I worked a 14-hour day last Saturday. That’s nothing for this fifty-year old who spends most of his time either walking the numerous, lush golf courses of Central Florida or on his feet graciously serving the thirsty patrons of Tampa Bay’s historic Ybor City.
This Saturday, however, was different than most as it was Florida State University’s annual, pre-football season pub crawl.
Prepare thyself for whiskey was poured.
Five thousand strong, garnet-and-gold clad Seminole fans took to the Ybor City streets (or more accurately watering holes) to celebrate the fact that football season is finally upon us. As you might imagine, that many drunken Seminole fans strolling in and trolling out of different bars was a sight to see… or avoid depending on how you look at it. For this Gator fan, hearing that unmistakable war chant all day long made me sad I didn’t pre-invest in cotton balls… but duty called.
It was Seminole-ly appropriate that on that very same day, former Florida State phenom and two-time US Open Champion Brooks Koepka secured a healthy lead at the PGA Championship, shooting a third-round 66. Koepka would go on to win the tournament twenty-four hours later, holding off a charging Tiger Woods. Similarly, Seminole fans that attended the pub crawl would spend their Sundays holding off their charging, tiger-sized hangovers.
The annual crawl turned out to be a relatively peaceful endeavor. There were no altercations or at least none that I saw. Sure, there were a few sleepy, leaning ‘Nole fans who could barely speak after pounding car bomb after subsequent car bomb but that was to be expected. My able-bodied security staff reported no fights and more importantly, no urinal vomit, which is always a plus.
Of course, peaceful coexistence would have been impossible had the Florida Gator pub crawl taken place in the same area on the same day. Fortunately, the organizers of these two events know better than to coordinate the pub crawls of these two fierce rival schools in the same part of town on the same weekend. The hatred runs that deep. The Gator pub crawl generally takes place in South Tampa, miles away, the following weekend only after the dust has settled from the previous one.
So, where’s does the Cane joke fit into all this, Chump? I thought you’d never ask.
For eight hours straight, my crew and I served drink after garnet-colored drink to thirsty football fans. On one of my random, few-and-far-between pee breaks, I ran into an older gentleman in the restroom. He was visiting the area for the first time, completely unfamiliar with his surroundings and confused as to why so many Seminole fans had overtaken the bar. I explained to him what I just told you guys, that it was their annual, rather rowdy kick-off-to-football celebration and that Florida Gator fans planned their similar drunken bar tour on another day on the other side of town.
He replied that that was a good thing as Tampa didn’t have that many jail cells.
Without hesitation, I replied “That’s because they’re all overtaken by Miami Hurricanes fans.”
Surely, I jest… sort of. Miami may have earned that reputation let’s be honest, under Urban Meyer Florida had enough arrest reports to throw a ticker tape parade and Florida State will always be known as Free Shoes University. The three Florida powers are equal opportunity offenders.
The point is that said pub crawl, in all its obnoxious garnet-and-gold and even more heinous chants, reminded me just how much I, strike that, we, are enamored with college football. And there’s nothing like a little college jostling and a whiskey shot or two to ring in autumn in full cheer.
Welcome back, college football. We’ve missed you.
Urban Meyer is on paid leave of absence ? Damn !!!! 🙂 .. 🙂
Thank god for football season
Never a good category 5 around when you need one
Two gators were sitting at the side of the swamp near the lake. The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, “I can’t understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We’re the same age; we were the same size as kids. I just don’t get it.”
“Well,” said the big gator, “what have you been eating?” “Football fans, same as you,” replied the small gator.
“Hmm…..Well, where do you catch them?” “Down the other side of the swamp near the parking lot by the State Capitol.”
“Same here. Hmm…. How do you catch them?” “Well, I crawl up under one of their cars and wait for one to unlock the car door. Then I jump out, grab them by the leg, shake the sh*t out of them and eat’em!” “Same here.” says the big gator. “Do you eat home team or visiting players?” “I eat the home team players” says the little guy.
“Ah!” says the big gator. “I think I see your problem. You’re not getting any real nourishment. You see, by the time you finish shaking the sh*t out of a Florida State fan, there’s nothing left but an a**hole and a cell phone.”
As of yet, still no word on Meyer, Al, but you and I both know he’s gonna get away with this.
We’ll see if Durkin does too?
John Lane comes on and leaves these cryptic messages… almost as much as he does in person.
Is anyone supposed to know what that stands for, sir? Please enlighten us.
It’s getting close, bud.
I’ll be up there for a game this season. I’ll let ya’ know soon which.
Well said, Bleed.
I’m sure you feel the same way when the Celtics fans come to town.
I neglected to tell that joke at the pub crawl.
For good reason.
Hate me some Celtics and their fans. I went to the game at Staples last year. Saw so many green #11 jerseys that I wanted to puke on my Pumas. Felt like a foreign invasion of my church.
Great game though. Kyrie and Kuzma both went ape shit in the 4th. Kuz had the best assist of his life which was the momentum shifter in the game….
Nothing better than seeing those punk ass trolls rocking the hideous green C’s gear leave our house with a big fat L.
Hope to see many more classics from these two franchises. Now that The King is in P&G and Boston looks to be the next powerhouse in the East, maybe we’ll get some more Laker/Celtics Finals match ups in the next few years.
Sucks to be a life long Buckeyes fan
thought we’d be rocking with Urban Meyer
should of watched closer which ‘health’ reasons
drove him north in the first place
(6th time is the charm)
(dang does that mean I ‘have’ to cheer for LeBoner?)
When everyone today says LeBron is playing chess, I wonder what moves L.A. (and he and Magic) have planned for the future? Kawhi? Klay? Would he leave what they’ve built in Oakland?
What would it take for L.A. to finally topple this Golden State team?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Most people have L.A. finishing fourth in the West this year. Is that where you put ’em? I think that might be a little high.
Either way, even from this impartial observer, as weird as it will be to see LeBron in that purple and gold, it’ll be good to see that team relevant again.
You must be stoked. Let me know how many times you catch him this year.
Sucks to be a lifelong Buckeyes fan?
How’s that exactly? They’re consistently one of the top programs in the nation.
Even with all that’s going on now, I don’t know of anyone who would say you guys have had it all that rough.
The west is strong as usual so 4th or 5th this year sounds about right. I’m not expecting anything except competitiveness. My assumption is somewhere between 45 to 55 wins depending on how quickly they mesh. As long as they make the playoffs, I’m happy.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they make some noise in the playoffs either. Barring injury, they should have a full season together which should be enough time to gel. Dare I say, they could steal a ring this year?
Yes. I dare.
Would I bet money on it?
Yep. Hitting Vegas in early October to drop my Benji on them as usual.
Do I believe they will, no…But like Red says in Shawshank, hope is a dangerous thing.
Next year we go hard after Kawhi. Might even trade for him at the deadline if we can. Other targets include KD, Klay and possibly Boogie if he bounces back from that bum ACL. Jimmy Butler may also be a nice option too. Depending on what happens up the 5 freeway, we may be able to topple GS as early as next season….But again, I’m not holding my breath. KG said it best, anything is possible.
I won’t be paying for tickets, but family and the boss have come through many times in the past, so we’ll see.