Tallahassee’s Bob Schmidt is no stranger to taking a stand. A decorated World War II veteran, Schmidt earned commendation for planting explosives at Normandy beaches ahead of the Allied landing on D-Day.
Now in his 90s, Schmidt is typically confined to a wheelchair these days, although that certainly doesn’t prevent him from attending numerous FSU games, as well as Jimbo Fisher’s weekly call-in show during football season. Last night was no exception, as Schmidt was in his typical spot: front and center. But as much as that’s become routine for Schmidt, this week he broke from tradition in a show of support for Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, who’s absorbed a good deal of criticism during the Seminoles’ 2-4 start to the 2017 season.
Encouraged by applause from the other members of the studio audience, Schmidt rose from his wheelchair and had the following exchange with Fisher that host Gene Deckerhoff punctuated quite well:
Schmidt: “Jimbo, I stand up for you.” (Wild cheers.)
Fisher: “That guy right there— it don't get no better than that right there, now.”
Schmidt: “You're my football coach, and I love you.”
Fisher: “I love you, too, Bob.”
Schmidt: “Remember one thing, out of every adversity, there's an equal or greater benefit if you look for it. So you just keep looking— never give up."
Fisher: “I'll promise that buddy, we're always gonna look. Gonna look for you too, Bob.”
Gene: “I've known Bob for a long time, and I've never seen him stand up.”
Both Fisher and Deckerhoff were noticeably touched by Schmidt’s encouragement. Here’s a shot of Schmidt rising to his feet, amid applause from the audience: