By Tom Cruise
First of all: I think it's a privilege to call yourself a Gator, and I think it's a privilege you have to earn. When you put on that jersey, when you step out into the arena, you're not just there to be a spectator. OK? Because there are plenty of those kinds of people out there. What you're there to do is score points. That really is what it comes down to. How do you do that? Well, first, you've got to get out there, man. Ha-HA! I mean, right? HA! You can't just stand there waiting around for somebody else to do something, you line up, you square off, BOOM! You go for it.
For me, it really is all about the spread offense. Have you read about it? I mean, have you really read about it, gotten in there, seen what the quarterback is expected to do, seen all the possibilities you've got in front of you? I mean, people can be very glib about the whole thing, but they don't know the history of the spread offense. I do. And it's just -- when you see it, you can't not be amazed by it. And once you see it, you're spurred to action. That's all there is to it.
And I think the Gators are the authorities on the spread offense. They're the authorities on the quarterback draw, they’re the authorities on the jump pass, they’re the authorities on the wideout option, the deep pass, everything. Once you have these tools and you know that they work, it’s not enough to just sit there. I mean, have you seen all this in action? Ha-ha-HA! BOOM! It's just like -- YEAH, man! It's all, it's all encompassed right there. Everything you could possibly want to do with a football from an offensive perspective, the answers, they’re all in there. That strategy, that offense, it's just waiting for people to come take a look, pick it up, become a part of it.
This Tebow kid -- I mean, people have heard about him, but they don't really know him. When you see what he's done, and I'm not even talking about his schoolwork, his family, the circumcisions out in the Philippines, I'm talking about every day he gets up out of bed and he's already got that game face on. People are going to him for help, because they know, they know, he knows what's going on. When you're a Gator, you have that responsibility. This is the time. Now is the time. Being a Gator, people are turning to you, so you better know it. Urban Meyer’s going to look you in the eyes, look into your soul, and tell you he wants you. So you better be ready.
And people come to me, they're like, "Have you ever met a Georgia Bulldog?" Ha-HA! Ha ha ha ha ha! HA! Wow, and I hope one day it's gonna be like that, you know? When, like, "Oh, the Bulldogs, I read about those in history books." And they’ve got their All-American running backs, their end-zone celebrations, that’s fine. That’s the very mark of an SP. But someone like that, when they look at you and they know you’re running the spread, that you’ve got it down — they won’t come up to you. Not to your face. They know you’ve got it all right there in the playbook -- XYZ, zip right, H-back, QEDMF, SPC, AEIOU and sometimes Y, milk milk lemonade around the corner fudge is made -- bup-bup-bup-bup-bup, that's what people are coming to us for. That's what they expect from us. Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Urban Meyer, right on down the list, they know that's going to be expected of them. And you just — you gotta do it! Ha-HA! Ha!
I mean, people talk about wanting the world to be a different place. I’d like the world to be a different place. I’d like to have won an SEC championship last year instead of going to the Capital One Bowl and getting creamed by those SPs from Michigan. But you know, you can sit there wishing, be a spectator — ha-HA! HA! I mean, RIGHT? — or you can make it happen. I make it happen. Urban Meyer makes it happen. Tim Tebow, he makes it happen. They’ve just cancelled out that part of their personalities that wants to sit there on the sidelines. They don’t stand for it. And I don’t either. When Urban Meyer looks at you, points at you, stares you down, you know, you know, that it’s time to act.
Ha-HA! HA HA HA HA HA! Whoo!
So it’s like — it’s not complicated. Not complicated at all. But you gotta know it. If you know it, you know it, and if you don’t, you don’t. And if you know it, you better know you know it, because if you know it but you don’t know you know it, then it’s like not knowing it at all. And if you don’t know it, then know you don’t know it, and start knowing it. You know? It’s that simple. It is just. That. Simple. Just — pfffft! POW! HA HA HA! You know?
And I have to tell you something -- it's rough and tumble, you know? It's wild and woolly. It's shake and bake. It's Amos and Andy. It's Jacoby and Meyers. It’s Up, Bustle and Out. It’s Trinidad and Tobago. But it’s a blast. I want to go out there and know I did everything I could to put some points on the board. It weighs on you. I think about that a lot. But it is what it is, you know? You always want to do more. I know I always want to do more. And those spectators, they’ve got to either get on the playing field or get out of the arena.
But I’m still gonna be there workin’. Tebow, Harvin, all the other guys, they’re gonna be in there. Getting in the game. That’s how we do it, you know? We don’t do anything halfway. HA HA HA! For me, it’s just — PHWOOO! HA HA HA HA! HA HA!
HA! I’m so PUMPED about this season, man! I just wanna — ERRNNGGHH! I’m just gonna say it: I LOVE THIS TEAM! HA HA HA HAAAA! YEAAAHHHH!
— One of the world’s most instantly recognizable actors, Tom Cruise has appeared in more than 30 feature films since his debut in 1981, including lead roles in “Top Gun,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Minority Report,” and the “Mission: Impossible” films; his most recent work, a testimonial for the International Association of Scientologists’ Freedom Medal of Valor ceremony, was leaked to the Internet in January. In addition to following the Gators, his outside interests include neuropsychology, amateur psychiatry, sparring with talk-show hosts, and being certifiably fucking insane. He is married to the former Kate Noelle Holmes of Toledo, Ohio, and is supposedly the father of one child, daughter Suri.
Next in our series: One of America’s most prolific writers for the stage and screen pulls no punches as he makes a hard-nosed assessment of the Kentucky Wildcats’ prospects for the upcoming season.