Many of the political world’s differences erased as leaders rallied instead around the loyalties that truly matter—college football allegiances.

But an on-field injury that caused the entire sporting world to pause also led to introspection on the part of pols.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer took note on Friday evening of a major knee injury for University of Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton, which required emergency surgery. UCF beat home state rival University of South Florida 38-10, but the player’s condition elicited comments throughout the community.

“A big win for @UCF_Football over rival USF, but more importantly we’re all sending positive thoughts to McKenzie Milton,” Dyer tweeted. “He’s represented this team and university so well and I know the Knights will keep competing for him.”

But the game did create moments of bipartisanship.

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith pulled together fellow representatives Anna Eskamani and Amber Mariano. Sure, Smith and Eskamani represent the most progressive members of the House Democratic caucus and Mariano has become a bit of a spokeswoman for pro-Trump millennials. This week, all were simply UCF Knights.

“Congrats @UCF_Football on another amazing victory!!!” Smith tweeted. “These three @UCF alumni were in Tampa cheering for you!!”

Of course, another rivalry this weekend pitted the University of Florida Gators against the Florida State University Seminoles. The 41-14 victory for the Orange and Blue drew some divisive gloating from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the type of commentary blue Gainesville will surely celebrate.

“After a 5 year anomaly, order has been restored,” the UF alum tweeted. “#GatorNation trending up. Great win & great future ahead for THE University of #Florida.”

About The Author

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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