It was far from surprising when Jimbo Fisher downplayed the presence of Showtime’s “A Season With” at his press conference to open 2016’s fall camp on Tuesday. Questioned about the added cameras and microphones, the increase of which was obvious to all in attendance, Fisher asked of media members: “Tell me when we've done something in the last four years when there ain't been boom mics and cameras and something else. That stuff's been everywhere. We have that stuff all the time. It's now natural.”
Of course, a lot of that attention over the last few years has shed a negative light on Florida State, or at least attempted to, and often unfairly. Whatever the slant, it seems like what Fisher often refers to as “clutter”: in Tuesday’s presser, he spoke about how his players’ self-imposed social-media ban helped eliminate some of that very clutter. Why, then, invite a television show to document your season?
Because as much as Fisher may have downplayed the increased media presence, he also seemed to speak to it. And that speech seemed to function as a reintroduction of sorts, one of Florida State football to the nation, and popular perception. Hence, Fisher, in his sleek, revamped players’ lounge, welcoming the nation to the program that he’s rebuilt into a national powerhouse.
Let’s talk a look at parts of Fisher’s opening statement, and how he effectively rebrands Florida State football— up first, is an homage to those who built the program:
Great to be here. Seventh year, time has flown. It really has. We showed some videos last night. When we first got here, when we first started, the vision we had for the program, where we wanted it to go and what position we wanted it to be in at this stage of our time here and the things that we've evolved to, and still as an organization and with our infrastructure, still have a long ways to go and things we have to get to be attainable and stay at the top, because I think that's the key to everything.
Having sufficiently caught the nation up, Fisher then proceeds to offer his own resume, while offering a concession that no program is perfect:
But it makes you reflect at how far we've come. The 68 wins, the championships and the conference championships and the National Championships, the draft picks, I mean, I'm very proud of the guys who have played here -- not all the times here, but these last six years and the things they've evolved and what they brought this program to. During that time, at the time, the second most wins in the country during that time. Have been very successful. Got great student-athletes, got great kids, great players.
I get a kick out of Fisher pluralizing national championships during his tenure. He’s got one, of course, but hey, who doesn’t fudge their resume a bit? Success established, it’s time to sell. And Fisher pitches with dollars:
They're having success here. They're having success off the field. Having success in the classroom. Having success in the NFL, and that's what you want and that's what we're happy and proud to be a big part of.
Skip ahead a bit to Jimbo concluding his opening statement, in which he alludes to the target that success can put on a program’s back:
But we know this: Everybody's going to be shooting at us and trying to measure it off of us. We've got talent, but we've got to develop into a team now that plays with great consistency. The last few years we've had some tremendous successes. A National Championship a couple years ago. The last couple we haven't been there, but been right on the verge. A blocked kick and a catch here and there at Georgia Tech. Clemson, converting two third and ones, fourth and one, you're there too. That's how close you are there too. Very excited about where this team can go, but got to go do it.
But in classic Fisher fashion, he emphasizes how there’s no backing away from the struggle, and that he’s confident in his program’s resolve:
That's what we've got to fight -- what we've got to find out, are we going to fight for those inches. Just six or eight inches and doing it again last year. Then finishing off the season the right way like we didn't do in the bowl game. But there's a lot of things we've got to do.
Again, the same time, I'm looking forward to that challenge and I think this team is too, so we'll find out.