Gather around TNers. Daddy NoleCC has one of his old man stories to tell you. No, I'm not asking you to get off my lawn, you already know that. I'm talking about FSU spring football. This one is about tailgating and enjoying early April in Tallahassee and that we should think about returning to a great tradition. I've yet to find a better Spring than Tallahassee's, and not too long ago it was enhanced by having the FSU spring game, a Miami / FSU baseball game and a bunch of other events on the same day.
Shocking idea, right?
The last few spring games were focused solely on FSU Football at Doak. Let's bring back former players, let's play it up on ESPN3 and let's have a real good time. I get it. I understand the thought behind featuring your bread and butter program individually, rather than share the spotlight with non-revenue generating sports. But, as is often the case, the seemingly best business decision isn't always the best fan decision. I think there's a way to feature the scrimmage and also boost it with a bunch of other FSU events.
Back in the late 90s and early 00s the schedule was very different and looked something like this:
- Park under some giant Oak tree near Dick Howser in a dirt lot.
- Commence beverage intake from 10am until it was time to meander into Doak Campbell Stadium for the scrimmage.
- Talk smack to the Canes fans scattered around.
- Watch Garnet vs. Gold with no touchy touchy of the QBs after Kendra blew out his knee. (Prior to that Kenda injury, our coaching staff actually let our defense maul our QBs because it built "character" or something.)
- Look for smuggled minis to add to beverages.
- Leave Doak to head back to the Oak for food, beverages and to kill time hanging around the tailgate, softball, track and tennis areas until FSU Baseball took on the Canes.
- Get rowdy in the RF General Admission seats for 9 innings of some of the highest quality college baseball in the country.
- Wonder why Martin bunted there.
- Watch Keith Cottrell yell and make fun of roommate Matt Diaz in RF.
- Watch Keith yell at the peanut vendor kid, Zach "Peeeeeeeee knottttts".
- Laugh when Zach calls Keith a loser and tells him to go fake an injury.
- Wonder if I should have gone to check out the circus at some point in addition to everything else that was going on.
- Wonder how long we're going to hang with a guy that can't find the plate and possible blow this 4 run lead.
- Leave the best part of Tallahassee (hopefully with a W over the Canes) in some awesome cool evening air ready to finish up the Canes series on Sunday.
I'm not sure whether that's better or not, but the weekend felt like a big event. I know that, as a fan, I miss that type of day and personally I lack interest in going down to Doak for "just a practice". It also felt more inclusive and brought together most of the FSU family. At the same time there was the circus, football, baseball, softball, tennis and track taking place. The whole campus migrated down to that Dick Howser / Doak area and made their way through the old Pensacola Street tunnel and back. Canes baseball fans added some extra spice to the weekend and reminded us that the real football season wasn't far off. It was the perfect weather, in the perfect spot, on a perfect spring day. I think the FSU community could benefit by going back to a similar, but improved structure, including events to raise money for athletics and / or a fun raiser to the Kidz 1st Fund. Why not take an opportunity to raise more money, show off our best and bring Noles closer together one extra weekend per year? Let's make FSU community bonds stronger and maximize our returns at the same time!
What do you think? Is it better to feature football only or to make a big show of an entire spring weekend in Tallahassee? Would it be good to bring this together with the Springtime Tallahassee Festival? How does this fit in with the vision for the future College Town area? If the weekend were more than spring football would it spur out of town fans to come to Tallahassee?