You have to love them sometimes. You never know what the day will bring. Here in Huntsville, it's a cool, brisk morning. I've just raised myself out of bed, did a funky looking stretch to start the day, let my dog out/in, and sit here drinking my coffee and eating my toast, buttered, but that's not the point. While I sip my warm cup of wonderful java and enjoy the quiet, I click on the "E" icon and open up the great realm that is the Internet. "What's going on with the Sugar Bowl?" I ask myself. So, I head on over to my favorite website to find out (Insert horror film music now). As I enter the Football forum, I'm still a bit groggy, as the coffee hasn't kicked in just yet. But upon what do my half opened eyes stumble across? Another player has done something to get himself suspended.
Now, I could react in many ways, I guess. I could yank my mouse out of the computer and throw it across the room. I could break down into the fetal position and cry like a child who dropped his ice cream cone. I could go up on the roof and do a swan dive into the fertile, Huntsville, AL soil. But nope, this is all too familiar. I just look at the newest developments with nonchalant raised eyebrow and say to myself, "Humph. Well, whatever." That, my friends, is sad. What is so bad that I couldn't care less anymore? What has happened to my beloved Seminole football squad that, when something major happens, it just doesn't faze me at all?
I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Everyone's heard the story of the little boy who cried wolf. Well, this year's installment of the Florida State University Seminoles could be entitled "The little team that cried everything." Many of us came into the season with high, but normal expectations. We knew we had the talent to compete for national prominence, but they were still young. We hoped they would shake the stigma of bad things of the past year. That seems like so long ago. We thought that players like Boldin, Williams, Jones, and Rix would lead the team to the Promised Land. Attitudes were good and the team was ready, brewing with confidence. Can you see the dark clouds coming now?
Let's Roll. Words that will live in infamy………I guess. The first media blitz of the season had arrived. First controversy. First, well, whatever it was. Bobby being Bobby, he rolled through it, and probably as soon as it was here, it was gone. More important things came along, I guess. You know, Will and Grace were going to have a baby or something, so luckily, that distracted everyone and everything went back to normal.
The first half of the first game looked so good and had us all smiling with a Cheshire grin and a devious look on our faces because the team looked phenomenal in every aspect of the game. That's where the fun ended, sadly. We ended up escaping with the laces on our shoes and somewhat worrisome thoughts. Fast-forward a couple of weeks to College Park, MD. The team once again came out and commanded their lead and the other team's respect. Rolling over the defending ACC champs easily, making a statement that their crown was on borrowed time.
Uh oh, what is that grumbling? Complaints by fans that there might need to be a qb change. 2nd string is ready. He is our savior. First string isn't getting it done. The war had begun, and it's soldiers armed and ready. The clouds grew darker; the football gods were angered and thus brought their fury and might in a hurricane that would swallow the whole southeast United States. Luckily for us, we were playing Louisville, who had looked so bad that the pollsters who had them near the top ten were now drinking themselves into a stupor that anyone at Moe's Tavern would be proud of. As I stood in that downpour and lost feeling in my feet and hands, I couldn't help but think something bad was about to happen. It just didn't feel right. The team wasn't pumped up, there was a horrible rap song playing on the p.a. system. In what may be one of the most disappointing losses I've ever seen, I watched as the team quit. They just quit at the end. The war was in full force now. Rix must go. What are we doing? Yank him. And while we're at it, yank Jeff Bowden too.
The boards heated up with arguments for this and that. The lines were being drawn and opponents lining up on either side like GI Joe vs. Cobra, Scottish vs. British, Al vs. Peg, Jan vs. Marsha. The downward spiral had begun and would continue for a couple of weeks. Fast forward to FSU vs. Clemson.
In what may be the lowest point of fandom for this school I think I've ever seen, our qb goes down, the 2nd string savior comes in, and while holding their "Chris, please transfer" signs high in the sky, the students cheer. And then boo when he comes back in. What happened? Were things that bad? I mean, we won, by 20 points, but apparently the suicide watch was on. The arguments on the boards just heated up more, coming to a full on flame status. A line the size of the San Andreas Fault was now completely dug within the fans. Things did not look good. Maybe a win over #1 and hated Miami would do the trick. Could we do it, though? Was it even possible? Heck, look what Yukon Cornelius did to the ol' Abominable!! It could happen! Some believed and some didn't.
On a sunny day in Miami, Florida, the impossible was setting up to occur. FSU was dominant, running at will on Miami, playing with heart and fire and desire. The game was OURS. This was going to change EVERYTHING! Noles unite! But just like in "The Perfect Storm," we weren't going to get out of the storm. We had fought so hard and so valiantly, but she wasn't going to let us leave. Our doom was inevitable. Kick. Wide left. Hearts, broken. The football gods were angry with us, and we were now on a full speed run down the hills of Mt. Suck. As we all sat in disbelief, the anger grew. The coaches were in the cross hairs and now there were two wars in the fan kingdom: Fans vs. qb, Fans vs. coaches. But hey, we weren't supposed to be within 40 points of Miami, so we didn't do bad, right? Not this year, bubba.
Fast forward. "The Irish are coming! The Irish are coming!" The mighty Fighting' Irish of Notre Dame were coming to town. An upstart bunch of ragtags playing for a new coach who had them believing and playing above themselves. We had a chance to stop that. Her Majesty, Notre Dame was coming to little bitty Tallahassee, FL and we had a chance to make them regret it. Their snowball could be melted in the hot Florida sun, but would it? All signs pointed that way. We had the better players and talent wins games. Well, that's why they play ‘em. In what, to me, was truly THE most disappointing game of the year, the Irish did to us what they had done to everyone else: caused turnovers and made you pay for them. From their first ridiculous offensive play of the game, they had us by the short ones. And as I watched, for 4 minutes in the 3rd quarter a team completely self-destruct, I just went numb.
What was happening? Florida State had problems. BIG problems. The team I was watching play was not the same team of old. This team was terminally ill and wasn't fighting to live. But hey, the qb change was made, and the 2nd stringer got his chance and he shone bright. He would start now. Everyone's happy, right? Have you been reading this at all?
Second string started some games. The team struggled against a Wake Forest team that's decent, but we should have spanked. But it was his first start, so lay off. We limped into the GT game and thanks to the defense and a couple of big offensive plays, came out with a win. Everything was looking up. The team had rallied and finally quit crying about the qb. The defense was finally playing and backing up their talk a little. Offensive linemen were blocking instead of watching receivers. Let's go to Raleigh!!! We have business to take care of. The fans, pumped. The players, not so much.
In the most pathetic game of the last 15 years by FSU, NC State handed our jocks to us and put little red bows on them. For the second year in a row, the Wolfpack had our number. 167 yards of total offense, most coming on the last drive of the game, was all we could muster. 1st string had made his way back into the game. Too little too late. We were dominated. The players apparently didn't care to be there. The team had lost control and was just going through the motions. The fans were beside themselves. Everything was in meltdown. And it was only going to get worse.
Ever heard the song "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffet? "Come Monday, it'll be alright……..," unless you live in Tallahassee, Florida, apparently. 2nd string was being arrested, apparently. What tha? Who tha? Where tha? The savior had sinned. The guy everyone wanted to save the team crapped on them bigger than anyone. In a single weekend, it felt like we had lost both parents. This car crash wasn't going to yield any survivors. Injuries had decimated the team. The team all hated each other. Our legendary coach was, for some reason, on the hot seat according to many. And now, the guy in the spotlight was on his way to the pokey, apparently, and was off the team. The world was in chaos. And to boot, we had the Florida Gators coming to town. Maybe if we could beat them, we could salvage SOMETHING!
In what was one of the most beautiful sights of the year, the Florida Gators did come to town…………and then left with a pummeling worthy of a real FSU team. 31-14 led by Boldin, Rix, Pope, and Washington. The world was once again right and the balance preserved as our little siblings to the south were roped, speared, and made ready for boots and deep-frying. The students rallied behind Rix. There were tears of joy and finally a sense of unity. Seminole fans, keep this thought in your head, because once again, the dark clouds come calling.
After feeling SO good and proud of that team. After watching them fight back and play united and strong. After watching them gain back some semblance of pride and honor…. the proverbial s*** hit the fan…again. Looking into a whirlwind of a fight, against a UGA team that is ranked 3rd in the BCS, in a city oh-so-improperly nicknamed (this year) Big Easy, the players have taken it upon themselves to get rid of any chances they have at winning. Rix has issues and misses test: gone. Dockett in trouble: gone. A couple of other players for whatever reasons: gone. I really have to question some things.
To the team:
Do you guys hate Bobby Bowden and Mickey Andrews? I mean, do you just not like them and have a plan to get rid of them? Do you hate yourselves? Do you hate your school so bad that you figure running its already fragile reputation through the mud will help you destroy it? Are you so selfish and self-involved that you just don't care about your teammates? I'm asking here. I don't know. I'm trying to figure out what is so wrong with you guys that you are doing everything in your power to embarrass yourself and the university. One thing is for sure, Bobby Bowden doesn't deserve it. He's worked way too damn hard to get this program where it is to have a team just quit and selfishly destroy it.
I have to back off sometimes and remember it's just a game played by kids. But honestly, it's something I thoroughly enjoy and I have a passion for. I've made true friends and developed relationships through this board discussing and tailgating because of FSU football. I cherish that. I have a role model in Coach Bowden because of FSU football. And right now, I have no enjoyment. I have no enjoyment of reading the football board. I have no enjoyment of watching this team. I've become UN-comfortably numb to all of these issues, and that is horrible. We have so much passion for the game of college football, and it's high time that these kids do too. I love the Seminoles, but right now, I couldn't be more disappointed in them than I am right now.
Because right now, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Go Noles! Beat Georgia! Scalp ‘em!