It’s finally here. Well, it’s at least on the way — reportedly.
While there hasn’t been anything official from Netflix, multiple online publications are convinced that the streaming company will be releasing a documentary on the 2006-2009 Gators — which featured Urban Meyer, Cam Newton, Aaron Hernandez, and Tim Tebow to name a few — called “Swamp Things” in the coming months. According to AL.com, longtime college football enthusiast, author, and personality Paul Finebaum hinted at the project last year. There’s also an Instagram post from former Florida linebacker Brandon Siler that all but confirms it.
It’s believed that the series “Untold” will be the home for the deep dive into the Gators. In case you forgot, the most well-known piece of that series was on former Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o — which the old version of this site was at the center of. Well, Deadspin is kind in this, again, as this site did a story on that era of the Florida Gators in 2020 in a collection of stories that focused on some of the most-loaded campuses in college sports history.
“Titletown is what they called it,” former Gators hoops star Chris Richard told Deadspin back in 2020 about his days in Gainesville, as he was there when the football team won a national championship while the men’s basketball team was capping off a back-to-back national title run of its own.
Big-name players at UF including Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin
Riley Cooper, Louis Murphy, Percy Harvin, and the Pouncey Twins joined Hernandez, Meyer, Tebow, and Newton as they were all on the football team at one time or another during the years the documentary will cover. And those are just some of the well-known/controversial members of the team. That squad also featured future NFL draft picks like Brandon Spikes, Carlos Dunlap, and Joe Haden, while guys like Dan Mullen and Charlie Strong were assistant coaches.
“That locker room had so much talent and so many different personalities,” former Gator back Chris Rainey told Deadspin. 2007 served as Rainey’s freshman year, as he was a member of the football and track team. “It was so much fun, and we all became a family and were on the same page.
“But it is weird that when people talk about the Florida Gators and all the players that got in trouble, it does make you think, ‘Damn, we had that many people go to jail or get in trouble?’ But, that’s why I say it was a savage team.”
A lot of drama besides the championships
In case you forgot, Meyer was the head coach who eventually lost his job at Ohio State for being a liar who protected serial domestic abusers. Tebow is, well, Tebow. Newton had to transfer after he got arrested for stealing a laptop. Cooper is infamous for using slurs against Black people. Hernandez turned out to be a convicted killer. Murphy and Harvin have had multiple off-the-field issues. And the Pouncey Twins were never considered angels.
As you can see, outside of the two national titles the team won in three seasons, in 2006 and 2008, there’s a lot to unpack. However, it will be interesting to see if the documentary also touches on the other stars that were on campus during that era. On the basketball team, Billy Donovan was coaching eight future NBA players Taurean Green, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Marreese Speights, Nick Calathes, Chandler Parsons, and Richard. Habitual liar Ryan Lochte was on the swim team. Billy Horschel was playing golf. Matt LaPorta was playing baseball before he headed to the major leagues, and apparently, Internet sensation/famous gambler Dan Bilzerian even took a few classes that year. ESPN’s Laura Rutledge was also on campus.
“We all went to the same clubs and ate together,” Rainey added. “And that time was the last time all the athletes did that. It’s just not the same anymore.”
Three years ago, Deadspin hoped that a documentary about that era would be called, “The Swamp.” We were close. “They need to do one on us, but people are scared. After the Aaron Hernandez documentary, no way.” Rainey admitted. It looks like people aren’t afraid anymore.