I was five years old when my parents left to drive my sister from Orlando to Tallahassee. No one in my family had gone to school with a major college football program or really any football program for that matter. Thus, we were now de facto fans of the Florida State Seminoles. I was elated at 11 when Florida State beat Nebraska to earn their first championship. When FSU lost to Tennessee in the first year of the BCS Championship, I suffered a mild case of depression. I had grown up enough to truly understand what was at stake. The next year we tasted sweet glory again against Michael Vick's Virginia Tech Hokies. This of course, was followed up by the loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in the last championship game FSU played in. It was all downhill from there.
With the exit of Bobby Bowden and the ushering in of a new era of Florida State football, hope started to pry its way into my head. Christian Ponder got us noticed. E.J. Manuel made us relevant. Now, Jameis Winston has brought us as close to the promised land as we have been in more time than I'd like to remember.
For the past weeks two weeks, we have sat here and analyzed FSU's chances of making it to Pasadena with the release of the BCS rankings. Who has to beat who to give FSU the advantage in SOS? Can they make it without Alabama or Oregon losing? Who's overrated, who's underrated? Humans are stupid, so are the computers. We've been rational and irrational, displayed sureness and skepticism and have had a good time talking about the team we love. As FSU has won and won big, I've spent more time following college football than I have in my life.
Then something happened the other week that hit too close to home. I'm not sure how many of you heard about the disappearance of a woman and her two children from the Orlando area. Long story short, her coward husband admitted to killing her (and he most likely killed the kids, as well). She was a classmate of mine who I've known for for about a year and a half. She was a great person with so much potential, incredibly smart, quick witted and an overall joy to be around. In an instant, all that was gone. Tonight, we had our first class without her and it was somber to say the least. We used the time to process what had happened and it really got me thinking about pretty much everything. I thought about my wife, my parents, my sisters and my pets. I realized how much I appreciate everything I have and how lucky I am that I have it.
I also started to think about this incredible football season the Seminoles are having. I also quickly came to terms with the fact that we can go undefeated and not play for a championship. And it's ok. As much as I've bitched and moaned about this whole process, I feel like none of that matters anymore. Not that I don't care, just that I can't do anything about it. I'll be at the ACCCG supporting this team even it means a trip to the Orange Bowl rather than a trip to Pasadena and I'll take solace in the fact that next year should definitely be our year. As much as you think that you are in control, you can't control fate.
Considering there is a plethora of thoughts and emotions running through my brain at the moment, this could all be one incoherent mess. I'll end it by asking you to tell someone you love them, because, well, you just never know.