It seems our guest posters from Gainesville have been all too gracious to post those five words on TheTerritory. It's unfortunate, however, that our own fans frequently apply that phrase when there seems to be "turmoil" of any sort in Hogtown.
I'm trying to put my finger on the moment when Florida State fans became such elitist. When was it that we suddenly felt this great sense of entitlement that ten win seasons were somehow our destiny and anything short of that mark was treated with such acrimony?
It was a mere two years ago that snickers dotted our board regarding Penn State's treatment of Joe Paterno, then mired in several back-to-back campaigns worse even than ours.
"It's a shame how they're treating Jo Pa."
"Given what he's meant to that program, he should be able to go out on his own terms."
"Holy cow! There about to run Jo Pa out of town!"
Seminole fans expressed those sentiments, merrily, certain that given the same circumstances; we'd never turn on our coach. Now, wedged in our own "bad two years", we've done nothing to disprove that we are any different.
In any kind of weather ...
This program has treated us to heights we never imagined. We gleefully basked in the glory of a string of ten win seasons; yet refuse to suffer through two years of mediocrity.
"Not us." We post. Certainly it is the fault of the coaches. Is it possible that the coaches suddenly forgot how to draw an "X?"
Or is it more likely that "weaknesses," previously overcome by superior talent, now lay open like a steaming wound?
Is it possible that Mickey Andrews' three man front scheme, which rained hell upon Doug Johnson, cannot cast a shadow on Philip Rivers?
The scheme has not changed. It's still a three-on-five pass rush.
Two years of bad football (by our standards) and there have been calls on our board to fire the entire coaching staff (by "regulars" for those of you who think that is important). Two years...
I think it's a sad testament to our audacity that Ray Goff was given more time to turn around his program, than some are willing to give Bowden. In fact, had this been the mindset of our fan base in the early eighties, there NEVER would have been a fifteen year run like we just came off of. 1979 (11-1) and '80 (10-2) were pretty good years. There was EVERY reason to believe that this program was on its way up, up, up...
Yet we followed those terrific "coming out years" with:
Six and Five in ‘81
Nine and Three in ‘82
Eight and Four in ‘83
Seven and Three and Two in ‘84
Nine and Three in ‘85
Seven and Four and One in ‘86
Oh, and by the way, we lost to Florida EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE YEARS.
Yet, our fans, and administration stood by the coach who'd shown promise, but had already been at FSU for ten years…with zero championships and a four and seven record against our hated rival.
Can you imagine today's fans putting up with that sort of mediocrity? Don't worry; it's a rhetorical question.
I'm not saying "nothings wrong", nor am I saying "the coaches are geniuses." What I am saying is: "If Bobby Bowden thinks he can turn this thing around, he sure as hell has earned the right to try."
I honestly don't believe he'll allow the program he's built to such heights to crumble into a smoldering heap. The man has a tremendous sense of history and fully understands what legacies he's built.
Yet, our fans, weary of their recent fall "inconveniences" somehow believe the losing hurts them more than it does Coach Bowden.
Maybe in a "fan-sort-of-way," they are correct. Some people truly do measure their own value by the tackles and incompletions of eighteen to twenty year-old men. In that sense, I think Bowden has developed a pretty good perspective of what this all means in the "big picture".
This week, one of the "Garnet and Gold Guys" dared venture upon our board to ask for assistance for them to get to a Bowl Game. While they were met with "some" elements of support, most of the posts delivered condescending vitriol expressing shame over these students showing some sort of youthful exuberance toward our program.
Let me get this straight. Students, who most "old timers" claim are complacent and under appreciative of our achievements, go out of their way to do something outlandish to show their support, yet they are ridiculed by their own fans as being "gay" or "embarrassing" or "worse than the spirit spear."
If you posted such trash, you should be ashamed, all right, but not because of these two.
I guess that's what is most puzzling, to me. When is it that we went from having fun, to being the snobbish "wine and cheesers" we allege others to be?
When was it that standing at a football game became a crime against humanity? Fans, who have to wait for the prompt of pounding drums to make any semblance of noise?
If you feel like I'm calling you out, specifically, let me refer you to what they say about a "bit dog."
I'm not saying you have to become some bleary-eyed lemming, accepting of every "tragedy" brought onto you by Florida State Football.
But, how we react during a fifteen-year period of near total dominance is not how fans are measured. It's been pretty easy to be a Florida State fan during that time. It is how we react when the ship is listing and shredded sails flail in the wind. It is during those periods when the true measure of a fan is gauged. Not only during the sunny halcyon days, but the stumbling, stormy ones, as well...
In any kind of weather...