Oct. 20, 2005
I’ll take this chance to catch you up on what some of the media are saying about Florida State players past and present.
Florida State has more players ( 42 ) in the NFL than any other school this year and a recent story in The Sporting News (10/21) about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers certainly reaffirmed the large number of Seminoles. In the story about the Bucs defense titled “Chain of dominance” Dan Pompei calls former FSU linebacker Derrick Brooks “Mr. Accountability. If you don’t perform, he will let you know.” The story goes on to point out that Brooks and former Virginia star Rhonde Barber “set the bar high for the Bucs. They practice intensely and study with purpose – and they don’t let up in the offseason.”
The story also quotes another Seminole, free safety Dexter Jackson, who says this about the staff in Tampa Bay, “they do a good job of getting people who love football as opposed to people who play football.”
Several newspapers carried the news that former FSU star Warrick Dunn recently contacted his jersey-mate in current FSU running back Lorenzo Booker. FSU’s current No. 28 said that Dunn talked to him about running technique and “vision things” since FSU’s offense is beginning to look similar to the one the Falcons are using. It could be that Dunn felt guilty as well since many North Carolina papers wrote two weeks ago about Dunn striking up a friendship with Wake Forest running back Chris Barclay, who also wears No. 28.
The same October 21 issue of The Sporting News featured a flattering tidbit on Warrick Dunn. In the “Scouts Views” column, which interviews NFL scouts and posts their anonymous opinions, one offered this evaluation of Dunn. “Pound for pound, Warrick Dunn is probably one of the toughest players in the history of the game. He’s a gutsy, hard-charging player who just keeps coming at you. He makes plays when you need them.”
Charlie Ward retired as a player a couple of weeks ago after 11 seasons in the NBA and was immediately hired by the Houston Rockets in an assistant position to head coach Jeff Van Gundy. Ward told Randy Beard of the Tallahassee Democrat that he was particularly proud of the fact that he spent nearly 10 years playing for the Knicks. “To be on one team for almost 10 years when you’re not a superstar that just doesn’t happen.”
With deep regret about giving Sports Illustrated credit for anything good, the magazine did name Bobby Bowden its Coach of the Year over the first half of the season. Speaking of SI, did you see that Time, Inc. settled with former Alabama head coach Mike Price over his lawsuit over the magazine’s story of his firing. I still believe FSU should have filed suit over the many inaccuracies and falsehoods SI published in the “Tainted Title” story.
Have you seen the PGA/NCAA commercials airing with former Seminole Jeff Sluman wearing a Florida State jersey, Chris Dimarco a UF jersey and David Toms an LSU jersey? Pretty good free publicity for the schools and I’m proud to say that at the last TPC Championship, I got close enough to Sluman’s caddy to notice a Seminole head cover on his putter. Nice!
NCAA rules prohibit my inclusion of any stories regarding the recruiting scene, but boy I wish they didn’t.
Back on September 26, ESPN Magazine ran a story called “Filling A Gap” which centered on the Indianapolis Colts’ acquisition of defensive tackle Corey Simon from the Philadelphia Eagles. Simon, who had been tabbed the franchise player by the Eagles, was ranked among the Top 11 defensive tackles in the league according to the story. He continues to work just as hard on his center for under-privileged youngsters here in Tallahassee.
Putting their money where their mouth is. A couple of advertisements in recent magazines show the popularity of the Seminoles hasn’t waned. Sports Illustrated’s outside back cover, which is the most expensive ad in the magazine, for the first week of September was purchased by ABC to tout their college lineup and featured a shot of Bobby Bowden shaking hands with Miami’s Larry Coker. The inside back cover of ESPN Magazine a couple of weeks ago was an ESPN advertisement with two photos on it. One was a Michigan player and the other was Leon Washington.
The football program hosted a crew from ESPN’s The Season over the last couple of weeks giving them an inside look at the program during the Wake Forest and Virginia weeks. The crew shot a number of events including going to class with several players, study hall sessions, etc. One thing the crew asked for was for a few players to ad lib some promos for the network. It turned into a 45-minute laugh session leaving the ESPN producer to remark that our players were the only ones who had pulled this off without having to have scripts written up. The shows aired at 1:00 a.m. the past two Fridays, but will be re-broadcast a number of times on all of ESPN’s 20 zillion networks.
Here’s a bit of inside information. If you have seen ESPN’s College Gameday promotion with Chris, Lee and Kirk riding the Oklahoma Sooner’s wagon and wondered “why can’t they do something with us,” then you should feel better. ESPN contacted FSU this spring (before any of us knew the NCAA issue was going to come up) in hopes of building their promotional advertising in 2006 around FSU’s Osceola and Renegade. However, we turned down the chance because we thought some would misinterpret the script and we didn’t want to put our symbols in a position that might be taken the wrong way. Let’s just say it would have involved Lee taking a ride and that is a visual image that probably would have stayed with us for a long time.
That’s it for now…more on all our sports as the seasons progress.