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Friday, May 24, 2024
<p>Eight Gators beat writers pick eight college football games against the spread.</p>

Eight Gators beat writers pick eight college football games against the spread.

What a week it’s been for Florida football coach Jim McElwain.

The man in charge of leading the woefully underperforming Gators dropped an unprompted bombshell Monday morning when he told reporters he and his family have received death threats.

When asked for more details, however, McElwain went cryptically silent, refusing to provide any more context to his disturbing claim.

After the University Athletic Association released an eyebrow-raising statement several hours later that said McElwain declined to provide it any further information, the world of social media was turned upside down.

Did McElwain exaggerate, or even lie, about the so-called death threats??? Could this be the beginning of the end for his coaching tenure here in Gainesville???

Those are questions that will hopefully be answered in due time. But one thing we do know for sure at alligatorSports is that we — like McElwain — are no stranger to menacing words being thrown our way. We get hate mail constantly!

And that leads us to this week’s debate between assistant sports editor Dylan Dixon and sports editor Matt Brannon: Who has gotten the worst hate mail during their time working for the Alligator, Dylan or Matt?

Dylan’s hate mail has been worse because…

I’ve had some pretty bad hate mail over the years. Messages of “you f------ suck” and “learn how write, a------” have flooded my inbox from the moment I was hired back in January 2016.

But nothing, and I mean nothing, can top the time I was almost blackmailed.

This April, I received a letter from someone named “K.T.” who threatened to photoshop my face onto the body of naked man lying on top of a dead shark if I didn’t order him Chester’s Hot Fries and a Sonic Nerds Slushie from

I was terrified for my life. Do you know the backlash I would’ve received if a photo like that surfaced of me?

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Of course, I did everything K.T. asked, and after several days of ordering him fast food, he left me alone. But to this day, I still have nightmares about what could have happened if he decided to release that photoshopped image of me anyway.


I think I heard a rumor somewhere that he may have victimized some other guy named McEwing or McEvoy or something like that. I’m not exactly sure.

I definitely have received the worst hate mail, though. There’s no way Matt can top that.

- Dylan Dixon

Matt’s hate mail has been worse because…

My mom has always been hard on me. But recently, her constructive criticism is a little overwhelming: “You’re f----- dead you f----- idiot.” That’s the note she put in my lunchbox today. The other day, she emailed me when a story of mine was published. “This article is so ugly it reminds me of the day you were born. And just like you, it serves no purpose.” At first I laughed it off. That’s just how she shows she loves me, right? But lately she’s been making that old joke of “I brought you into this world I can take you out” so often that I’ve had to look over my shoulder on my weekends at home. But I should really give her the benefit of the doubt. This weekend she even bought us a vacation to the world’s most remote and deadly volcano. Wait,  she didn’t buy me a return ticket … oh God.

- Matt Brannon

Now, onto our competitors!

In first, at 38-25, is 247Sports’ Thomas “Al Capone Jr.“ Goldkamp, who — we’ve come to the conclusion — has to be in the mafia. How else is he getting so many picks correct? His in-depth knowledge of college football? Pfft, fat chance. Nope, Thomas is clearly involved in the mob, and he’s definitely having a direct influence on these games. We heard the other day he forced USC coach Clay Helton to throw the Trojans’ game against Notre Dame if he didn’t want to be “sleeping with the fishes.” To each his own Thomas. To each his own.

Next, at 35-28, is Gator Country’s Nick “Depressed Miami Marlins fan“ de la Torre, whose beloved MLB franchise missed the postseason for the 14th consecutive time earlier this month. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Nick, having to watch the Dodgers and Astros surge to the World Series while Giancarlo Stanton sits at home eating Doritos on his couch. But look at the bright side, man, at least you still have Dwyane Wade and the Heat… Oh wait. 

Tied for third, at 34-29, is the Alligator’s Ethan “I made my editors’ lives harder than they needed to be on Thursday night when I wrote 1700 more words than I was supposed to in my feature story about Malik Davis“ Bauer, who — believe it or not — made his editors’ lives harder than they needed to be on Thursday night when he wrote 1700 more words than he was supposed to in his feature story about Malik Davis. ‘Nuff said. Thanks Ethan.

Also at 34-29 is the Gainesville Sun’s Graham “You can’t handle the truth” Hall, who, in an attempt to show off his legal expertise, tweeted the dates of disposition hearings for the suspended Gators players. What is a disposition? That would’ve been great context to include. But since it has never been on Law and Order: SVU, Graham was out of his depth.

After Graham, at 33-30, is the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar “Shut the f--- up“ Thompson, which is what exactly what he told Gators safety Chauncey Gardner Jr. to do this week after the defensive back told reporters Florida was going to beat Georgia. We all were thinking that too, Edgar, but did you really have to be so blunt about it? There’s no way the Gators get by the undefeated Bulldogs on Saturday, but let’s at least let Gardner Jr. think that they will. We’re not trying to crush anybody’s spirits here.

In sixth, at 31-32, is the Alligator’s Ian “My fantasy football team blows“ Cohen, whose team in a league with other UF beat writers is so putrid, his own players have called him asking to be traded. We thought it was bad when Ezekiel Elliott and Jay Ajayi tried contacting him, but the other day, the entire Carolina Panthers defense attempted to set Ian up on a conference call. Yeesh.

Showing off his knowledge of college football at 28-35 is the Alligator’s Matt “Just call me Butch Jones“ Brannon, who lost to a fellow colleague in Madden last week after he gave up a Hail Mary as time expired. Big plays happen occasionally, but Matt used a goal-line defense on the game-deciding play, even though the ball was at the 50. What were you doing dude? Everyone and their mom knows you pick Man Up 3 Deep in that situation. What an amateur.

And bringing up the rear, at 27-36, is the Alligator’s Dylan “Potassium is my s---” Dixon, who got arrested for selling ecstasy while wearing a banana costume last weekend. It’s his third time we’ve had to bail him out of jail this semester. You’re becoming a hassle, Dylan. Why don’t you just do us all a favor and become a vegetable instead?

Eight Gators beat writers pick eight college football games against the spread.

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