A Tallahassee Marine, his return home, and his love of FSU

Hey Guys, Nice to meet ya.

           My name is Ryan, and I was discharged from the Marines last July. I was able to catch a few games in the 2009 season between finding a new job and a place to live but its safe to say that football took a back seat last year. As a matter of fact, I haven't watched a full season of FSU football until this year.

            I love FSU, I was born here in Tally. My father played football for Valdosta High, my Grandfather played for FSU, as well as fought in WW2. My mother, who died while I was serving in Iraq was a huge fan of Florida State. Ultimately it was from her that I inherited my love of FSU football. I remember her telling me when I was 6 years old what a huge deal it was that FSU had just won the National Championship in 1993.

           Six years later, I would watch FSU win the 1999 national championship with an autographed poster of Warrick Dunn hanging over my bed. From as early as I can remember I have loved Florida State and have looked forward to bowl and rivalry games more than my very own birthday or Christmas

           Some of you guys probably feel like FSU has let you down over the past few years, and I don't blame you. I was fortunate enough to be in places where I couldn't see the football games over the past five or so years. I mean yea, all in all it sucked not being able to watch but, all things considered it wasn't a bad five years to miss.

          But you know what? Those damn Seminoles have ALWAYS come through for me when it mattered. I remember back in 2007, I was doing a training operation in AP Hill Virginia. My platoon commander was a rabid Boston College fan and it just so happened that we would be back in the rear and able to watch the game on Saturday night. He talked all week about how BC and Matt Ryan were going to stomp FSU into the ground. FSU was on the slide and he of course was a band wagon BC fan with no background knowledge of FSU. I just told him over and over "You know sir, no matter how bad they may be doing. You can NEVER count FSU out, they may just surprise you" I loved watching the disbelief on his face as FSU snatched the then #2 Boston College's NCG hopes out from under them.

       But by far the most memorable was one of the more recent bowl games that may have feel like another "lost decade" sub par bowl game but to me, was one to remember forever. One of my buds was a damn crazy Badgers fan from Wisconsin. If any of you have ever met a true to life Wisconsin badger's fan (they're kinda rare down here) you know what I'm talking about. I went to Tank School with him in 2005, and he ALWAYS talked about "OH MAN, If the badgers ever played FSU... Oh man they'd man handle them, 72 to Zip if not more!" I loved it, I really did. I had seen FSU play bigger stronger but slower teams and knew even a mediocre FSU team could take those corn-fed Wisconsin boys. Year after year went by and the arguments went on us giving each other crap about it (him being much more loud mouthed than I) When finally... like... a gift from Santa it was announced that just 7 months before we were both discharged..... after two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan together that FSU and the Badgers would play one another in the champs sports bowl... The trash talking went into defcon-5 mode and we both went to our respective home towns on leave to watch the games. His text messages stopped after the 2nd quarter, mine stopped after the 3rd (I felt bad for him). I did however call him a few weeks ago to let him know that I was rooting for his badgers over Ohio (because who the hell likes them?)

        Anyways, I'm going to the FSU-Clemson game this weekend. Skybox tickets, my first real game since I've been home (I went up to the Clemson game last year with some Marine buddies). While I don't believe in luck or superstitions I do know one thing. FSU has yet to really let me down in my 23 years as an FSU fan. This game is my favorite rivalry, because I really like both schools and admire their programs. And I'm really counting on the boys to get it done this weekend and keep out ACCCG hopes alive.

See you guys at the game

Tomahawk Nation for Life!

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