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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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A man called Goof
By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published October 25, 2005
Say this much for Ray Goff: The man definitely has a sense of humor.
When the former Georgia player/coach received a phone call a few years ago informing him of his selection into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame, he jokingly asked the person on the other end, "Who nominated me, Florida?"
To many Georgia and Florida fans, the affable Goff was the man who couldn't beat Florida coach Steve Spurrier (he was 0-6 vs. his arch-enemy from 1990-95, but his team did defeat the Gators in 1989).
But those who followed the famed rivalry in the 1970s remember the other Goff, the standout quarterback who helped spoil the Gators' Southeastern Conference title hopes in 1975 and '76. In the '76 game, one of the series' most memorable, Goff rallied Georgia from a 27-13 halftime deficit to win 41-27, a loss some Gator fans never got over.
"I think I threw three TD passes and ran for two that day," said Goff, the 1976 SEC Player of the Year. "I'd have to say, it was my best game."
Goff, 50, a longtime Georgia assistant under Bulldogs legend Vince Dooley, coached his final game in 1995. He still lives in Athens and continues to follow - and root for - the Dawgs. He hosts a weekly radio show, works in real estate and owns a chain of Zaxby's restaurants, one of which is located a stone's throw from the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.
"It's a great town," Goff said. "My brother lives in Gainesville and my nephew, Will, was born at Shands ... but that's where it's going to end."
As for his personal rivalry with with Spurrier, Goff said much of it was overblown. Spurrier seemed to revel in poking fun at Goff. And Goff, as many recall, added to the mix in the early 1990s when he told a Bulldog Club gathering he wanted to get Spurrier alone in an alley for a few minutes.
"I had never said anything like that before," Goff said. "I was joking. I remember saying I think I could take him. And I still believe that today. I've been around him enough. And I'm 6-foot-4."