After the Pitt game last weekend, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson discussed how fast college football teams have to forget about the game just played, pivot, and focus on the next one. He talked about how the press, just two days after the big victory over Pitt, would start asking him how he and his coaching staff were going to stop Florida State from scoring “80 points.”
Yes, I’m wondering.
Some of you may remember in 1995 when Florida State annihilated Wake 72 to 13 – the largest margin of victory in any football game between the two schools. There’s been a bevy of blowouts over the years. In 2013 Florida State whipped Wake 59-3, and the year before 52 to zero.
Tomorrow the fourth-ranked unbeaten Seminoles are favored by 20 points. Tonight on ACC Network Mark Packer and E. J. Manuel previewed tomorrow’s game in a blatantly biased fashion. For the entire segment, they talked about how great Florida State is and spent exactly not one second saying anything about Wake Forest, the only team in the world that has beaten Florida State the last three times they’ve played.
This got me picturing the scowling Florida State Indian riding the horse with the flaming spear all afternoon tomorrow. If Florida goes for 70+, this rather unsettling mascot/rider will have to whip that horse to run up and back across the field every time Florida State scores a touchdown sort of like the Clemson cheerleaders who had to do 82 pushups when they beat Wake 82 to 24 in 1981.
Vegas wizards and every other expert expect the Seminoles to score a dizzying number of touchdowns tomorrow – let’s say 10 for easy rounding. Watching this will be annoying enough, but just think about the immaculately manicured football field getting chewed up by the horse’s four hoofs.
The grounds crew should assemble tonight a rubber mat the horse can scamper around on to protect the beautiful Wake Forest football field. The horse will be so busy it will hardly have time to rest. Anticipating the whipping, groundskeepers have set up a portable horse’s stable on the Florida State sideline where the horse – let’s call him Winded — can lurk, drink water, and stay cool in between all the public sprints up and down Allegacy Field as Wake football fans watch with dejection and dismay.
So here we are, the night before the Florida State obliteration of Wake Forest in which they’re going for the all-time blowout. The goal is to put up at least 73 or 83 points and shut out Wake.
Tomorrow starting at 4 pm you’ll be reminded of this carnage on the lower part of your TV screen with jarring headlines along these lines: Florida State, 73, Wake Forest, nothing.
FSU exterminates WFU
Florida State demolishes Wake
Seminoles Attend a Wake in Winston-Salem
I don’t want to read this on my TV screen tomorrow. You don’t either. I want Mark Packer and E. J. Manuel to see a different score, one in which Wake Forest has a higher number than Florida State when the clock strikes midnight.
I want everyone who thinks they’re sure they know Florida State will win to be humbled shocked and flabbergasted by what happens tomorrow. I want ESPN, ABC, and the ACC Network to blast the headline on the TV that Wake Forest shattered Florida State’s undefeated season and a real chance at a national championship. I want them to all take notice of Wake Forest for being a clutch, formidable football team, a reputation earned over the past several years that suddenly has vanished.
I don’t want the narrative to be that Wake Forest is like the old Wake Forest, losing football games as a routine way of life. I don’t like them thinking what they’re thinking: They had a few good years but that run is toast.
No, I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to see that. That stings like you’ll never know. It’s not what I want. I am sure of little. I am sure of this.
At 3 pm tomorrow I want to feel up, exhilarated, high on life, craving a Fanta Grape Soda and Hires Root Beer.
I want a win. Wins aren’t everything but they’re close to everything. Losing is awful almost always. Almost winning isn’t winning.
Florida State isn’t a higher education institution I have anything against. It’s also not what I am for. It is a football team from Florida, one of many. It’s like a steel railing, nothing I think about much.
Wake Forest is where I spent four years of my life that changed how I see the world, how I approach life, what I think about, what philosophies I embraced, what post-graduate education I pursued, and what I ended up doing and being.
Wake Forest is what made me who I am today, with all the flaws and idiosyncrasies, strengths and biases obsessions and insecurities, and desires to uplift and make people stop being cruel to each other.
One of the biggest of all these obsessions is Wake Forest football. It’s not something that’s particularly healthy or advisable. It’s something a bit beyond my control. An emotional powderkeg that lurks somewhere in my soul probably forever.
But it is real.
It’s the truth.
This too is true. Tomorrow Wake Forest will beat Florida State for the fourth consecutive time and that will uplift my soul. You don’t believe what I am writing.
But I believe.
It’s all we have, yet all we need.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out
Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
- NCAAFNovember 28, 2023America’s Best Party School: Bowl-Bound James Madison U
- BonusNovember 24, 2023Full Throttle Changes – Everywhere All The Time
- BonusNovember 23, 2023Sportface Earns Pile of Post-Season College Football Awards
- BonusNovember 22, 2023At Syracuse, Sportface’s Successful Season to be Celebrated