Top 10 plays from FSU’s 2014 season

1. Jameis hurdles OKST

There is no comparing this play to any other. This was the most impressive thing that I saw Jameis Winston do this year, physically. I don’t care about his 40-YD Dash time. I don’t care about his vertical. This play tells you all you need to know about the athlete that he is. 



 

2. Smith’s Pick-6 vs UF

Nothing was going right. Jameis was an interception machine. We couldn’t move the ball at all. My phone was buzzing with trolls who I’d talked so much smack to over the year. Leading 9-0, UF was deep in FSU territory. A touchdown would have been huge for the Gators and would have put them up by two touchdowns and two 2 point conversions. However, Terrance Smith and the Noles had other plans. He picked off a Treon Harris pass and took it back 94 yards for a TD. The score was cut to 2 points and the Noles took the lead (and never looked back) shortly after. 





3. Forth down stop in OT vs Clemson

I was more excited after this play than I was after the eventual TD that won the game. When we made this stop on 4th down, with the best kicker in America (yes, I’m looking at you Groza Award Voters) the game was over. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Doak erupt like it did on this play.



4. Lane’s TD vs UL

I still don’t know how this pass made it. But, I’ll just let you try to figure it out. Not a ton to say about this. Crazy luck? Perfect pass and perception by Jameis? God’s Noles? I’m not sure. But, I just couldn’t leave this off the list.



5. Roberto’s GW FG vs BC

It wasn’t the longest kick of his career. It wasn’t even the most difficult (though if you were to ask him, he’d probably tell you that none of them are difficult.) But, it was one of the more important ones. If not, it was the most important kick of Roberto’s career. After a very difficult week for the school, a miserable day weather-wise, and a sluggish second half, Roberto lined up for the potential game winning field goal. Of course, he nailed it. FSU walked away as a winner and Roberto had his first career game winning kick. Oh, and it was his mom’s birthday. So, this was probably the icing on the cake for their family.



6. Strip by Goldman vs Clemson

I was in a state of pure depression. I could not believe that we were about to lose to Clemson. I’d driven 4 hours, had a 4 hour drive ahead of me, and was just miserable. I was sitting down with my head in my lap. I happened to look up and see our guys jumping up and down. When they crowd realized what had happened, pure elation set in. This play, saved the division, the streak, and my (along with most of #FSUTwitter’s) emotions.



7. Dalvin’s GW TD run vs UM

Any time you beat Miami, it’s fun. So, naturally the play that finishes that off is going to be a top play, one would assume anyways. But, what I like the most about this play is the picture (see below) of the absolute carnage that is Miami’s defense. Dalvin and our offense were able to wear them down and this play is evidence of that.






8. Jameis’ Forced Fumble vs UL

We had finally scored to end the first half. It looked like we had some momentum. Then, on the first play of the second half, Winston throws his third interception, and my stomach sank. I figured the game was likely over and he just didn’t have it. But, in one of my favorite Jameis moments ever, he didn’t quit. He hustled back, forced the fumble, and FSU had the ball back. FSU didn’t score on that drive. But, they did on their next two, which got them back in the game. Great hustle play from the leader of the team.



9. Green TD vs NCST

This was one of the neater plays of the season, in my opinion. It’s significance may not be easily recognized. But, after Christian Green’s grandfather had passed away, that notorious Jameis Winston told him, “Christian, I’m going to get you one.Be ready for it.” The touchdown itself was a pretty neat one as well. Green managed to stay in bounds. It was a nice moment for Green and Winston.



10. Nick O’Leary Suplexes UL defender

I’m not sure that this play had huge significance, but it’s just so freaking cool. After a Jameis Winston interception, Nick O’Leary lays the wood on the UL defender with a Suplex. I was so pumped up after this tackle that I didn’t even mind the interception.



Games We Wish Twitter Was Around For

Well, the Twitter-verse was buzzing last night. Klay Thompson sent social media into frenzy with his 37 point performance in the 3rd quarter of the Warriors’ win over the Kings. Klay set an NBA record and he set fire to our phones, laptops, and tablets.
This got me thinking. What did we do before social media when amazing things happened in sporting events? Did we just read about it in the paper the next morning and then chat about it at school, lunch, or the water-cooler? The instant gratification of being able to talk with hundreds of fans about a sporting event is one of the neatest things about social media, Twitter specifically, in my opinion.
So, my immediate question after Thompson’s performance was, “If I could see Twitter’s reaction for any “Pre-Twitter” game, what would it be?” Twitter was founded in March of 2006. So, I posted this question online and got some good answers. In no specific order, here is my list of the top 10 games I’d love to see try to break the internet.

1. Miracle On Ice

On February 22, 1980, the United States defeated Russia to advance to the Gold Medal Game in the 1980 Olympics. “Do You Believe in Miracles” would have probably been trending for the next week. This game was arguably the greatest sports victory in any sport in America. The reaction for this would have been incredible.

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2. The Play

In 1982 Cal and Stanford faced off. Neither team had a particularly great season, but the winner would have bragging rights for another year. After Stanford kicked a FG with less than 5 seconds left, they kicked off to the Golden Bears. 5 laterals later, the band on the field, and one of the greatest sports calls of all time, Cal was in the end zone and had miraculously come away with the win.

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3. The 2004 ALCS

I couldn’t just pick one game here. The meltdown by the Yankees and the comeback by the Boston Red Sox would have been something trending on Twitter all the way through November. You know the story. New York held a 3-0 lead in the series and led in the 9th inning of game 4. The Red Sox won two walk off games in games 4 and 5. Curt Schilling played through a tough injury in game 6 and the Sox blew the Yankees out in game 7. So many things to talk about in this 4 game stretch.

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4. Kobe Bryant goes off for 81 points

I chose this because it was televised. Wilt scored more, but since there’s no live copy of that, it would have been impossible for people to know about it. Kobe’s performance was live for the world to see. Shot after shot after shot just kept falling into the basket. This would have set a buzz that would have been a lot of fun.

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5. The Tuck Rule Game

There are a lot of things about this game that would have made it fun for Twitter. First of all, who doesn’t love a snow game? This game was just short of a blizzard. We all know what happened. Tom Brady pump faked. He got hit and dropped the ball. What was originally ruled a fumble was reversed to an incomplete pass. The Tuck Rule was born. The reaction to this would have been similar to Dez Bryant’s catch which was reversed in the Cowboys/Packers game this year. Madness.

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6. Steve Bartman becomes a legend… for the wrong reason.

If you think about it, Bartman is so lucky that Twitter didn’t exist when this happened. With the Cubs leading 3-0 in the 6th game of the series and 3-2 in that series, Bartman deflected a ball that Moises Alou was trying to catch in foul territory. Just after that, the Cubs scored 8 runs, won the game, and the series. Bartman had to be escorted away and one would think he kept a pretty low profile in Chicago after that event. Steve Bartman would have been trending for all the wrong reasons if Twitter was around.

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7. The “Non” Push-Off

Game 6. Bulls vs. Jazz. Michael Jordan hit the game winner with 5.2 seconds left. There appeared to be a slight push off, but nothing was called. The Bulls held on for a win after John Stockton missing on a potential game winning 3-pointer. So much would be discussed here. MJ’s 6th and final ring. The game winning shot. The non-call on the potential push off. It would have made for some interesting social media for sure.

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8. The 2006 Rose Bowl

It has been dubbed by many as the “Greatest College Football Game of All Time.” The excitement from this game and all of the stars who showed up so big was magnificent. Twitter was created just a few short months later. But, oh how I wish it would have been around as Vince Young ran towards the corner of the end zone and sealed the victory for the Longhorns.

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9. The Choke at Doak

This game was one that many would have probably turned Twitter off early in the 2nd half. But, for those who decided to continue following (live and on Twitter) were in for a treat. Florida led 31-3 heading into the 4th quarter. The complaining from #FSUTwitter would have been some of the worst that we’ve ever seen. But, after the Noles rolled for 28 straight points, the trolling that would have gone on towards UF fans would have been remarkable.

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10. The Shot – Duke vs. UK

The game itself was good enough to spark the energy of Twitter. 200+ combined points. Overtime. Duke. Kentucky. This game was everything you could want as a college basketball fan. Heck, you couldn’t ask for anything more as a sports fan, in general. But, the end of the game would have sent shockwaves through social media. Duke trailed 103-102. Grant Hill’s full court pass to Christian Laettner was caught. There was a turn and a dribble. Then, Laettner hit a shot that will forever be remembered. He sunk the bucket and Duke won 104-103. Two games later, the Blue Devils won the title. But, it wouldn’t have been possible without the heave and the hoop.

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As much as the pain of 59-20 hurt, it will never compare with the joy that 29-0 brought

Let’s be honest. The way it ended was awful. It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. It was anything but joy. Maybe the worst part is that though the score was hilariously out of hand, the Noles honestly had a chance in the game. Missed opportunities in the first half kept them from having a lead going into halftime. Five turnovers in the second half (which led to 34 Oregon points) killed any chance of a comeback. Though the score didn’t indicate it, FSU had every chance in the world to win that game.

But, one loss has never and will never define the Florida State Football team. In all reality, there have been much worse losses in the last several years. But, we won’t be revisiting those today, thankfully.

Instead of the tragic ending, I chose to focus my attention on the other side of 29-1. I tend to be a more positive person. I see the glass half full almost all of the time. In sports, especially college football, I think we focus too much on “What have you done for me lately?” We get too caught up in what is going on right now; to step back and truly appreciate positive that happened.

I, for one, do not fall into this category. I have always thought of myself as pretty level headed, but I don’t even think one needs to be to step back and admire what FSU was able to do. I don’t need to run through the highlights of the last two seasons for you to, once again, be made aware of them. You know what the Seminoles did. You know the records. You know the trophies. You know the championships. You know the fun. You know the good times. You know the hard times. You know the perseverance. You know the winning.

Well, I propose this to you. Great times are head for FSU football; times that will dwarf the hurt that the Rose Bowl caused. But, it goes both ways. Not only will the near future outshine the present, but so does the recent past. So, I leave you with this thought:

“As much as the pain of 59-20 hurt, it will never compare with the joy that 29-0 brought.”

For that, FSU football, we thank you.

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Every winning streak starts with a loss.

November 24th, 2012. That was the date on the calendar the last time Florida State lost a football game. 676 days ago. A period time that feels like an eternity. People have met, gotten married, and started a family in that span of a time. It had been that many days since the Florida State Seminoles had lost a football game. That streak of undefeated days ended tonight. Admittedly, in embarrassing fashion. But, what a streak it was.

29 games. That’s phenomenal. No matter how you slice it, it’s absolutely remarkable. If you are a Florida State football fan that is reading this, you are so lucky to have witnessed this. If you are not a Florida State fan, you can’t deny the greatness of the feat that this team accomplished.

The games were won in a myriad of ways. One year, blowing teams out. The next, struggling weekly, but always finding a way to come away with the victory. Tonight, that wasn’t the case. Tonight, the team who always seemed to find a way to win, couldn’t pull one more rabbit out of their hat.

It is absolutely soul-crushing to lose a game like FSU lost tonight. But, after winning every game for two full calendar years, the loss that ends your run is going to be excruciating.

Let’s be honest, FSU is no media darling. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a team hated or scrutinized as much as the Noles have been over the last couple of years. The off the field issues, combined with how much the Noles have won, and the monster that is #FSUTwitter have led to FSU being vilified by much of the media.

But, I sit here today, and want you to know that I have NEVER been more proud to be a Florida State Seminole. The pain and disappointment are absolutely horrifying. But, we lost to a better team. What can you do? I have no complaints. I am so blessed to be an FSU fan.

I can’t complain about one thing when it comes to FSU Football.  I got to witness 10 of the 29 games we won on the streak, live and in person. I was able to see us welcome back Bobby Bowden before the NCST game last year. I was able to see a primetime beat down of Miami. I got to travel across the country to see my Noles win it all in Pasadena, which highlighted my sports fandom. I was able to take a road trip to Dallas to see my Noles play in Jerry’s World. I got to see FSU win some of the craziest games ever against Clemson and Notre Dame. I watched Jameis Winston’s final 3 home games against UVA, BC, and UF. I saw game #29 in the streak up in Charlotte, which was a wonderful experience.

There were some pretty funny times as well. I got a pretty good kick out of the Gators Jello Troll that even ESPN got in on. The #BlameJameis hashtag was absolutely remarkable. Heck, that one even got picked up by Rolling Stone. #FSUTwitter was a heck of a lot of fun, as well. You all are the best. Lastly, trolling countless haters after FSU wins was almost as good as the wins themselves.

All in all, this sucks. It’s not fun. There’s no joy in it. However, I’m so dadgum proud to be a Florida State Seminole. I’m proud to be a booster. I’m proud to donate money to the program. I’m proud of all of the times that we’ve come out on top. I’m proud of what this school represents. I’m proud of the good things that this team and athletic department do behind the scenes. I’m proud of the things that ESPN, the New York Times, Michelle Beadle, Bill Plaschke, Pat Forde, and all the media hacks try to spin negatively. I’m proud of the character that is represented by our coach and his incredible family. I’m proud of the things that our school does for the Seminole Tribe. I’m proud to wear Garnet. I’m proud to tear up when I hear the Hymn. I’m proud of #FSUnited. I’m proud of #FSUTwitter (usually.) I’m proud to smile big after wins and I’m proud to cry hard after losses. I’m proud of two straight undefeated regular seasons. I’m proud of the number 29. I’m proud of a National Championship. I’m proud of 3 straight ACC Championships. I’m proud of the Heisman Trophy… and the kid who won it. I’m proud of the haters. I’m proud of the fire and the passion that a 20 year old kid played with game in, and game out. I’m proud that Jameis and the rest of the boys brought that swag back to Florida State. I’m proud today. I was proud yesterday. And you can bet your house on the fact that I’ll be proud tomorrow.

A streak ended tonight. But, every winning streak has to start with a loss. A new streak starts in 246 days. Gonna be fun.

As always, GO NOLES!!!

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From 2,723.3 to 1

Twenty-seven Hundred Twenty-three and Three Tenths. That’s a lot. No matter what you’re counting, that’s a lot. Last year, FSU broke the record for points in a season by scoring 723 total points. 2,723.3 dwarfs that number like AT&T Stadium dwarfs Doak Campbell. What’s the significance of that number? It’s the number of miles that my wife and I drove (round trip) to be in Dallas for Opening Night.

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Eighteen Hundred Fifteen. In the year 1815 the Battle of New Orleans happened. My wife and I happened to stop there on our way to Dallas. Here’s a neat picture of us in front of Jackson’s statue in the middle of the square.

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Sixteen Hundred. On Friday night we went to Billy Bob’s for the Seminole Boosters party. We had a great time. We walked outside at one point and saw a huge bull. They were letting people sit on it for $10. Being the sucker that I am, I paid for my wife to do it. The bull weighed roughly 1,600 pounds. Here’s a link of her doing the Chop, while on the Bull.

Fifteen Hundred Fourty-one. Fourteen Hundred Fifty-six. The Amway Coaches Poll (1541) and the AP Poll (1,456) both stayed true in ranking FSU as the consensus college football #1 again for the 2nd week of the season. The team’s quest to go “Wire to Wire” has stayed intact.

One Thousand Eighty. There were times that I found it difficult to watch the football game on the field due to the full 1080 HD screen that hovered over it. This thing is ginormous. I was in awe just beholding it. Look up the word beauty in the dictionary. I’m sure a picture of it will be there.

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Six Hundred Fourty-five. It had been 645 days since FSU’s last loss. (Now up to 649, by the way.) That’s purely a stunning amount of days. (Compare that to 334 days since the team from Gainesville actually won a game.)

Three hundred Seventy. In one of the worst most shaky games of his college career, Jameis Winston was still able to put up his ridiculous video game numbers. He passed for 370 yards. He threw more passes Saturday night than he ever had in an FSU game. His completion percentage was above average but not typical Jameis. However, he shred Oklahoma State’s defense for nearly 4 Benjamins along the way.

Two hundred Thirty-seven. It had been 237 days since the Seminoles had taken the field and matched up against another team. New and old faces alike had worked through a long summer. It was an offseason in which anticipation and expectations were at an all time high. The 7 months and 25 days ticked by ever so slowly. But, as Roberto put toe to leather on Saturday night, all was right in the World again.

Eighty. Time and time again, when FSU needs a big play there is always one player to which they can turn. Rashad Greene came out of this game as, maybe, the brightest spot. He was fantastic. He pulled in 11 receptions for 203 yards. He was targeted 20 times. He had a 51 yard catch and run that sealed the game for FSU in the late stages. Like he did in the Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and Auburn games, he made a big play when it counted most and FSU won.

Twenty-eight. When you’re the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, you’re expected to be perfect all of the time. You don’t get a pass on forced throws. Your mistakes are magnified. Jameis Winston certainly wasn’t perfect. But, this run may have been the most exciting of his career (I know, the Boston College Hail Mary.) I’ll shut up about it and just let you watch. (Winston’s Heisman Run)

Eight. Also at Billy Bob’s we got a chance to see Tracy Lawrence. I’m a big country music fan so this was pretty neat to me. Tracy has had 8 number one hits in his career. He sang all of them on Friday night.

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Six. (This one is non-FSU related, so don’t kill me #FSUTwitter.) As you know, we did a road trip for this game. We stopped in New Orleans for a day. After leaving New Orleans, we decided to stop by LSU in Baton Rouge, which was about an hour away. Cara and I were in so impressed with Mike the Tiger. It’s the Sixth one they have had there. If you’re not familiar with his story, I’d suggest Googling it. Very neat. Here are a couple pictures of our time there.

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Five. While in Dallas, you have to EAT. They had some wonderful food. One of the more interesting places we stopped to eat was at a gas station called Fuel City Tacos. They had 5 different flavors, so we got all of them and split them. (Do it Big, right?) They were very good. Definitely suggest it if you’re in the area. (Also, another great place to eat is Joe T. Garcia’s. It’s in Fort Worth. They had some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life. Try it for sure.)

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Four. In Dallas, there is a mall called the Galleria. It’s a pretty neat mall that has 4 stories. It’s sort of high end. We really just went so that my wife could go ice skating. She’s a real champ at it and I’m….. well, I’m a great cheerleader.

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Three. The first thing we did in New Orleans was go to breakfast. This is another absolute must if you are in this city. We went to Café Du Monde for their beignets. OH. MY. GOODNESS. These were phenomenal. They were fried perfectly and then covered in a mountain of powdered sugar. They bring you 3 in a serving. But, I probably could have eaten 7 or 8 of them. So good!

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One. Saved the best for last. One is for so many things. First, one step down; one step closer to our ultimate goal. One is for the first trip to Dallas, but hopefully not the last. One is for Florida State’s current ranking in the polls. But, most importantly one is for 1-0. We came, we saw, we conquered. The Tampa to New Orleans to Dallas road trip was a successful one.

(Here are some other pictures from the trip that I figured I would share with you all.)

Fort Worth Stock Yards

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Got out to College Gameday when it was still dark outside.

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The College Gameday Crew.

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Massive Stadium

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Gosh, she’s so hot!

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Thanks for reading!

Go Noles,

TJ Pittinger (@TJ_Pittinger)