How long have I been a FSU fan?
I was born on opening day of the 1960 season. Two full months early. Story has it that I heard a whistle and wanted out. FSU beat Richmond 28-0 that day.
I was undefeated.
It's been a great ride. I've danced in the streets of NOLA, had beers on Tennessee Street, floated home from the Carolinas and even New Jersey. I've also been in the middle of near brawls in Hogtown and crossed words with rival fans.
We made it home from Miami in seven hours after the second Orange Bowl loss to OU and I still can't watch it. The 1987 Miami game is the same way. Can't watch it.
I've launched glasses, bottles, video tapes, bar stools and even a bird feeder in outbursts caused by unhappy turns on the football field. My wife has thrown me out of my own house and I still can't watch games at Hooters due to acting like an ass. I love my Noles...my wife graciously calls it my passion. I think I'm crazy.
It's different these days, different due to really getting to know some players, and their families. I don't just mean the scholarship players and the stars, I'm talking greyshirts and walk-ons and guys who almost never play. They work damned hard, just to be a Seminole. They're ours, and they're a lot younger than they seem to be.
It's not the same when you're old enough to be the father of the kids that you're cheering for. It changes when you see personally how hard they work, and not just on the field or in the weight room. Also seeing how hard their parents have worked to make them into fine young men who go to class, make good grades and who travel a long way to see their sons play.
They're good people, fine young men, and they're all somebody's son, grandson, brother, uncle, cousin, even a father or three. They're not just this year's 86 or 15 or 94.
It's changed the way I watch a game. I pull for the players first, then for my team and myself.
Oh yeah... touch the boobies.