Tag Archives: Doug Johnson

Editorial: Super Bowl Ironies

Tennessee's Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning when he was quarterback for theTennessee Vols in 1997

Many sports writers across the country are describing Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks as one of the best NFL matchups in history as it will pit the league’s best offense against the best defense.

Sunday’s matchup takes place in the outdoor MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and is expected to be a classic matchup of strength vs. strength.

Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson, in just his second season out of the University of Wisconsin, has taken the Seahawks to their second Super Bowl berth in franchise history.

Denver’s quarterback, Peyton Manning, will be playing in his third Super Bowl.  Manning, who is in his 16th season in the pros, has a chance to become the first starting quarterback in the NFL to win the Super Bowl with multiple franchises.  He won Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts.

This may be his third Super Bowl, but there are those in “Gator Country” who won’t let the legendary quarterback forget that there are some accomplishments that eluded him, namely that Manning never beat Florida, never won a College Football National Championship and he never won the coveted Heisman Trophy, even after choosing to stay in college and forego the 1997 NFL draft even though he was considered to be a first round draft choice.  To his credit Manning did lead the Volunteers to an SEC Championship his Senior year, though that was the same year (1997) he lost in the Swamp to the Gators 33 to 20.

Nokia Sugar Bowl
Former Gator QB Danny Wuerffel

From my audio archives, here’s the 1997 feature produced just before Peyton Manning and the Tennessee Vols  played the Florida Gators hoping for retribution in the Swamp.

Gator QB Doug Johnson
Former Gator QB Doug Johnson

 

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 Another Gator signal-caller who DID win an SEC Crown, a College Football National Championship AND a Heisman Trophy was none other than Tim Tebow.  Ironically, the Denver Broncos let Tebow go and signed free-agent Peyton Manning despite Tebow’s exciting comeback wins which took the Broncos to the NFL playoffs in 2012.

Tebow continues to be vocal about his desire to continue playing in the NFL.  But after  leaving the Broncos Tebow saw little playing time after he was traded to the New York Jets.  On April 29, 2013, the Jets released Tebow who then signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contract with New England which lasted only a little more than two months.  In late December Tebow was hired by ESPN as a college football analyst.

Tebow may not be on the field during the Super Bowl, but he’s already making headlines for a humorous television ad he will appear in during the game in which he points out how busy he is despite not having an NFL contract.  Tebow talked about the ad during  a guest appearance this past week on ABC’s Good Morning America program.

Tebow throwing
Former Gator QB Tim Tebow

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/tim-tebow-shows-wild-side-super-bowl-ad-22310859

 

Tale of Three Quarterbacks: Doug Johnson, Peyton Manning and Danny Wuerffel

Tale of Three Quarterbacks     Broadcast on WUFT-FM in the Summer of 1997

When the college football season opened in the Fall of 1997, two quarterbacks from SEC football teams had big dreams.  Tennessee’s “golden boy” Peyton Manning and the University of Florida’s Doug Johnson had big shoes to fill and goals to accomplish….all in the shadow of one of the most decorated and accomplished college football players, Danny Wuerffel.  Wuerffel had moved on to the NFL after winning not only the Heisman Trophy, but also an SEC Championship and the College Football National Championship.  Donna Green-Townsend has this tale of three quarterbacks.

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Doug Johnson Says He’s Committed to Leading the Gators (1997 & 1999)

(Gator Rewind:  sports archive feature originally aired in the Spring of 1999)

t1_johnson_all_01In the spring of 1999 University of Florida QB Doug Johnson found himself in the center of debate.  After winning the National College Football Championship under the leadership of QB Danny Wuerffel, many fans were disappointed in Johnson’s new role as Wuerffel’s replacement.  In 1997 UF Head football coach Steve Spurrier suspended Johnson for the Florida vs. Auburn game for breaking team rules.  Johnson also faced criticism for continuing to play baseball with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  Many saw this as a lack of commitment to the football team.  Johnson also suffered a broken left fibula during Florida’s 31-10 win over Syracuse in the Orange Bowl in January of 1999.  As Donna Green-Townsend reported in this 1999 feature, Johnson said he was now prepared to show leadership on the team.

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Tennessee's Peyton Manning
Tennessee’s Peyton Manning
Gator QB Doug Johnson
Gator QB Doug Johnson

In the feature below called, Tale of Three Quarterbacks, Donna Green-Townsend explores the mood going into the November 22, 1997 game between UF and TN after Wuerffel shocked the Volunteers the year before.  Tennessee’s Peyton Manning decided to stay one more year.  UF’s Doug Johnson had to face the unique challenge of following behind Wuerffel’s big year and taking on Manning in the big game.

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Nokia Sugar Bowl
Steve Spurrier talking with QB Danny Wuerffel on the sidelines

Here’s an excerpt of Donna’s interview with Coach Steve Spurrier about UF QB Doug Johnson going into the Tennessee game in November of 1997.

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Here’s the full press conference with Spurrier before the UF-TN matchup.

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