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Commentary: Florida State - There is no other

 There are several things in life for which I am proud. It goes without saying that being a Florida State University graduate and a die-hard Seminole is right at the top of the list. Watching the Garnet & Gold abase the competition this season is reminiscent of the commanding team that I knew as a student in the late 90s.

Growing up in Florida, you have three choices as a child: The Seminoles, The Gators or The Hurricanes. My father was a Seminole; he was faithful to the Tallahassee team because of its leader, Bobby Bowden. Bowden represented honesty, integrity and character, and who doesn’t love to hear the man say “Daggumit” when being interviewed?
I entered the University in 1997 when it was considered one of the “top party schools” in the nation. Whether or not that was the reason behind my initial admission application, you’ll never know. However, I’ll admit that Florida State football was a big enough reason for me to make Tallahassee my new home.
The ‘97-‘98 season was a strong year for the Seminoles, and as a student it meant that each of us received one free ticket to each home game. However, the bigger rival games with ticket shortages such as UF and Miami, meant that one of your friends, or possibly you, got nominated to camp out overnight for two or three days to vie for tickets that would ensure your seat in the stadium. 
I fell victim to the nomination only once. I can assure you that sleeping outside next to the ticket office, battling the notorious Tallahassee humidity while surrounded by thousands of fellow students, was well worth the block of tickets to watch the Seminoles pounce all over the Hurricanes in Miami in ‘98. 
I’ve been told that many females wouldn’t subject themselves to such conditions, but I do know this to be true: If you are a woman and have attended a university in the Southeast, mainly one with a football team that dominates the country, you will do what it takes to attend “church” on Saturdays and love every part of the process that it takes to get there. 
Now that I am living in Tennessee, it never fails that once someone finds out that I am an FSU alumni, I immediately get told that the Volunteers had their way with my spirited Seminoles in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl. It wasn’t as crushing as most portray (especially my husband), as the Seminoles were only behind by seven points at the end of the championship game. 
But yes, I will state it here and now for all to read ... The Tennessee Volunteers did outplay the Florida State Seminoles in the 1999 National Championship. Now my husband, and the many others out there who still like to correct my soapbox-speeches when I’m praising my beloved football team, can sleep a little more comfortably now that I’ve been quoted as admitting the Tempe, Arizona defeat almost fifteen years ago. 
Having said that, remember that the very next season the Seminoles went back to the title game against the infamous Michael Vick and the Virginia Tech Hokies, giving Bobby Bowden his first undefeated season and the 2000 National Championship.
Florida State football was on fire throughout my tenure as a student. I had the opportunity to sit in The Doak for several seasons and witness Chris Weinke, Sabastian Janokowski, Peter Warrick and Travis Minor do amazing things on the field while Bowden, Mickey Andrews, and now Georgia Coach Mark Richt called the shots that lead the Seminoles to so many victories. 
I am a woman who is conservative, loves to wear her pearls and the Polo brand. I am a wife and a full-time working mother with five children. I love my life, but when September rolls around each year I seem to morph back into ‘Sassy from Tallahassee’ who thrives on watching my Seminoles do what they do best each week...own the NCAA. 
Annie Osteen is a member of the Herald sales staff and an 
unabashed cheerleader for the Florida State Seminoles.

Posted on: 11/28/2013


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