GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As the most impactful player in college football history made his way around the edge of Florida Field for the last time, the poignancy of the moment was etched on thousands of faces.
The little girl in tears, saying, “Timmy, I love you.” She got a hug. The little boy with special needs who comes to practices, he got a hug, too. Women from 12 to 60 screamed with delight after he touched their hands (some of the younger ones simply burst out crying). Men shouted their thanks. Some rubbed his head, some smacked his shoulder pads. Thousands of fans of all ages and colors paid tribute by mimicking his trademark eye black — the wife and daughters of the head coach among them.