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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Tying ties a trying task for Gators football players

Every Saturday morning, Tate Casey knows they'll come knocking.

He knows who's coming, and it's been the same way for four years. His teammates are having wardrobe problems.

"If I had to put my money on it, out of the 60 guys on the team there's probably 15 to 20 that can actually tie a tie," said Casey, who is one of those precious few. "Man, I've done too many ties in my lifetime. We'd always go to church when I was growing up, so my mom always made us dress ourselves. Tying was one of those things [I learned] by age 8."

For their weekly Gator Walk into The Swamp, many of the players hook themselves up with pastel-colored suits, some of which come from their high school proms. But when it comes to looping up the finishing touches on their Saturday best, they're clueless.

"I don't know how to tie a tie yet," fifth-year senior offensive tackle Carlton Medder said. "I'm 22 years old. I don't know how to tie a tie."

So, why not learn?

"Yeah [I try to teach them], but they don't listen," Casey said. "It's the same guys coming back every time."

Even Medder admits it goes in one ear and out the other.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't care. Tate tried to teach me, but I wasn't paying attention."

Medder is not alone in his refusal to learn, but at least some players have found alternative methods to the tying process.

Redshirt junior defensive end Derrick Harvey, who admits he doesn't know the first thing about getting it there, keeps the same tie hung and knotted on the same shirt in his closet.

"I don't ever let it move," Harvey said. "I take [the shirt] off and put it in my closet."

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Players that claim they know how to knot up include Tim Tebow, Dorian Munroe, Maurice Hurt, Brandon James and Cornelius Ingram.

Coaches have also been known to help out those in need of a Saturday morning loop-up.

"I go to the older guys," said freshman safety Major Wright, who said he sought out Munroe before his first ever Gator Walk.

As a near-lifetime tie expert, Casey just doesn't understand his teammates off-the-field difficulties.

"All of them talk about going to church and this and that. It kind of makes you wonder what they were," Casey said. "As many flashy suits as we got rolling around in the locker room, you would have thought somebody would've taught these guys how to tie a tie.

"We try and make it as easy as possible - it's not rocket science."

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