Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stop the Madness!

A few days ago The Chop Shop posted column on the gap between FSU fans' perception of ESPN as a major 'Nole-hater and the WWL's actual position as a friend of the program. At the time we expressed our appreciation for the good press (the appreciation may have beentough to spot behind the wall of sarcasm), but now they've gone too far...

In Ivan Maisel's column he notes FSU as a potential National Title Game participant, based on the 'Noles underrated D and the lack of a dominant superpower coming into the season. OKAY, HOLD THE PHONE! I've been drinking the Garnet & Gold kool-aid for almost 30 years now, and even I don't think this edition of the Seminoles is a title contender. Next year? Absolutly. But this year, when we're thin in the secondary, the OL is still a big question mark, and we don't know where the pass rush is going to come from? Somebody needs to pry the crackpipe from Mr. Maisel's hand before he hurts somebody.

Don't get me wrong - I love the positive press for FSU. It's a big turn-around from the last couple of years when we've been the target of a flood of (well-deserved) criticism for player misconduct, academic miscues, and sagging on-field results. For the first time in this young century the 'Noles emerged from summer unscathed by injury or embarrassment. A general feeling of good karma surrounds the team and no doubt has influenced the many writers who are calling shotgun on FSU's inexplicable bandwagon.

And yet all of this media-love carries a potentially heavy price. Should the 'Noles wilt in the heat of the Orange Bowl and start off the season 0-1 it will be doubly embarrassing, and possibly psychologically damaging, for a young team that may be getting built up before they're fully grown. make no mistake, this is a young team. The offensive front and the defensive backs need time to get to know each other, and unfortunately their initiations will come against Miami and Clemson in the first month of the season. FSU has a great chance to start out 3-0, but we have an equally good chance to start out 1-2. I'd like to think we could rebound from a rough start but all of this hype could lead to a huge let-down.

Please, Mr. Maisel and all the other neaveau-'Noles out there: give these guys some time to grow up before you annoint them contenders. This team has talent that can take them to dizzying heights, but if they're pushed too far too fast it could all come crashing down. As the immortal genius Pat Morita once said, "first learn walk, then learn fly". These baby 'Noles haven't even started to crawl yet, let alone fly. But given time and just a normal amount of pressure they may yet soar to the top of college football.


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