FanPost

"Welcome to Norman, we're glad you're here!"


I took my FSU sophmore son to Norman last week and had a blast in spite of the game...the following is what I wrote to the Tallahassee Democrat and to Randy Spetman about our journey:

 

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Welcome to Norman, we’re glad you’re here!  Would you like something to eat, how about something to drink or maybe a beer? You Seminoles sure travel well, thanks for coming!”

If I heard that said once this past weekend I heard it said a thousand times!  Who are these Sooners? Why were they so friendly and gracious to visitors from Florida State?  It was just amazing how friendly and gracious these Sooner fans were…before and after the game!  Ask anybody you know that went to this game…they’ll all tell you the same thing.  That was the talk in the hotel lobbies, in restaurants and in the airport…we Seminole fans can learn something from them…”Welcome to Tallahassee, we’re glad you’re here, thanks for coming!”

Yeah, we stunk it up on the playing field; and a certain 5 star recruit from up the road that won’t be named; embarrassed himself, his momma, his hometown and his school with an ego that can’t be matched by a dozen Deion’s, as he couldn’t cover, couldn’t tackle and couldn’t catch…but was pumping his chest as if he had actually done something productive in the game.

But this isn’t about the actual football game but about a relaxed game day attitude FSU fans should be imitating at our home games…true Seminole hospitality for our game day visitors.  The Sooner fans were just so friendly and inviting that is was almost scary…we are so used to posturing with Gators and Hurricane fans before a big game…the Sooners were just so darn gracious and nice they had to be up to something!  Yeah, being  good hosts!

The Sooners have a great location for their games, as Norman is a nice little town with nice neighborhoods surrounding the campus.  There must have been 2500 tents set up around the stadium filled with friendly Sooner fans.  They also have a nice main drag called Boyd Street that fronts the school and is lined with restaurants, bars, shops and cute little boutiques…it’s called Campus Corner.  It comes to life on game day as vendors bring in their trailers and booths, the side streets are closed off so football fans can stroll up and down the streets without dodging traffic.  On the south side of the stadium you have Lindsey Street that is lined with more tents filled with fans warming up for the game.  There are more stores in a strip center at the corner of Jenkings and Lindsey, that hosts the needs of the football fans with a friendly Irish Pub and more stores and shops.  Even the Sooner Frat boys were friendly and invited the Seminole Greek Nation to join them as they strategized for what was thought to be a very competitive game.

I know our surrounding area around Doak Campbell won’t allow the ability to set up so many tent tailgate parties, and I hope the strategic plan for Gaines Street will make it more game day friendly, (how about the corner of Pensacola and Varsity Drive…what’s going on there?), maybe the Gaines St. committee should visit Norman to see how it could be…but we true Seminole fans could all be a little more hospitable and learn a lesson from our friends from Oklahoma.  Get to the game earlier, bring some extra food, have some extra sodas and adult beverages…and when you see the other teams fans walking by…smile and say:

Welcome to Tallahassee, we’re glad you’re here!  Would you like something to eat, how about something to drink? Your team sure travels well, thanks for coming!”

Rick Johnston, Class of '82

 

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