Future Superstar James Wilder Junior
A few years ago - the NCAA decided that colleges could play an extra game. They could play 12 games a season. People expected coaches to schedule a strong out-of-conference opponent. Instead every coach ran to find an easy opponent - one where they could fatten up their stats and their won-loss records. In the past FSU made its reputation when Coach Bobby Bowden would agree to go on the road and play the big boys. The nation respected the Seminoles.
This year - Coach Fisher scheduled Murray State and Savannah State. The Seminoles are 2 - 0 - and ranked number 6 in the nation. So see - it works.
Saturday it was raining off and on - all afternoon. ESPN3 was carrying the game on the Internet for free. I had to twist Lulu's arm to stay home.
The rest is history. The Seminoles scored a touchdown each of the 7 times they got the ball. 4 minutes before the end of the first half - rain and lightning stopped the game. Everyone went inside for an hour - except many of the fans that sat in the rain. An hour later they played the 4 minutes - and took a shorter halftime break. The bands were not even allowed on the field.
During halftime - the coaches got together and decided to "let the clock run" in the second half - something that I never saw done in college football. Partway into the third quarter the game was stopped again for lightning. The fans were left on the hook.
The coaches contacted the NCAA and the ACC - the bureaucrats that make the big calls. Finally - when Coach Fisher was assured that the game counted and the all important statistics counted - they agreed to end the game.
We love Seminole sports. We love to brag about our teams and wear their colors. One of my sons got his masters at FSU and Lulu got her doctorate here. Now she is a professor at FSU - her dream job. Although the kids graduated from Georgetown and Duke - there is no mistake who they root for in college football.
In the old days - sometimes the players would embarrass you by getting caught drinking or cheating on a music test. Before the PSU thing - that was a big deal. Now you have a sigh of relief when you find out - your number one player was picked up by the cops for shoplifting. Coaches are okay - as long as they get caught with a live girl - not a dead boy.
Everything is about money. Regular tickets for the Clemson game coming up are $70 each. ABC or CBS offer millions of dollars to show a regular season game and they demand you move the starting time to fit their schedule. I remember years ago when Virginia turned down a TV game with FSU because they would not move the game time. They had Homecoming scheduled. Things like that are rarer and rarer.
At Florida State - there are people called Golden Chiefs. They pay $25,000 just for the right to be the first to select season tickets. They can buy up to 16 season tickets at $500 each. The money does not go to the college - it goes straight to the athletic program. Lulu and I give money to the college - but it is ear-marked for library science scholarships. When we go to a football game - we buy tickets on the open market paying the "market price." For the Murray State game - a guy gave Lulu two free tickets on the 40 yard line - in the shade. We probably would have gotten in the Savannah State game for the same price. Yes - last year we paid $100 a ticket for the Oklahoma game because we needed 5 tickets together for our guests (the kids).
FSU's Coach Fisher makes about $3 million a year. Our college president makes about $400,000 - for running a university of 50,000 kids and about 3000 professors with budget of $1 billion dollars. It is similar in all of the big schools. Each school has the excuse they must keep up with the Joneses.
So it is about 2 miles from our front door to the Doak Campbell Stadium. And we chose to sit at home and watch the game on the Internet.