Next up in our Tomahawk Nation Member Memories series, we give you a Mother’s Day Military BOGO. Happy Mother’s Day to all our readers and their families.
First off, my buddy and longtime TN member Crawdad_Class of ‘86 was gracious enough to share some of the details on how he became a Florida State Seminole football fan, as one of his steps towards becoming a USAF pilot.
I choose to believe that Crawdad repeatedly listened to Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone and that’s what led him to becoming an Air Force pilot, via Tallahassee, and graduating from Florida State University before moving on.
But that is probably not what happened at all.
Probably not even close.
What did happen was that one day, Crawdad buzzed the tower.
The Doak Campbell Stadium Tower that is.
A: “It is cool – really cool. Here is a short story about how four Seminole grads were fortunate enough to organize and execute a fly-by before the FSU vs Louisiana Tech game on Oct 22, 1988.”
After you check out that awesomeness, please read Crawdad’s firsthand experiences leading him to becoming a Seminole, below.
Becoming a Nole…Crawdad Style
I was 5 when we moved to Miami in 1969. As Frank can attest, growing up during the 70s in Miami was something else…great concerts, beaches, and sporting events.
Two of my junior high school friend's fathers coached at UM, so every now and then I would go hang out with them at practice (Otis Anderson was a pretty cool dude). My mother was also a huge football fan, so she and I would go to the UM games in the Orange Bowl (you could get endzone tickets for a buck).
One year we went to the FSU vs UM game and the Marching Chiefs were located near us. I remember how much fun they seem to be having and the majorettes were not hard to look at either!
Fast forward to 1980 and I am entering the 10th grade at Killian high school. My dad received a promotion that required us to move to Fayetteville, GA (a one stop-light town about 15 miles south of Atlanta). Talk about culture shock. I show up to school the first day in my Van Halen concert shirt and fairly long hair and the kids from that school looked at me as if I was from Mars! Oh wait, I skipped the best part (that happens when you are old).
On the drive from Miami to Fayetteville, we stopped in Tallahassee to see my older brother who was in his sophomore year at FSU. He lived in a studio apartment right behind the Chi Omega house.
My parents, for some ungodly reason, let me stay with my brother for a week…and what a week it was. Throwing the frisbee on Landis Green while avoiding the girls out sunbathing has stuck in my head for 40+ years. Just simply walking around campus and meeting people was so much fun…I was hooked.
I wanted to be a military pilot from a very early age. My father was an air traffic controller and private pilot, and we would always attend airshows. Watching the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds seemed like the coolest thing in the world to me. So, during the week with my brother in Tallahassee, I stopped by the ROTC building on campus. The Air Force recruiter there explained what I needed to accomplish in order of having a chance to go to pilot training. Fortunately, I was able to make it through high school with decent grades and avoided getting arrested.
Moving to 1982, my freshman year at FSU. I enrolled in ROTC and began my pursuit to get to pilot training. During the ROTC orientation, they mentioned we could volunteer to sell programs before the football games…and if we did this, we didn’t need to buy a game ticket. Seemed like a good idea and I could use the $7 to buy a case of Schaffer Light.
So, I sold programs and attended every single home game between 82-86. I would pick up my box of programs three hours before kickoff and head straight to the RVs where the big spenders would be tailgating next to the circus tent. It would take me about 20 minutes to empty the box and then I would head into the stadium for all the pregame festivities. It was a sweet deal, and I can remember being on the sideline during team warmups watching guys like Deion, Sammie Smith, etc. and of course the Marching Chiefs were fantastic!
Most of the games back then were at night and even though the stadium was much smaller, the atmosphere was incredible (and yes, we had the Spirit Spear to prove it). I’ll never forget the first time I saw Chief Osceola and Renegade plant the spear…and to this day, that one act before every game gives me goosebumps.
Next up in our Tomahawk Nation Member Memories series, TN reader Charles Davis also shares his FSU memories and military service with our community.
I have so many memories that it would be impossible to list all of them.
In 1964, I was 11 years old, and my big brother was a junior at FSU majoring in broadcasting. He also had a job at WTNT.
I will always remember that one time he brought me and our parents to a game against #4 ranked Kentucky, where Fred Biletnikoff and Steve Tensi blew out the Wildcats 48-6.
A few weeks later, FSU beat the gators for the first time ever, and then beat Oklahoma in the gator bowl. Bobby Bowden was an assistant coach that year along with Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcels.
Over the many years since, I have been to too many games to remember them all. Going to every home game from 1980 to 2000. Orange Bowl, Gator Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Auburn, Gainesville, Hattiesburg, and Michigan, to name a few.
I never attended FSU as a student, but I have bled garnet and gold all my life.
When I was in the army in the seventies, I always timed my leaves with the FSU football season.
I was at the 1977 gator game, 37-9. The Tangerine Bowl win over Texas tech. I went to Baton Rouge 4 times, and they were all wins.
I would like to thank both Crawdad_Class of ‘86, and Charles Davis, for their contributions to the TN Member Memories series, and for sharing their experiences with the Tomahawk Nation Community.
Please check out these other previously published TN Member Memories:
- TN Member Memories: Grassy’s Excellent Swimming & Diving Adventures
- TN Member Memories: A band geek shares how he became an FSU fan
- Tomahawk Nation Member Memories: A Florida State Seminole fan’s first visit to Campus - Tomahawk Nation
- The time FSU fans set fire to Florida Gators football field - Tomahawk Nation
If you have a story you would like to share with us, feel free to contact me: email@example.com
I only have one more story left from readers for this series, if you have a story you think is worthy of sharing, it probably is. It is a long off season. Please send it to me.