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TN Member Memories: Grassy’s Excellent Swimming & Diving Adventures

Tomahawk Nation Member Memories: If in doubt, swim it out.

1978-79 Florida State Men’s Swimming & Diving Third Row: Left to Right: Paul Shreve, Jim Hamilton, Barry Griffin, Mike Gamble, Phil Hutzleman Second Row: Joe Liquori, David Shafer, Randy Chambers, Coach Dave Pennington, Brad Stetson First Row Standing: Head Coach John Stafford, ?, Manager David Laver, Jack Heald, Brett Lindquist, Coach Ross Seymour, Mark Archer, Martin Perry, Steve Albritton, Keith McConnell, Coach Dave Belowich Sitting: Jon Dean, David Rea, Bob Ring, Kevin Connell, Dana Brown

Next up in our Tomahawk Nation Member Memories series, long time TN member The Grassy Nole was gracious enough to share some of the details on how he became a Florida State football fan, albeit via the FSU Swimming and Diving team route.

I choose to believe that Grassy had just listened to Kansas’ Carry On My Wayward Son on his way to Tallahassee and that was what helped him choose the Noles, but that is probably not what happened at all. Probably not even close.

Did you know that Kansas’ Carry On My Wayward Son is the #1 song of the 7 songs swimmers should listen to before a swim meet? It’s been proven in scientific research studies to help get the blood pumping.


I knew nothing about college, or college football.

Growing up in Ft Myers I knew almost nothing about college football, and because Ft Myers High was about 90% reptile, I knew almost nothing about Florida State University. As my senior year (1978) headed to graduation, I was scheduled to attend the University of Tennessee as a member of their swim team. I received a last-minute call from Mathew Stafford’s dad John, FSU’s swim coach, inviting me to visit Tallahassee.

FSU Head Coach: John Stafford

After a quick weekend trip taking a college tour, visiting whatever the Phyrst was before it was the Phyrst, a concert at the Union, and a leap to your death at Big Diz, (and also “seeing” the female to male ratio) I decided right there and then that I wanted to attend FSU.

*{Editors contribution1: It was called Sherrod’s before the Phyrst, but it was sold and the name changed due to the Ted Bundy connection} *
*{Editors contribution2: In 1978 the female to male ratio at Florida State was 3 females for every one male. The University of Florida registrar records show that the male to female ratio in Gainesville in 1978 was 1 female for every 4 males.} *

I went to my first college game ever with my teammates (one person had to sit in line back in the day for block seating), had fun and experienced a thrilling victory against Cincinnati, in which I think we converted a 4th and 24 for a long TD to win the game (maybe?).

*{Editors contribution3: Fourth down and 22. Last chance for the Seminoles. And Jimmy Jordan hit Sam Platt with a pass that the sophomore speedster converted into a 54-yard scoring play with 1:29 left, providing a dramatic 26-21 victory over a stubborn Cincinnati football team here Saturday night.} *

We listened to away games on the radio loudspeaker at the Hobbit Beer Garden (the first one I believe was at Miami of Florida, a Win).

Our team had to be back the day after Thanksgiving for 20,000 yards per day, but we did get to go to the annual tilt vs the lizards. That victory over the reptiles, and the awesome Nole atmosphere, really kicked up my interest in FSU football.

Four additional seasons, including bartending in the East booster skybox, and attending away games with The Scalphunters developed my enthusiasm even further.

I then moved to NY and did not move back to Florida until 1988. It was very tough to find FSU on TV in NY back then save for perhaps Miami of Florida games and the occasional lizard game.

I found a bar in Soho in 1986 called The Sporting Club that had what might have been one of the first satellite hookups. I sat and watched many FSU games there, with ‘87 being a lot more fun than ‘86.

I eventually moved back to FLA and attended a few games, including a shellacking in the Orange Bowl, but I really did not become fully involved, as they say, till 1999, but not because of the Natty; rather, that was the year I took my son to his first game; when Renegade came out and the spear was planted down, we were both hooked. And when, several years later, he decided to attend FSU (he refused to even apply to GoGataU) we were a Seminole Household, and all in.

Flash forward to 2 of 4 kids now with FSU degrees and a 3rd currently a sophomore, season tickets since forever, and attending more games than not each year, including every game home and away in 2013. We are garnet and gold through and through. I am writing this the morning after attending the Booster Golf Outing in Jacksonville.

I am really digging what CMN is building, though I try to have reasonable (I said “try”) expectations in this crazy TP/NIL era.

Posted by The Grassy Nole


I would like to thank The Grassy Nole for his contribution to this series and for sharing his experience with the Tomahawk Nation Community.

Please check out these other previously published TN Member Memories:

If you have a story you would like to share with us, feel free to contact me:

Be cool.