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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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Keeping a scorecard on the candidates
By GARY SHELTON
Published November 3, 2006
A word about the governor's ball.
Evidently, it's oval.
Here's the problem with gubernatorial debates: They don't include a scoreboard. And so you listen to Charlie Crist debate Jim Davis, and while both of them love sunsets and fuzzy puppies, and both of them hate crime and stupidity, it still gets hard to figure out who to vote for.
I watched a little of their last debate, and it occurred to me that if you didn't listen, if you just watched the faces contort, Davis and Crist might as well have been talking about something really important. You know, like Florida vs. FSU football.
So, in an effort to turn a political race into a ballgame, I invited both candidates to take part in a little sports talk. For the record, Crist called back in 10 minutes and answered off the cuff. Davis was a little harder. He asked the questions be e-mailed to him, and then a representative e-mailed back his answers.
Anyway, here goes. With less than a week to go in the race, here is the world's first sports debate between two candidates.
I think you can tell a lot about a man by where he stands on the core issues. So how do you feel about the designated hitter?
CC: I support it. I'm for freedom. I worked for the baseball commissioner's office in the minor league division. Great job. Great job.
JD: I support the DH rule. I'm an AL guy.
Do you believe public money should be spent to build professional stadiums?
JD: I love taking my family to watch the Devil Rays and Bucs. But, I don't think the state should sacrifice funding for priorities like education, health care and public safety to subsidize the construction of professional sports stadiums.
CC: I believe in economic development. I can see the argument that it can be very good economic development under the right circumstances.
Pete Rose. Should he be in the Hall of Fame?
CC: I really don't know. I just don't know.
JD: No. As the father of two teenage sons who's tried to teach my kids right from wrong, I don't think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.
Here's a question about federal disaster funds: Does the Bucs' offense qualify?
JD: I've been a Bucs fan long enough to know you never count them out. There are other teams more deserving of federal disaster funds, like the Oakland Raiders.
CC: I am an optimist, as you may know. I hold out hope. I love this new quarterback. Gradkowski? He is a talent, in my humble opinion. ... They're going to turn it around. They're going to win.
Would you prefer to go with the BCS or a playoff to determine a college football champion?
CC: Oh, gosh. You know, the playoffs wouldn't be a bad thing. I love the bowl games that exist now. I don't really understand all of the BCS. It gets away from me.
JD: Whatever helps UF win.
If you had to pick a Buc player, past or present, as a running mate, who would it be?
JD: Jimmie Giles, a tight end from the 1980s because he's endorsed me. Or Lee Roy Selmon, the great defensive end. Also, I love the barbecue at his restaurant.
CC: Derrick Brooks. No doubt about it. Great man. Great community leader. He does a lot for Tampa Bay. He's on the board of trustees at Florida State. He cares a great deal about the future of this great state. But Shelton (Quarles) wouldn't be a bad backup.
(To Crist: I thought you said Sapp)
CC: I did not.
When it comes to NFL overtime, do you prefer a full period or sudden death?
JD: Sudden death.
CC: I like sudden death.
What's the best sports movie you have ever seen?
CC: There are two that I really enjoy. Rudy and Cinderella Man.
JD: I'm a runner, so Chariots of Fire. Field of Dreams is great, too.
Who do you consider the greatest athlete of our time?
JD: Michael Jordan, though my two boys say LeBron James.
CC: Tiger Woods. And a Floridian to boot.'
Should Bobby Bowden retire?
CC: No sir. No. He should stay there as dadgum long as he wants to. He's earned it. That's what I believe. I love him.
JD: I went to the University of Florida, so no comment.
What's your favorite stadium snack? And might I remind you that a Times survey pointed out that the grouper sandwich might be as bogus as a hot dog.
JD: Hot pretzel with mustard, or two hot pretzels with mustard.
CC: I love hot dogs. I don't eat them very often. But if I'm going to the game at the Trop, you have to stop at Ferg's. I love the wings
What year do you think the Devil Rays will make the World Series, and will we have perfected time travel by then?
CC: I'll say 2010. And we will not have perfected time travel.
JD: The Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals just played in the World Series, so I'm optimistic. I think I'll bring good luck in the governor's office.
Should college athletes be paid?
What is your greatest personal athletic achievement?
CC: Making the team at Wake Forest (as a walk-on quarterback). In high school, I had three touchdown passes against Clearwater in the fall of '73. We still lost 58-28. You don't forget some of that.
JD: Either being ranked in junior tennis when I was a teenager, or beating my brother in tennis.
If your opponent was a sports team, he would be...
JD: The Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV; XXVI; XXVII; XXVIII. They were always favored, but they ended up finishing second. And, their kicker reminds me of my opponent because when the pressure is on they are likely to miss either to the left or the right.