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I’ve wanted to write this for a while, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and put all of the pieces together in an intelligible way. It’s long, I know, but I think that at this time in the history of FSU and my own history, it’s something I want to say.

I guess I was always an FSU fan more or less. I had a cousin that was a pretty good player for FSU back in the early sixties. He played a little while for the Chargers, but I have never really known him. I just knew that he played for FSU and that my uncle had gone to school there. We used to listen to games on the radio in the car. We lived in a small town in the western panhandle without cable. And the television we had was a small 13 inch black and white set; so I had never seen FSU play football. Tallahassee might as well have been New York City as far as I was concerned.

But one day late in the fall of 1983, my dad and I were walking through McRae’s in Pensacola. And there on the second floor, they had a color television display. And in colors so vivid and amazing, I saw Florida State play on television for the first time. My dad and I stood there watching for a good long while. It was the Florida-FSU game from 1983. We were getting hammered (FSU, not my dad and I). But I remember specifically asking my dad, “Who is he?” pointing to one of the players on the screen. He told me, “That’s the quarterback, Kelly Lowrey.” Watching that game, watching those beautiful helmets against the artificial green of Astroturf and color TV and I was hooked. Kelly Lowrey became the first college football player I ever really knew about. And even though we lost that game, (sometimes cheaters do win), I became a true Seminole that day. Knowing that Kelly Lowrey and David Ponder shared the field together at Florida State makes the next part of my story all the more remarkable.

My wife and I have two boys, 7 and 5; and we have tried to raise them right, as Seminole fans. But we are stuck over here in Mobile which is within an SEC fortress through which FSU and ACC news rarely penetrates. So I guess it was just a matter of time before my older son brought home a painting he had done at school featuring a football and a University of Alabama pennant. It was time for a pilgrimage.

I had to do something to counter the incessant torrent of SEC indoctrination that permeates the very bones of this community. So, we loaded up and made a road trip to Tallahassee in July. It was about 150 degrees when we got there we were sweating profusely from the moment we parked the car in front of Doak Campbell Stadium. We went inside to the Gift Shop. And while my boys were amazed at the size of the Stadium and all the bricks and Osceola on Renegade out front, the first lesson they learned is why there is no Gatorade in the store?we drink Powerade around here.

We went into the stadium and got to check out the field as they pressure washed the seating areas in preparation for the coming season. Then we took a walk around to the other side of the stadium, into the athletic center to see the trophies. And it was pretty amazing seeing the BCS Championship trophies and the Heisman trophies, the jerseys and other exhibits. I explained who Bobby Bowden was and how Jimbo Fisher was the new head coach.

At the conclusion of our time in the athletic center, we went out to go back around to the other side of the stadium and our parking lot. It was July and Jimbo was hosting one of the football camps that day, so we went to the entrance to the practice fields to peek in and maybe glimpse one of the coaches. And just as we arrived at the entrance to the practice fields, Christian Ponder walked out, hot and tired from working out with receivers. Nearly echoing the words my dad had told me almost thirty years ago about Kelly Lowrey, I said to my sons, “There’s Christian Ponder. He’s the quarterback for FSU.” Christian heard me say his name and stopped for just a minute to talk to me and the boys. It was a short polite conversation; he was excited about the coming year. He shook all of our hands and went on down to the locker room. But from that moment, my boys became fans of FSU in general and Christian Ponder specifically. It was a great day and Christian played a huge part in that.

So, we were thrilled, of course, when Christian was invited to come and play in the Senior Bowl, here in Mobile. My older son and I decided we would go to the game on Saturday, but the whole family was going to go to the Fan Frenzy on Friday night to meet the players. We met and got autographs from a number of great players. But the two who were head and shoulders above the rest were Rodney Hudson, and of course Christian Ponder.

Of all the players we met, Christian was the only one who asked my boys their names. He talked right to them and made bigger fans out of them even than they had been before. In a beautiful bit of poetic justice, standing over Christian’s shoulder, just out of earshot, was a beaming David Ponder. I have thought about the fact that he was on the field that day with Kelly Lowrey the day I became a true FSU fan. And now my sons were given the same gift I was given, and David Ponder is there, too. The Seminole Family is just that, isn’t it?

Of course we were thrilled to be in the stands as Christian won the MVP of the Senior Bowl and we’ll watch excitedly to see where he’ll be drafted so we can continue to pull for the most important FSU player in my son’s lives. We’ve been blessed to watch him play, but even more blessed to know the kind of man he is.

I don’t know if Octoberfest is around this board much anymore, or Kelroy or Christian either for that matter. But I hope they get the opportunity to know how important they have been to the development of new Seminole fans in two generations. Thanks, Guys. You’ve set the bar high for the next generation, but I think they’ll be up for the challenge.



Posted on 2/3 4:17 PM | IP: Logged

Excellent post.



Posted on 2/3 4:22 PM | IP: Logged

Thanks for that.

Outstanding post.



Posted on 2/3 4:27 PM | IP: Logged

Great post. Kelly Lowery was the first player I followed as well.



Posted on 2/3 4:29 PM | IP: Logged

Duke--I don't post much but I read WC a lot. Your post was one of the most well-written I've seen on here for a long time. I hope you keep us up to date as your boys grow and experience FSU football. I was really enjoying your trip to Tally and the Senior Bowl vicariously.



Posted on 2/3 4:57 PM | IP: Logged

Great post! Thanks for sharing. My first year at FSU was 1983. That was Kelly Lowrey's last season with the Noles. Our offense was very exciting to watch. We lost some tough games to Pitt, Auburn, UM, and UF. However, we redeemed ourselves in the Peach Bowl against UNC.

I can't wait to see where Christian Ponder gets drafted in the NFL. He deserves only the best. Class act.

This post was edited on 2/3 5:10 PM by GoinBackToTally



Posted on 2/3 5:02 PM | IP: Logged

Great post. I live in Hattiesburg so I know how you feel. We have season tix so we often stop at Dreamland on Sundays on our way back. You continue to raise your kids right.

Posted on 2/3 5:04 PM | IP: Logged

Thank you, OP. Kelroy and Octoberfest were also part of history setting wins at Ohio State (2), Notre Dame and Pittsburg. They and those teams made Bobby "King of the Road".



Posted on 2/3 5:29 PM | IP: Logged

It's amazing 72. After all the accomplishments of that team, "Octoberfest," being legendary. It was that tough day in gainesville that made me a Seminole. Even when the Noles lose they make lifelong fans.



Posted on 2/3 5:41 PM | IP: Logged

Im a Kelly fan also. My brother was a student at FSU from 83-86 and thats when i started attending games regularly, before that maybe 1 or 2 games a year. Kelly was the man back then and somebody always had a story to tell about him. I met him at a down town get down a couple of years ago for the 1st time in 25 years and it blew me away. I see Kelly around regularly now, he loves FSU.

David is a great guy also. Ive met him, his wife and Christians younger brother numerous times, the family is good friends with JMG. I hope the family keeps coming around after Christian graduates.



Posted on 2/3 5:56 PM | IP: Logged

Great post. The ability to trascend the legacy to the next generation is what makes FSU a family. I had the pleasure of attending FSU during that era and after graduating in '82 I made the trip to Atlanta to watch FSU beat UNC in the Peach Bowl the following year - a frozen Peach Bowl at that...and that was the trip that Sol passed away.

Kelroy, Octoberfest, Paul P, Keith Jones, Monk, Reggie H, Ron Simmons, Wally/Jimmy...the list could go on and on. Two Orange Bowls in a row laid the foundation for what became the dynasty. Thanks guys, you picked FSU up after the Freddie B and Ron Sellers era and you helped reignite a program that created the greatest run in the history of the NCAA. And now the torch has been passed to Jimbo and their children.



Posted on 2/3 6:41 PM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by DukeNole06:
I’ve wanted to write this for a while, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and put all of the pieces together in an intelligible way. It’s long, I know, but I think that at this time in the history of FSU and my own history, it’s something I want to say.

I guess I was always an FSU fan more or less. I had a cousin that was a pretty good player for FSU back in the early sixties. He played a little while for the Chargers, but I have never really known him. I just knew that he played for FSU and that my uncle had gone to school there. We used to listen to games on the radio in the car. We lived in a small town in the western panhandle without cable. And the television we had was a small 13 inch black and white set; so I had never seen FSU play football. Tallahassee might as well have been New York City as far as I was concerned.

But one day late in the fall of 1983, my dad and I were walking through McRae’s in Pensacola. And there on the second floor, they had a color television display. And in colors so vivid and amazing, I saw Florida State play on television for the first time. My dad and I stood there watching for a good long while. It was the Florida-FSU game from 1983. We were getting hammered (FSU, not my dad and I). But I remember specifically asking my dad, “Who is he?” pointing to one of the players on the screen. He told me, “That’s the quarterback, Kelly Lowrey.” Watching that game, watching those beautiful helmets against the artificial green of Astroturf and color TV and I was hooked. Kelly Lowrey became the first college football player I ever really knew about. And even though we lost that game, (sometimes cheaters do win), I became a true Seminole that day. Knowing that Kelly Lowrey and David Ponder shared the field together at Florida State makes the next part of my story all the more remarkable.

My wife and I have two boys, 7 and 5; and we have tried to raise them right, as Seminole fans. But we are stuck over here in Mobile which is within an SEC fortress through which FSU and ACC news rarely penetrates. So I guess it was just a matter of time before my older son brought home a painting he had done at school featuring a football and a University of Alabama pennant. It was time for a pilgrimage.

I had to do something to counter the incessant torrent of SEC indoctrination that permeates the very bones of this community. So, we loaded up and made a road trip to Tallahassee in July. It was about 150 degrees when we got there we were sweating profusely from the moment we parked the car in front of Doak Campbell Stadium. We went inside to the Gift Shop. And while my boys were amazed at the size of the Stadium and all the bricks and Osceola on Renegade out front, the first lesson they learned is why there is no Gatorade in the store?we drink Powerade around here.

We went into the stadium and got to check out the field as they pressure washed the seating areas in preparation for the coming season. Then we took a walk around to the other side of the stadium, into the athletic center to see the trophies. And it was pretty amazing seeing the BCS Championship trophies and the Heisman trophies, the jerseys and other exhibits. I explained who Bobby Bowden was and how Jimbo Fisher was the new head coach.

At the conclusion of our time in the athletic center, we went out to go back around to the other side of the stadium and our parking lot. It was July and Jimbo was hosting one of the football camps that day, so we went to the entrance to the practice fields to peek in and maybe glimpse one of the coaches. And just as we arrived at the entrance to the practice fields, Christian Ponder walked out, hot and tired from working out with receivers. Nearly echoing the words my dad had told me almost thirty years ago about Kelly Lowrey, I said to my sons, “There’s Christian Ponder. He’s the quarterback for FSU.” Christian heard me say his name and stopped for just a minute to talk to me and the boys. It was a short polite conversation; he was excited about the coming year. He shook all of our hands and went on down to the locker room. But from that moment, my boys became fans of FSU in general and Christian Ponder specifically. It was a great day and Christian played a huge part in that.

So, we were thrilled, of course, when Christian was invited to come and play in the Senior Bowl, here in Mobile. My older son and I decided we would go to the game on Saturday, but the whole family was going to go to the Fan Frenzy on Friday night to meet the players. We met and got autographs from a number of great players. But the two who were head and shoulders above the rest were Rodney Hudson, and of course Christian Ponder.

Of all the players we met, Christian was the only one who asked my boys their names. He talked right to them and made bigger fans out of them even than they had been before. In a beautiful bit of poetic justice, standing over Christian’s shoulder, just out of earshot, was a beaming David Ponder. I have thought about the fact that he was on the field that day with Kelly Lowrey the day I became a true FSU fan. And now my sons were given the same gift I was given, and David Ponder is there, too. The Seminole Family is just that, isn’t it?

Of course we were thrilled to be in the stands as Christian won the MVP of the Senior Bowl and we’ll watch excitedly to see where he’ll be drafted so we can continue to pull for the most important FSU player in my son’s lives. We’ve been blessed to watch him play, but even more blessed to know the kind of man he is.

I don’t know if Octoberfest is around this board much anymore, or Kelroy or Christian either for that matter. But I hope they get the opportunity to know how important they have been to the development of new Seminole fans in two generations. Thanks, Guys. You’ve set the bar high for the next generation, but I think they’ll be up for the challenge.



Great post Duke. I attended FSU from 56-61 and would your cousin be Bud Whitehead. He was a defensive back for us then and went on to play for the Chargers. Those days the players played both offense and defense and Bud was a very good player on offense also.

Posted on 2/3 7:58 PM | IP: Logged

Great post. My first Nole hero as a child was Gary Huff. My junior high coach took me and the rest of the football team to see FSU play Houston (we lost that one too) and I followed Gary all the way through his pro career.

I was the same way with Larry Key, so much so that I would watch the CFL games to keep up with him and I'm still a BC Lions fan to this day. It didn't hurt that Danny McManus had a great career there also.



Posted on 2/3 8:11 PM | IP: Logged

My first FSU hero was my cousin, Walt Sumner, in 1967. I was 6 years old and have been a died in the wool Nole since.

Posted from wireless.rivals.com

Posted on 2/3 9:45 PM | IP: Logged

Great post and fantastic story. In my childhood, it was Charlie Ward that truly hooked me into the Noles and football in general. I first started liking basketball and so I got to see Charlie on the basketball court first, and then the football field. He was definitely one of my heroes.



Posted on 2/3 10:11 PM | IP: Logged

I'm 44 now and been a Nole for life. My dad went to FSU in the 60's and my first game was about 13 years old in 1979. My first Seminole hero was Greg Allen. I was there as a kid when he had like 400 all purpose yards against WKU in about 1981 I think. Don't hold me to that but it was early 80s.



Posted on 2/3 10:18 PM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by spirit of sol:
Great post. The ability to trascend the legacy to the next generation is what makes FSU a family. I had the pleasure of attending FSU during that era and after graduating in '82 I made the trip to Atlanta to watch FSU beat UNC in the Peach Bowl the following year - a frozen Peach Bowl at that...and that was the trip that Sol passed away.

Kelroy, Octoberfest, Paul P, Keith Jones, Monk, Reggie H, Ron Simmons, Wally/Jimmy...the list could go on and on. Two Orange Bowls in a row laid the foundation for what became the dynasty. Thanks guys, you picked FSU up after the Freddie B and Ron Sellers era and you helped reignite a program that created the greatest run in the history of the NCAA. And now the torch has been passed to Jimbo and their children.



We never really stumbled for long. After Freddie B and Jingle Joints came Gary Huff. Tom Bailey, Gary Paris and Barry Smith in '71. Took us just 5 years to get back to beating the lizards and then back-to-back orange Bowls. First State of Florida team to do that since the inception of the OB in the thirties.

Just for the record, I became a nole when we forced the lowly lizards into a tie in 1961; in lizardville. Lizard coach Ray Graves said it was "like a death in the family". gaudder tears...nothing sweeter.



Posted on 2/3 10:55 PM | IP: Logged

Been here a long time and that was one of the best written posts I have ever read. Great read and extremely well written.



Posted on 2/4 3:10 AM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by DukeNole06:
I’ve wanted to write this for a while, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and put all of the pieces together in an intelligible way. It’s long, I know, but I think that at this time in the history of FSU and my own history, it’s something I want to say.

I guess I was always an FSU fan more or less. I had a cousin that was a pretty good player for FSU back in the early sixties. He played a little while for the Chargers, but I have never really known him. I just knew that he played for FSU and that my uncle had gone to school there. We used to listen to games on the radio in the car. We lived in a small town in the western panhandle without cable. And the television we had was a small 13 inch black and white set; so I had never seen FSU play football. Tallahassee might as well have been New York City as far as I was concerned.

But one day late in the fall of 1983, my dad and I were walking through McRae’s in Pensacola. And there on the second floor, they had a color television display. And in colors so vivid and amazing, I saw Florida State play on television for the first time. My dad and I stood there watching for a good long while. It was the Florida-FSU game from 1983. We were getting hammered (FSU, not my dad and I). But I remember specifically asking my dad, “Who is he?” pointing to one of the players on the screen. He told me, “That’s the quarterback, Kelly Lowrey.” Watching that game, watching those beautiful helmets against the artificial green of Astroturf and color TV and I was hooked. Kelly Lowrey became the first college football player I ever really knew about. And even though we lost that game, (sometimes cheaters do win), I became a true Seminole that day. Knowing that Kelly Lowrey and David Ponder shared the field together at Florida State makes the next part of my story all the more remarkable.

My wife and I have two boys, 7 and 5; and we have tried to raise them right, as Seminole fans. But we are stuck over here in Mobile which is within an SEC fortress through which FSU and ACC news rarely penetrates. So I guess it was just a matter of time before my older son brought home a painting he had done at school featuring a football and a University of Alabama pennant. It was time for a pilgrimage.

I had to do something to counter the incessant torrent of SEC indoctrination that permeates the very bones of this community. So, we loaded up and made a road trip to Tallahassee in July. It was about 150 degrees when we got there we were sweating profusely from the moment we parked the car in front of Doak Campbell Stadium. We went inside to the Gift Shop. And while my boys were amazed at the size of the Stadium and all the bricks and Osceola on Renegade out front, the first lesson they learned is why there is no Gatorade in the store?we drink Powerade around here.

We went into the stadium and got to check out the field as they pressure washed the seating areas in preparation for the coming season. Then we took a walk around to the other side of the stadium, into the athletic center to see the trophies. And it was pretty amazing seeing the BCS Championship trophies and the Heisman trophies, the jerseys and other exhibits. I explained who Bobby Bowden was and how Jimbo Fisher was the new head coach.

At the conclusion of our time in the athletic center, we went out to go back around to the other side of the stadium and our parking lot. It was July and Jimbo was hosting one of the football camps that day, so we went to the entrance to the practice fields to peek in and maybe glimpse one of the coaches. And just as we arrived at the entrance to the practice fields, Christian Ponder walked out, hot and tired from working out with receivers. Nearly echoing the words my dad had told me almost thirty years ago about Kelly Lowrey, I said to my sons, “There’s Christian Ponder. He’s the quarterback for FSU.” Christian heard me say his name and stopped for just a minute to talk to me and the boys. It was a short polite conversation; he was excited about the coming year. He shook all of our hands and went on down to the locker room. But from that moment, my boys became fans of FSU in general and Christian Ponder specifically. It was a great day and Christian played a huge part in that.

So, we were thrilled, of course, when Christian was invited to come and play in the Senior Bowl, here in Mobile. My older son and I decided we would go to the game on Saturday, but the whole family was going to go to the Fan Frenzy on Friday night to meet the players. We met and got autographs from a number of great players. But the two who were head and shoulders above the rest were Rodney Hudson, and of course Christian Ponder.

Of all the players we met, Christian was the only one who asked my boys their names. He talked right to them and made bigger fans out of them even than they had been before. In a beautiful bit of poetic justice, standing over Christian’s shoulder, just out of earshot, was a beaming David Ponder. I have thought about the fact that he was on the field that day with Kelly Lowrey the day I became a true FSU fan. And now my sons were given the same gift I was given, and David Ponder is there, too. The Seminole Family is just that, isn’t it?

Of course we were thrilled to be in the stands as Christian won the MVP of the Senior Bowl and we’ll watch excitedly to see where he’ll be drafted so we can continue to pull for the most important FSU player in my son’s lives. We’ve been blessed to watch him play, but even more blessed to know the kind of man he is.

I don’t know if Octoberfest is around this board much anymore, or Kelroy or Christian either for that matter. But I hope they get the opportunity to know how important they have been to the development of new Seminole fans in two generations. Thanks, Guys. You’ve set the bar high for the next generation, but I think they’ll be up for the challenge.

Thanks for the kind post. I hate it that my last game was the only one you saw me play in. I was hurt with stitches still in my knee when i came in to play in the 2nd quarter. I did manage to throw a bomb to Jesse Hester but the game was too far gone by then. Wilbur Marshall sacked me later on and busted the stitches making that my last play as a Seminole.
I am fortunate to have played with Octoberfest and meeting his son. I think everyone shares the joy of being a Seminole right now through the sacrifices and work ethic of CP. His parents are wonderful people and i am proud to call them friends.

Posted on 2/4 6:50 AM | IP: Logged

There's not much I can add to what others have said but allow me to express my thanks for such a at post.

DukeNole, hopefully you'll be able to join us at the spring game tailgate. You may be surprised who you have a chance to meet.



Posted on 2/4 7:52 AM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by DFSNOLE:
There's not much I can add to what others have said but allow me to express my thanks for such a at post.

DukeNole, hopefully you'll be able to join us at the spring game tailgate. You may be surprised who you have a chance to meet.



DFS, I might have to impose on you and ask if a fellow Walton county guy can tag along. My 12 year old is already talking about the spring game after taking the bowl trip. I also want to come up to DeFuniak this fall and check out our next great DT.



Posted on 2/4 8:57 AM | IP: Logged

That was a great way to start my day.

BTW, there's another fella who thought that Kelroy was the man back in the day. He coaches a certain football team that we all like to talk about.



Posted on 2/4 8:57 AM | IP: Logged

Great post. Thanks for sharing. Always nice to hear good stories about our guys.

Posted on 2/4 10:01 AM | IP: Logged

wow.....great acknowledgement



Posted on 2/4 10:06 AM | IP: Logged

Great post. I can't wait for my son to get home from school so he can read this.



Posted on 2/4 10:42 AM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by JMGNole:
That was a great way to start my day.

BTW, there's another fella who thought that Kelroy was the man back in the day. He coaches a certain football team that we all like to talk about.



And his own coach said as much at the end of 1982's season, according to Bill McGrotha. "We could be as good as anybody, said Bowden. But how Kelly Lowrey goes, so goes our offense."
Lowrey went very well in '83 until the Arizona State game in Tempe when his knee was injured.



Posted on 2/4 10:50 AM | IP: Logged

Great, great story.

Reminds me of my Dad, bransonfsu71, changing my diapers and da da daing the fight song with Florida State Florida State Florida State. He was at the first FSU game in '47 against Stetson at the old Centennial Field just down on the left from the Capitol. He was three and was there with his three Uncles, one being Frank Pepper, the long time newsman from WCTV.

I remember from the time I can remember, Dad saying, "look, son, there's a gator," when ever we would see one out and about. I learned to find them and point them out to Dad and you should have seen the look on their faces! Dad calls them scum sucking gobs of spit. I can't say on here what I call them but suffice it to say I've learned well from Dad.

I was born in 1980 and in those early years, Mom would take us to Grannies on the day of the florida (no caps - ever) game. It was not wise for little ones to hear what Dad had to say on that day. A particular funny story came from the moonsoon game against them at Doak when Sammy Smith's TD was called back by a phantom holding call by a gator ref.

Dad was in the garage with the door down and listening to the game on the radio. No TV. He went ballistic and started screaming and throwing things around. There was a loud knock on the garage door, Dad opened it and standing outside was the across the street neighbor with two police officers. Clyde asked if Peggy was OK and was everything alright. Dad said it was "the gator game" and Peggy and the kids were at Grandma's. The cops searched the house anyway!

I love FSU with every fiber of my body. I can thank my Dad for that.

As a Tallahassee Firefighter/EMT I have been fortunate to be able to work several games over the last five years. What a joy to be down there on that green grass, with the players and coaches and those thousands of rabid Florida State University fans.

The future looks bright for all the little 'Noles coming up.

Good job, parents!

Posted on 2/4 11:57 AM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by sunset30a:

Originally posted by DFSNOLE:
There's not much I can add to what others have said but allow me to express my thanks for such a great post.

DukeNole, hopefully you'll be able to join us at the spring game tailgate. You may be surprised who you have a chance to meet.



DFS, I might have to impose on you and ask if a fellow Walton county guy can tag along. My 12 year old is already talking about the spring game after taking the bowl trip. I also want to come up to DeFuniak this fall and check out our next great DT.




The more the merrier! email me at dfsnole@gmail.com



Posted on 2/4 12:25 PM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by TFD_101_NOLE:
Great, great story.

Reminds me of my Dad, bransonfsu71, changing my diapers and da da daing the fight song with Florida State Florida State Florida State. He was at the first FSU game in '47 against Stetson at the old Centennial Field just down on the left from the Capitol. He was three and was there with his three Uncles, one being Frank Pepper, the long time newsman from WCTV.

I remember from the time I can remember, Dad saying, "look, son, there's a gator," when ever we would see one out and about. I learned to find them and point them out to Dad and you should have seen the look on their faces! Dad calls them scum sucking gobs of spit. I can't say on here what I call them but suffice it to say I've learned well from Dad.

I was born in 1980 and in those early years, Mom would take us to Grannies on the day of the florida (no caps - ever) game. It was not wise for little ones to hear what Dad had to say on that day. A particular funny story came from the moonsoon game against them at Doak when Sammy Smith's TD was called back by a phantom holding call by a gator ref.

Dad was in the garage with the door down and listening to the game on the radio. No TV. He went ballistic and started screaming and throwing things around. There was a loud knock on the garage door, Dad opened it and standing outside was the across the street neighbor with two police officers. Clyde asked if Peggy was OK and was everything alright. Dad said it was "the gator game" and Peggy and the kids were at Grandma's. The cops searched the house anyway!

I love FSU with every fiber of my body. I can thank my Dad for that.

As a Tallahassee Firefighter/EMT I have been fortunate to be able to work several games over the last five years. What a joy to be down there on that green grass, with the players and coaches and those thousands of rabid Florida State University fans.

The future looks bright for all the little 'Noles coming up.

Good job, parents!



Damn! That's another great story. Thanks



Posted on 2/4 1:13 PM | IP: Logged

I usually do not bother to rate threads, but I am taking the time to 5 star this one.



Posted on 2/4 1:16 PM | IP: Logged

Should be up for post of the year.

Posted on 2/4 1:27 PM | IP: Logged

Thanks for posting. It is terrific. I'm glad you posted here on the club level.

Posted on 2/4 2:03 PM | IP: Logged

DukeNole, is your cousin Bud Whitehead from Marianna? Nice story.

My first recollections are watching Lee Corso, Vic Prinzi, Tom Feamster, Leo Baggett, Ron Schomberger, and others (using my parents' student tickets and siting in the student section full of drunks). They were all bigger than life to a early teen and I was hooked. I'll always remember how hard they played, win, lose, or draw.

Posted on 2/4 2:32 PM | IP: Logged

Yep, Bud Whitehead. My dad used to talk about him all the time. When I was really young I thought Bud was the one we were listening to on the radio.

Posted from wireless.rivals.com



Posted on 2/4 2:55 PM | IP: Logged

Great Post!!



Posted on 2/4 3:11 PM | IP: Logged

Hopefully someone can make sure that this makes its way to Octoberfest & son.

Posted on 2/4 3:17 PM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by DFSNOLE:




Originally posted by sunset30a:





got it, I'll try to get up with you over the weekend or next week. Mine is brad@sunsetbuilders30a.com
Originally posted by DFSNOLE:
There's not much I can add to what others have said but allow me to express my thanks for such a great post.

DukeNole, hopefully you'll be able to join us at the spring game tailgate. You may be surprised who you have a chance to meet.





DFS, I might have to impose on you and ask if a fellow Walton county guy can tag along. My 12 year old is already talking about the spring game after taking the bowl trip. I also want to come up to DeFuniak this fall and check out our next great DT.






The more the merrier! email me at dfsnole@gmail.com

Got it, I will send you one over the weekend or next week. Mine is brad@sunsetbuilders30a.com

This post was edited on 2/4 6:17 PM by sunset30a



Posted on 2/4 6:15 PM | IP: Logged

Great post. I decided to attend FSU when I came to Tally to visit a friend on the weekend of the 1980 FSU-Nebraska game. I remember when FSU upset Nebraska that Tennessee St. went nuts. We went to a prty that night at the "White House" on Pensacola St. and I saw more beautiful girls than I had ever seen in one place. I was sold. I moved up a year later and my first semester saw an old friend from Daytona Beach CC and ended up being roommates with him and some other guys at a house on St. Augustine St. He was a trainer for the football team and over the course of the next few years I got to meet and hang out with a bunch of players from that time. I did attend some parties that David Ponder attended but never really spoke to him more than a few times.

Fast forward to October 2007. My 11 year old son got diagnosed with cancer and was going through treatments. I posted a thread in the LR about it and had someone reply that they had a question. I emailed that person back and it turned out to be CP7's mom. She asked if my son would like an autographed picture of Christian. I, of course, said he would be thrilled. We received an autographed picture of CP's first snap against VT. Christian also wrote a personal get well card to my son. The lift it gave to him was incredible and we will never forget that.


Fast forward again about a year. FSU was going to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. We got tickets and I mentioned something about my son wanting to meet Christian in a thread. David responded and we were able to meet up after the game. My son got a bunch of autographs of his favorite players, spoke with Christian for a few minutes and generally had one of the greatest times in his life. I got to meet Christine and David (again) and talk for awhile about old times. We still keep in touch occasionally. My son is doing fine. He will be entering high school next year and plans to attend FSU School of Communications after that. Sorry for the length of the post but I meant to underscore the fact that FSU is a family. I know my son , Sam, will continue that tradition. Many thanks to the Ponders for giving Sam a real boost when we all were struggling. As far as Kelly, I was at that 1983 uf game. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I always liked Kelly as the QB. I have seen him at a couple of tailgates but haven't gotten up the nerve to introduce myself. Maybe someday. Thanks to the OP for bringing back some great memories and sorry again for the length of my response.



Posted on 2/4 10:15 PM | IP: Logged

Thanks to you Sam and the OP for this one....our program has character and you have so eloquently illustrated examples of why it is truly great to be an FSU fan, alumni or student.



Posted on 2/4 10:22 PM | IP: Logged

This entire thread is a huge WOW! Thank you all for contributing these great personal stories.



Posted on 2/4 11:55 PM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by Joe3490:
Hopefully someone can make sure that this makes its way to Octoberfest & son.


They got it the moment I saw it.



Posted on 2/5 12:06 AM | IP: Logged

JMG: Thanks for sending the Ponders this thread.

There have been a lot of great quarterbacks (Kelly, my Dad loved your ass and said you were one runnin hummin ***).

Christian's Mother and Father can know that they sent a great one here, just like his Dad.

This post was edited on 2/5 3:29 AM by TFD_101_NOLE

Posted on 2/5 1:47 AM | IP: Logged

Wow, if there ever was a "tomahawk" worthy thread. This is it.

My 2 yr old and I won't be watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse this morning. I'm putting on the UF game.

Posted from wireless.rivals.com



Posted on 2/5 7:22 AM | IP: Logged

I would like to add that I believe Warchant itself is an extension of the FSU family. I have met a bunch of great people that have become friends over the past few years on this site. I have had the opportunity to meet some of them in person and I am looking forward to meeting the rest at a tailgate somewhere in the near future. Thanks to Dot, JMG and the rest of the Warchant crew for providing the opportunity for people that have a passion for FSU to get together.



Posted on 2/5 7:25 AM | IP: Logged

I was in the same class as Kelly and David, so I got to see all those home games in person. Good teams, with some tough losses in there. But really fun to watch. Even that in the monsoon against Pitt.



Posted on 2/5 7:47 AM | IP: Logged

Kelly and David were some of the players that inspired me to write Seminole Pride.

This was a great read! Thanks for sharing it with the TCCL crowd.



Posted on 2/5 7:53 AM | IP: Logged

Great stuff as always. Reminds me that I haven't been reading this board enough lately.

This type of post brings back so many wonderful memories, thanks OP. It also makes me excited for the new memories Jimbo and our current/future players are going to make.

It's great to be a Seminole. Go Noles!

Posted on 2/5 8:41 AM | IP: Logged

Thanks to Duke for starting this thread. It’s great to hear the stories that you and others in this thread are telling. Christian, Kelly, I along with most others that have been privileged to play this game, no matter what level, understand that it was and is a privilege. Part of the responsibility that comes with that privilege is realizing the impact that one might have on a young fan. I remember being in awe as a high school senior when I was recruited by FSU and was able to meet the players after the games. Watching Ron Simmons get interviewed while he sat at his locker or seeing that Ken Lanier’s legs were actually the size of my whole body made me wonder if I could ever play the game at that level.

Someone along the line made an impression on all of us that have played the game. Otherwise, none of us would have ever put in the time and effort that is required to play the game. “Paying it back” by taking the time to recognize and appreciate those fans, especially young fans, that support this sport and our school is not to be considered a task but rather an honor. The time to pay it back begins to fade after the last game is played so it’s important to represent well while you are relevant. A funny story… after the Senior Bowl, I was on the field to congratulate Christian. However, he was mobbed and I could not get close so I stood and watched as he was interviewed and then asked by fans to sign. As he walked off the field, I was reflecting on what a wild ride the past five years had been but I was brought back to the moment by a young fan that looked to be around 12 years old pulling on my name tag. He asked me if I was Christian’s Dad. I told him that I was and he asked if I could get Christian to sign a piece of paper that he had in his hand. I told him that Christian had left the field and that I was unsure of when I would see him. He caught me by surprise by asking me if I would sign the paper. After a moment of bewilderment, I asked him, “You know I played, right? “ He kind of shrugged his shoulders and said “No, but I know you’re Christian’s Dad”. I signed his paper happily and even included the “#85”. It had been a while, but I was honored.

Thank you JMG for sending me this thread.

Posted on 2/6 10:00 AM | IP: Logged

Thanks David. Hope you return soon to this board.



Posted on 2/6 2:59 PM | IP: Logged


Originally posted by Octoberfest:
Thanks to Duke for starting this thread. It’s great to hear the stories that you and others in this thread are telling. Christian, Kelly, I along with most others that have been privileged to play this game, no matter what level, understand that it was and is a privilege. Part of the responsibility that comes with that privilege is realizing the impact that one might have on a young fan. I remember being in awe as a high school senior when I was recruited by FSU and was able to meet the players after the games. Watching Ron Simmons get interviewed while he sat at his locker or seeing that Ken Lanier’s legs were actually the size of my whole body made me wonder if I could ever play the game at that level.

Someone along the line made an impression on all of us that have played the game. Otherwise, none of us would have ever put in the time and effort that is required to play the game. “Paying it back” by taking the time to recognize and appreciate those fans, especially young fans, that support this sport and our school is not to be considered a task but rather an honor. The time to pay it back begins to fade after the last game is played so it’s important to represent well while you are relevant. A funny story… after the Senior Bowl, I was on the field to congratulate Christian. However, he was mobbed and I could not get close so I stood and watched as he was interviewed and then asked by fans to sign. As he walked off the field, I was reflecting on what a wild ride the past five years had been but I was brought back to the moment by a young fan that looked to be around 12 years old pulling on my name tag. He asked me if I was Christian’s Dad. I told him that I was and he asked if I could get Christian to sign a piece of paper that he had in his hand. I told him that Christian had left the field and that I was unsure of when I would see him. He caught me by surprise by asking me if I would sign the paper. After a moment of bewilderment, I asked him, “You know I played, right? “ He kind of shrugged his shoulders and said “No, but I know you’re Christian’s Dad”. I signed his paper happily and even included the “#85”. It had been a while, but I was honored.

Thank you JMG for sending me this thread.



Seems to me you're living in the past. Its time to change your name on the board to "Christian's Dad". Great story, I've got some great pics of Christian and my boys, 7 & 12, from the hotel at the bowl game in Atlanta. My youngest even has his #7 jersey with autographs all over it, and Christians right in the middle on the number, hanging on his wall. He's definitely 2 little guys favorite player.



Posted on 2/11 9:08 AM | IP: Logged

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