One week from tonight we will open the 2005 football season, in Tallahassee, against the University of Miami. To begin that night, we should pause to reflect on all that we have to celebrate. Given the recent events of the past few weeks, we should begin with the fact that we are, and will remain, Seminoles. This is a privilege we have treated with respect, honor and appreciation. Our relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is very well documented and one which we value tremendously. As much as we have all worked collectively to demonstrate our appreciation, honor and respect in that regard, I hope that every single person who attends the opening game against Miami on Labor Day night will take his or her respect to an unparalleled level.
On this night, when Chief Osceola and Renegade make their pre-game ride, the emotion should be tangible. That, in itself, will speak volumes about the passion, spirit and heartfelt pride that accompanies being Seminoles. Our institutional identification has been preserved and we should all react to that fact with more dignity and honor than ever before.
Our facilities evoke pride in our alumni, current student-athletes, faculty, students and fans. We are members of a twelve-team conference whose image epitomizes class and success; in the classroom, through a genuine priority on time given back to service within our respective communities and regions and within the lines of competition. Although the journey is far from over, we have come a long way. Far enough to pause and celebrate who we are as a new academic and athletic year gets underway.
Participate in the collective emotion which will be present on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium before the Miami game begins. Celebrate our progress, our passion, our tradition and our namesake symbol. Feel more pride than ever before in being a Florida State Seminole and treat that prerogative, and those who granted it, with utmost honor and dignity. Finally, let this emotion provide the type of home field advantage that is such a key component in any significant victory. Let the Hurricanes know that there are over 73,000 Seminole fans in that crowd of 83,000 plus.
Director of Athletics