice and calling him, wait for it, "a bad guy."
Meyer also threatened physical violence saying, "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now,"
Not content with that, Meyer adopted the posture of bullies everywhere by making his comments and then walking away. Only to return for a further conversation after playing the, "what did you say?" line. After threatening to ban the Orlando Sentinel from the practice field, Meyer closed by saying that the reporter, "Be very careful."
The entire episode offers further evidence, if we needed any, that Meyer has spun off the deep end since the Florida loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. I think this is partly because Tebow's innate goodness has always kept Meyer's evil tendencies in check. No longer. Just consider what's happened since that loss.
First, Meyer was taken away to the hospital for chest pains. He subsequently lied about all of the details surrounding his hospital stay, and quit to spend more time with his family. In deciding to give up coaching, Meyer spewed all sorts of saccharine quotes about how his daughter said she finally had her daddy back. Only to abruptly change his mind and return as Gator coach without first telling his family.
In announcing he was returning, Meyer informed us that he would take an indefinite leave of absence.
It lasted for a few weeks.
I think most of us know this as a vacation.
Then, in the media events surrounding the Sugar Bowl, Meyer lambasted the media for prying into his personal life and questioning him about his health. Even though, you know, Meyer cited his own health as the reason that he was stepping down from his job.
He also claimed that the stress of his job was too overwhelming, an idea I shot down as ludicrous in December.
The entire episode was an awkward and uncomfortable display laced with lies, half-truths, and innuendo. Ultimately it left us with nothing, except the understanding that Urban Meyer was pure evil, the yang to Tebow's yin. Now with Tebow off to pursue a pro career and unable to balance out the Gator football universe with light and dark, Meyer is continuing to unravel.
So let's break down this incident in further detail to try and see where we're headed.
1. Urban Meyer called this reporter a "bad guy."
The Urban Meyer/Smoke Monster standard for being a bad guy?
Accurately quoting a player.
Not rising to the level of "bad guy"?
Players who choke girls or fire AK-47's on campus. In fact, none of the 27 Gators arrested during Urban's tenure are bad guys. At least Urban hasn't called them that publicly.
Nope, they're all the top one percent of one percent.
Meyer's social opprobrium for "bad guys" is, instead, saved for reporters who accurately quote players.
2. Urban said he would fight the reporter if the player was his son.
So he's willing to go to jail for assault over a reporter accurately quoting his son?
And is this really the right message to be sending to a team full of players who have histories of violence against women, teammates, and other students on the Florida campus?
That fighting with someone you disagree with is the way to resolve an issue?
No wonder so many Gators get arrested.
3. "Be very careful?"
Is Meyer in the mafia?
That's a Smoke Monster quote if I've ever heard one.
The clear intent of that line is for the reporter to know that, like Lost's Smoke Monster, Meyer is all-knowing of what transpires and will eventually make you pay for your perceived transgressions.
4. Doesn't Meyer realize that he turned this story into a much greater event than it otherwise would have been?
Thompson's quote was, at best, a blip on the national radar screen that would have lasted no more than a day. Now this story has refreshed it for everyone to see.
There's only one reason to confront a reporter in front of a crowd -- to try and send a message to everyone else that if you write something he doesn't like, Meyer will restrict your access and publicly humiliate you as well.
This confrontation does nothing to resolve Meyer's asserted issue, that his player's quote was taken out of context.
If that were truly Meyer's issue, he could have calmly pulled aside the reporter and discussed the quote with him in private. The result? Probably a future profile story about Deonte Thompson that offers a more complete picture of the individual than any paragraph quote ever could.
But rectifying a perceived wrong wasn't Meyer's goal.
Nope, Urban went full fledged Smoke Monster on us. He didn't just want the conflict, he wanted those who weren't in the conflict to feel the fear engendered from the conflict.
Only, you guessed it, what we actually see is what everyone else saw, a bully coming undone.
5. Kudos to the Rivals site, gatorbait.net, for posting the video.
It's unlikely that posting the video will make Urban Meyer happy. But anyone who covers a team knows how out of line this confrontation was and also realizes that Meyer's goal wasn't to remedy a perceived slight. It was to try and scare them all from doing their actual jobs.
6. What if the reporter had said, "Get your finger out of my face, I'm an adult, not a child."
Because that's what I would have said if someone wrere publicly waving their finger in front of my face and lecturing me. That''s probably what you would have said, too.
The reporter, not surprisingly, was the adult in this conversation.
Suppose he had matched Urban Meyer's aggression? Or simply pointed out that Meyer was out of line? Would Meyer have escalated the confrontation further? Would other reporters and Gator staff have had to restrain him?
I think so.
And then who wins?
Certainly not Meyer.
My point? We're headed down a path that is only going to end one way. With the self-destruction of Urban Meyer.
We don't know yet what's going to happen to the Smoke Monster on Lost, but we all know what happened to Woody Hayes at Ohio State when the pressure to win eventually overtook his ability to control his own actions.
Urban Meyer, Smoke Monster, meet Woody Hayes, your future.