From Knute to Ara, Woody to Bo, Bear to JoePa, men hired to coach major college football programs have been known to orchestrate extraordinary Saturday-afternoon moments that fans treasure for the rest of their days.

Yet they are human beings. Therefore, the one thing they can't do is coach 'em up when situated horizontally beneath six feet of earth.

Recognizing this, Florida coach Urban Meyer took action over the weekend.

Well, kind of.

Meyer's decision to step away for the foreseeable future from the Gainesville pressure-cooker was the right one for the following reason: Urban Meyer, husband and father of three, said so.

What's disturbing is that it took Meyer not a month, not a week, but a day to regress back from the fulltime father his wife and children couldn't wait to have around the house to the whistle-blowing leader of Gator Nation.

Football trumps family. Leather prevails over blood. That's the message Meyer sent when he indicated he fully expects to be Florida's coach in 2010 when it looked like he might not return until 2011 or 2012. It's not the message he intended to deliver, but it's stamped and sent.

Meyer's so-called leave of absence will come to a screeching halt no more than 10 minutes after he puts his feet up and realizes the TV remote control next to him isn't the film clicker from Florida's film room.

His cellphone will ring and, well, you know the rest. Chest pains? What chest pains?

You've probably noticed the man upstairs could give two hoots about how many national championships a coach has won. Knute Rockne had six at Notre Dame between 1919-30 before dying in a plane crash at the age of 43; Bear Bryant, too, won it all six times, then was dead 28 days after coaching his final game.

This might be why Bobby Bowden didn't want to retire and why Joe Paterno will continue to be propped up along the Penn State sideline a decade after his pulse stops (with those glasses, no one will know the difference).

Meyer, who turned 45 in July, seemed to be taking chest pains he experienced during the SEC championship game against Alabama on Dec. 5 seriously. Instead of waving them off as if his two national titles with the Gators entitled him to some sort of superior bill of health, Meyer maturely put his well-being first and his reputation a very distant second.

For a day. The exact amount of time I found myself being an Urban Meyer fan.

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