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Friday, October 31, 2014

What Is It Like To Be On The Other Side - Cheering For America's Team And Jameis Winston

Like we all remember where we were when Kennedy was shot - or the day Bill Clinton was impeached - we will all remember the day we got to see Jameis Winston play - or the day they  crucify him. 

Half of America stayed up last night to watch to see if Louisville's top defense in the nation could end the juggernaut of Jameis Winston and America's Team - the Florida State Seminoles. The Cardinals were the last best chance for a regular season opponent to beat this storied franchise. In attempting to talk the world into placing 4 SEC teams in the playoffs - ESPN has turned everyone against the Noles and this wonderful young man Jameis Winston. 

I am prejudiced - my lovely wife Lulu is a professor at FSU. She pilots the school library media program there - which is ranked number 1 in the nation by US News and World Report magazine. She coasts her Vespa scooter or garnet and gold BMW convertible the 2 miles to campus daily - depending on whether it is sunny or too sunny. Even my sons that went to the egghead schools of Duke and Georgetown - spend the game text messaging back and forth encouragement us to have faith in the Noles. 

Last night - even I had my doubts. The Seminoles hate traveling up north to play in the cold - wet - windy - rainy - dank Thursday nights. The 6 inch turf designed to slow them down - reminds one of the mud bowl I once witnessed in Happy Valley - right after the Nits planted "horticulturally perfect" turf. It came out like a bad toupee. 

I believed everything "Herb Street" told us about the Noles doing it all with mirrors. I chuckled when Announcer Palmer shilled that Jameis Winston is the best quarterback ever. 

Usually my lovely wife makes it to halftime before sawing a few logs on the couch - but last night we both were on the edge of the sofa. 

Fox  News - ESPN - and the SEC channel have called Jameis Winston everything but "The Anti-Christ." Maybe I missed that episode when I was driving my golf cart to the Jimbo Fisher Call-In Show on Monday night. Jameis has been connected to ISIS - the Ebola plague - and Rick Scott. In case you do not know that last guy - Rick's firm was convicted of bilking Medicare of over one BILLION DOLLARS. He took the 5th in court 55 times. He was fined over $150 million - but still had enough left over to buy the Florida governorship with $80 million of his "own" cash. That was 4 years ago. He is running for governor next week and will probably win again - blame it on Jameis. But the ultimate crime of Jameis - he has made FSU fans even forget who Bobby Bowden was. 

Well it didn't end up the way ESPN wanted or I predicted. I was sure the cold weather would KO the Noles. They simply are not as good as last year. In case you went to bed early - but the TV ratings would say you are fibbing - Jameis and the "Criminoles" scored 35 points in the second half against the top defense in the land before a record crowd in Louisville. Jameis had a nation that was a year ago sending Coach Petrino to football Siberia - praying to Pope Francis to make Bobby a saint - and allow him to deep six the garnet (whatever that is) and gold crowd and send them back to another consolation ACC Playoff crown. 

In America all we know is what we see on TV and read on the Internet. The Tallahassee police just started an investigation into a football player here because someone sent them an email saying they read on "facebook" that a player assaulted his girlfriend - ok - they are unmarried and she is pregnant the second time - so it must be true. 

The Seminoles have just won their 24th straight game. It is one of the longest winning streaks of the modern era - certainly of the Facebook era. America loves to have heroes and then tear them down. Heck - even President Obama our first black president the last hero de jour - made up every excuse in the book - so that he would not have to pose with Jameis in the White House after he won the Heisman and the national championship trophies. 

Tallahassee is a wonderful town. It has received awards for having the best park system in the country - the best public utility system - and yes - one can still buy a ticket legally outside the stadium for $10 to see the number one team in the land play on GameDay. Yes - that GameDay - the ESPN one that loves to paint the FSU program black - they have chosen the Seminoles 3 times this year to be the subject of their ratings hype show. They understand that excitement and  controversy means ratings and money. They are riding Osceola and Renegade all the way to the bank - and depositing garnet and GOLD in their accounts.

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