When we made the decision to move to Florida, one thing we were excited about was football! John Carroll has a football team, but... we never went to a game and we never really heard about it. We meant to go to a game, but it never worked out and we didn't really care because we didn't know any of the other teams (plus you had to pay).
Here, you can't walk out your front door without being bombarded by garnet and gold. Seminole football is a BIG thing in Tallahassee, and it doesn't hurt that Florida State won the National Championship game last year. It seems like every car has a bumper sticker or license plate cover and every other person is wearing FSU team apparel or colors. I'd even be willing to bet that there are an unusually large amount of garnet colored cars. It's big stuff here.
Carson gets a free student ticket and can purchase a guest ticket for about $10 for most games. The Clemson/FSU game is an exception because it's such a popular game, so we planned to spend the game in a sports bar, watching. Then, a professor in Carson's department offered his season ticket, which we eagerly snagged the morning of the game.
Carson attended the first home game two weeks prior to this one and it was easy for me to drop him off and pick him up, but since this is a big game, we weren't sure how parking was going to work. The game wasn't until 8, but somehow, Carson talked me into going to the school at FOUR to find a parking spot. I convinced him to at least TRY in the student parking lot that's near his department and what do you know? One spot left. Of course that lot was over a mile from the stadium, but a spot is a spot.
We hung out in his office and around the religion department for a solid hour and a half before making our way to the Doak Campbell Stadium. Plenty of people watching to be seen. Tailgating, bands suiting up for the game... it was a very festive atmosphere.
We decided to go find seats at 6pm when the stadium opened, since student seating is first-come, first-serve. My ticket wasn't a student ticket, but I used it to go in, then sat with Carson. It began to drizzle as we were standing waiting to get in.
So, we made our way up (I need to run these steps sometime. Ouch.)
And here we are, directly in front of our seats, proving Carson's point that being early is better than being on time.
Lots of pre-game pictures, because there was a lot of time before the game. Carson took all of these. It was fun watching the recruits for next year walking around on the field with their families, seeing the players warm up, looking around at the people around us, wondering what it's like to be a freshman at a HUGE school like this (the year we got to Moody, the student enrollment was a whopping 200).
Taking a picture with these glittery guys is apparently one of the things you MUST do before graduating. Anyone else wondering if they have leftover glitter in their ears all semester?
Everyone does the "Tomahawk Chop" basically the entire game (and it's fun but gets old after awhile)
After the coin toss, "Chief Osceola" rides out and plants a flaming arrow in the middle of the field to signal the start of the game.
All the people on the field were fun to watch, and to wonder "why are THEY there? who ARE they?"
When FSU scores, Chief Osceola prances around in the end zone. He also hangs out just behind it on his horse the entire game.
Halftime - first Clemson's band played
Then FSU's band played.
Then more football.
It was a close game, and not a very pretty one. We weren't planning on staying for the whole thing, but when they were neck-in-neck, we had to. I don't think anyone left. The game went into overtime, and Florida State finally won with a touchdown.
We stopped by Carson's little office space (he shares an office with the other assistants here) to make sure he hadn't forgotten something.
And then we got home at two in the morning. It was exhausting but so fun. And we had headaches from all the screaming in our ears. Ow.