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January 19, 2007
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Florida's biggest naysayer following the Gators' national championship wasn't from Columbus or Knoxville, Tenn., or even Tallahassee, Fla. He was on the floor of Congress.
The day after Florida's 41-14 win over Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game, Congress passed House Resolution No. 39, commending the Gators for winning the national championship.
But there was one Congressman who couldn't support the resolution, which passed 414-1.
Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who represents District 1 in South Georgia from Savannah to St. Marys, was the lone congressman to oppose the resolution that commended "the University of Florida Gators for their victory in the 2006 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and for winning the national college football championship."
Kingston, a University of Georgia graduate, said the decision to vote against one of his alma mater's rivals was "a little of a spur of the moment."
"I cheered for Florida. I wanted Florida to win. I am an SEC guy," said Kingston, who was raised in Athens, Ga. "But there's only so far a Bulldog can go."
Kingston said opposing the resolution, which was sponsored by Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and 10 other Florida representatives, was "in the spirit of affectionate rivalry."
"I had some damage control with my Florida friends," said Kingston, who lives in Savannah, Ga. "There might have been more wrath from my Bulldog friends if I had voted (for Florida)."
He may not have been alone had Rep. Charlie Norwood been present for the vote, he said. Norwood represents Georgia's 10th district, home of Athens and the University of Georgia.
Resolutions congratulating sports teams are fairly common in Congress. Also on Jan. 9, the House passed a resolution congratulating Boise State for its win in the Fiesta Bowl and its undefeated season by a vote of 415-0.