I moved down from Oregon my Junior year of high school. A duck fan my whole life, I had to re-learn college football and make a new decision about my dream school for college. I went from Pac-10 (seemingly ages before this new Pac-12), to SEC country. I was devastated. I lived in a land of reasonable fans with reasonable expectations, where a loss was a loss and a win was a win. Then within months my land of mountains and forests were quickly replaced with the sandy beaches and swamps of Daytona Beach. To make matters worse, my senior year was swamped (pun intended), with visions of attending the University of Florida (very popular in central Florida). I couldn't fathom having to join those obnoxious, crazy, raging clowns. So I did what no kid ever does in central Florida, I went to visit The Florida State University. Visions of Oregon came back. Reasonable people, living reasonable lives, sometimes laughing at the state of the program while providing real criticism. The atmosphere was amazing, the campus beautiful, to me it was a wonder why no one from Daytona Beach thought about traveling north a few more hours to see the beautiful place I was about to call home.
Now I am not one to choose a school based on the merits of a football program. In 2008 if that were the case then I would have been foolish to chose FSU (lets be honest UF was looking real good in 2008). I was accepted into both schools and chose FSU because I loved the atmosphere and the people were great. I had gone to Gator games in the past and loathed the stressful, angry, whinny nature of their increasingly annoying banter and horrifyingly cartoonist fight songs. FSU on the other hand, a whole new experience. Heck, sometimes I would find myself more excited about the pageantry than the game itself. After my first few games as a student (Western Carolina/Chattanooga), I was in love with being an FSU student at an FSU game. Then in 2008 something happened, we lost to Wake Forest...and...every student I was with handled it like a pro. At first a sigh of disappointing, then an exodus into the streets where I was invited by many to come and share a drink and watch the rest of the games happening that night. Despite the loss, life was great.
We went 9-4 that season. The following season while less impressive, I found the same welcoming attitude at both the post and pregames, including losses. And while I was certainly upset with the lack of attendance, I was certainly happy with the discourse of our fans, we pointed out some problems with the organization and decided to hire a new coach, certainly a perfectly justifiable move. The following years 10-4, 9-4 and one division title. While we were disappointed in 2010 for losing the ACCCG, I was greeted with an electric fan base in Atlanta when I attended the bowl. Again, a less than elite season, met with elite discourse from our fans.
That brings me to this year, 2012. I am writing this after we finished wrapping up 11-2 and bringing home an ACCCG. In my fifth season as a true Seminole fan, I am dumbfounded by the attitude of our fans. What happened? The most successful season in perhaps a decade and we are complaining? People are calling for Jimbo's head? And why the hell are people acting like this was our only year to win the National Championship? Lets all for a second push politics aside. Maybe Fisher is calling the wrong plays, maybe Stoops didn't have the right strategy, and maybe, just maybe EJ was all he was cracked up to be. But honestly, I am celebrating. I am celebrating because we have won 11 games, because the two games we lost took the opposing teams mounting a 4th quarter comeback to pull it off.
Perhaps the media hype did this to us. Gave my beloved FSU fan base dreams of grandeur. Expectations of an elite season only to be met with just a an excellent season. I remember back in 2008 a rogue fan yelled "Ponder sucks" and to his credit he wasn't playing his best that game, we were losing, but an upperclassman spoke up, "hey! Never diss our players man!" the fan stopped yelling and the rest of us nodded our head in approval of the upperclassman's wise words. Today I see fans seething with distaste of not only Jimbo, but EJ and other players. I tried speaking up one game, replicating the upperclassman who calmed our tensions only to be shot down with "you don't know what you're talking about!", "Hey dumbass, can't you see the score board?" and worst "Obviously you aren't a real fan or you would care how much EJ sucks." It hurt. In a flash my beloved FSU fans went from the reasonable, "lets have a beer after the game win or lose", to a level of entitlement, whinery, and obnoxious I once loathed in the Gator fans back when I was choosing my university. Seeing fights break out, and kicking trash cans after our loss to Florida was hard to watch. "Where have all the FSU fans gone?", I asked myself.
I hope I am not scorned for this post, it is my first post on this site. I always read Tomahawk Nation and have loved reading Bud's comments and other fan comments as well as fan posts. I do not mean to say we are an annoying fan base. But please, lets not be. I still live in Tallahassee, got a job straight out of college and love coming to the games. I came during years of mediocre play and found a way to love it. I am all for criticism and feedback of the program, hell that's what a fan does. I only take issue with how we do it now. I have never left a FSU game angry, always thought that we have it made in Tallahassee;Good people, great atmosphere, amazing pregame shows, halftime shows, bars, girls, everything a man in his 20's could ever want. I won't complain about a couple losses, I am in cloud nine with the program's achievements this year. So please, no more belly aching, whining, disappointing banter lets look forward to an Orange Bowl and these new hires. That said I hope, again, this post is seen with the sincerity and concern I intend it to be taken.