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Up Close with Tomahawk: Meet the real Michael Rogner

Introducing you to the Tomahawk Nation staff, one-by-one

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Here at Tomahawk Nation, we’re lucky to have ourselves a fine group of learned people who are able to help shape, produce and elevate the content we put out here covering Florida State athletics.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that there’s a human behind the words — we’re here to fix that. Each week, we’ll be giving some insight into the people that make TN’s engine purr.

Up next, one of the OG’s and original Tomahawk Nation basketball gurus, one of TN’s Basketball podcasters, a writer, and long-time TN staff member, the NorCal_Nole Kid himself, the one and only Michael Rogner.

What was the deciding factor in your decision to attend FSU in Tallahassee?

They accepted me, for some reason.

I wasn’t what you would call a model student at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, and I spent my freshman year at UCF trying to play golf. When that didn’t work, I applied to FSU and got in as a transfer.

There is a photo of me when I’m seven wearing an FSU shirt, and my brothers both are wearing UF shirts. They ended up as Florida Gators. I ended up a ‘Nole.

Folks, dress your kids accordingly.

What was it about FSU that attracted you to follow FSU basketball/recruiting, and the other sports, as closely as you do?

I’m a sports nut. Caring very deeply about something that really doesn’t matter is one secret to a happy life.

I was a good basketball player growing up and have always loved the game. I’ve reffed, coached, played, etc... I’m also old. In my day recruiting was picking up the USA Today the morning after signing day and seeing who we got.

I remember asking one of the basketball players if Sam Cassell was really gonna be any good. That was advanced scouting.

Who is your all-time favorite FSU basketball player?

Charlie Ward. If he wouldn’t have wasted all that time playing other sports, those teams could have really been something. [Basketball highlights start at 3:47]

Which Seminole highlight makes you the happiest when you watch it?

The Loucks to Snaer buzzer-beater against the Duke Blue Devils:

...which is slightly ahead of Terance Mann’s takedown of Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament.

But then again, there was that time Trent destroyed Jordan Nwora.

Which was the most memorable FSU game you witnessed live, at the Tuck or elsewhere as a visitor?

FSU’s first win against Duke. Probably the first time I’d ever seen the Tuck at standing room only.

It was their Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Grant Hill team. Charlie Ward was back on the team after beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, and the ‘Noles were rolling.

The good guys were down double digits in the second half but came back and took the lead late on a Charlie 1-and-1. Cherokee Parks choked FT’s at the end and then in OT, Byron Wells buried a three at the buzzer for a one-point win.

What was your course of study in college and what is your current occupation?

I studied creative writing and am now a restoration ecologist.

The tortured artist thing was a hoot until some woman in a bar told me how you could get paid to live in really cool places studying birds. Limited sample size, but it appears drunken career changes work out 100% of the time.

What was your favorite spot on campus or in Tallahassee when you were a student?

My car. We used to go everywhere - New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Key West - wherever we thought we might have a place to crash.

In Tallahassee, I wasn’t much of a bar guy but enjoyed all the barbecue joints scattered around the county. And of course, Doak Campbell.

What is your favorite non-basketball FSU sports moment?

Natty No. 3. Great viewing party - had family out from Florida (I live in Northern California). A bunch of non-FSU fans who adopted FSU because I was there and partied like it was their team too.

What is your favorite non-FSU sports moment?

Four days in October. I’m a lifelong Sox fan. On the day of game 4 of the ALCS (Red Sox v Yankees), a boat dropped me off in San Francisco after I spent eight weeks on a pretty remote island. *{Editors notes: send DM for the deets}

The Sox were down 3 games to zip, and it was my birthday. I drove up to Point Reyes Station and found a bar and there were six other Sox fans there who were ready to accept the inevitable defeat and move on.

But then history happened, and the seven of us met every night to watch at the bar because we were too superstitious to do otherwise.

If it couldn’t be FSU, which college team would you root for?

I’m a big Saint Mary’s fan. SMC-Gonzaga in a tiny little gym is pretty epic. Also, a huge Army fan (see below).

Which pro teams are you a fan of, if any?

Red Sox. I don’t watch other pro sports aside from golf.

If you could’ve played for FSU, what position would you have played and what number would you have worn?

Like the immortal Tanor Ngom and Nate Jack, I wore 11. Also like them, I think I’m a better shooter than I really am.

Tell Tomahawk Nation something unique about yourself?

My grandfather was captain of the Army basketball team, and also a lineman on the football team. I did not inherit his genes.

I would like to thank Michael for his contributions to Tomahawk Nation, for helping make TN “THE” most respected FSU Basketball digital media site, and for sharing his FSU experiences with the Tomahawk Nation Community.

Please check out these other previously published Up close with the Tomahawk staff.