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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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TE Tate questionable with sprain
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published January 3, 2007
[Times photo: AP Photo]
Preparing for he BCS title game Monday, West Coast Turf employees lay new grass over the old used in Monday night's Fiesta Bowl game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Florida tight end Tate Casey has a high ankle sprain and is questionable for the BCS national championship game.
Casey arrived in Arizona with a boot on his right foot and on crutches. He has played in all 13 games this season with six starts.
MAKING ROOM: Fiesta Bowl officials, hosts of the title game, have added 10,000 seats to accommodate more fans at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The NFL stadium ordinarily holds 63,000, but bowl planners knew the demand for tickets would far exceed that number.
"There's a lot of demand," said Mike Allen, a member of the Fiesta Bowl board of directors and a past president. "We wish we could add 100,000. Everybody wants a ticket."
As for comfort, if you happen to be one of the select few who got tickets, don't worry: The stadium's retractable roof will be closed at kickoff, based on feedback from fans at previous bowl games in the area.
"We had the Insight Bowl at BancOne Ballpark for several years which had a retractable roof and we ran it both ways," Allen said. "But what we found from talking to real football fans was that it's better for the comfort of the fans and the people that were there at the games. They said if we're freezing in here why not just shut it? We just found that's what our customers were looking for. "
A REAL MAN: Freshman Brandon Spikes has become known for the, shall we say, interesting suits and ties he wears on game day and when the team travels. The legend grew Tuesday when he was spotted wearing a pink suit and tie made by his mother.
"When I left for college I told her I had to be dressed up for games," Spikes said. "I just had it sitting in the closet so I just figured I'd bring it on out to this event. It got a lot of comments. They say you have to be a real man to wear pink. Everyone was saying I looked good. I felt real good."
NELSON'S RECOVERY: Junior safety Reggie Nelson was with the team Tuesday, three days after his mother's funeral. Florida fans have painted a mural of Nelson with his mother, Mary Lakes, watching over him on the 34th street wall in Gainesville to honor her memory and show support for Nelson.
"He's good right now," junior receiver Andre Caldwell said. "It's hurting him deep down inside, but on game day he's going to be ready, going out there making plays and being the Reggie we've been seeing every Saturday."
OLD-FASHIONED RIBBING: Ohio native DeShawn Wynn probably should have expected the verbal assault he received when he went home for the holidays. The Florida running back wore a Gators BCS national championship sweatshirt home to Cincinnati and barely made it off the plane before the jabs started.
"Being from Ohio growing up around a bunch of Buckeye fans, that's all I hear in Ohio," he said. "When I was in the airport, I had people yelling Buckeyes at me. Everybody just loves the Buckeyes. You can't blame them, that's the team in Ohio."