UPDATE - 10:30 AM Wednesday, September 4th, 2019:
WATER WATCH is still on, and FSU Football head coach Willie Taggart has responded to the Category 5 hysteria:
Taggart explains clearly, using a transcript from the call in show, that he was discussing preparing for this Saturday’s game against ULM— a day forecast to have a scorching 100-degree high. He was not intending to offend the medical staff.
Taggart read the question from Gene Deckerhoff, and the response from himself. Taggart’s demeanor and attitude is that the whole controversy is laughable. He stops multiple times during the statement to drink from a water bottle.
More dismaying than FSU’s hydration issues, however, is that Taggart is drinking Dasani. Dasani is the worst of all commercially available bottled waters.
Willie Taggart has lost control of FSU Football. Or at least its media and fans.
There is a controversy about... water. About hydration. And people are mad. Not just mad, but Mad on the internet.
Taggart innocuously answered a fan question about hydration during his weekly call in show. From the Tallahassee Democrat:
“I think after going through last weekend and seeing our guys going down and cramping, one thing we talked about with our medical staff is our guys got to hydrate,” Taggart said on his weekly call-in show.
Seems innocuous enough. FSU played an incredible amount of snaps on defense in oppressive heat and it caught up to the team - multiple defensive players came off the field with cramps.
BUT WAIT - #HydrateGate took over, and what seemed like a simple admission turned to controversy. And FSU’s beat pounced:
Willie Taggart doesn't know if FSU players hydrated well enough for Boise State game https://t.co/6bp2p3GhVo— Tallahassee Democrat (@TDOnline) September 3, 2019
For the record, FSU's head athletic trainer for football is very highly regarded. Jimbo basically offered him a blank check to come to A&M, but he stayed home. He & his staff know the players need to stay hydrated. They work very hard at it. Odd comment for Taggart to make IMHO.— Ira Schoffel (@IraSchoffel) September 3, 2019
Earlier today and Saturday he said the key was conditioning and managing rotations. Now it's hydration. Noted.— Chaunte'l Powell (@chauntelpowell) September 3, 2019
The local paper, the oldest FSU fan blog and the Orlando Sentinel all had social media commentary about hydration. And apparently this is an insult to a coveted athletic trainer.
Nobody noted the following: FSU faced 108 snaps on defense. Quick check showed that only one team in top 10 of total plays last year got to 100 plays, was Wake with 105 vs BC in September and the only other team in top 35 total plays in 2018 with 100 was Texas Tech vs Houston with 100 - also in September.
So FSU played a historically high number of plays on Saturday - at noon in Tallahassee in August. And Taggart acknowledged they’d look at hydration.
There are tons of reasons to be unhappy about FSU’s performance Saturday. In our Tomahawk Nation chat room, we’ve discussed at length the schematic, personnel and execution issues on both offense and defense.
But man, people just want to be #MadOnline about anything. And #HydrateGate is a perfect example of that. There’s plenty wrong with FSU football, and hydration may be part of that, but people need to chill.
This week, you’ll see plenty of actual analysis about what cost FSU the game against Boise. And we won’t be talking about water.