Why I Simply Can’t Hate Florida State

By Lindsay Ritenbaugh

Before accusing me of being a fair-weather fan, please read this in its entirety.

You may remember my earlier post about how excited I was for Florida Football. Now that the season is over (when most teams are gearing up for their conference championship games), I have had some time to reflect on the 2013 Gator football season. Sure, I’ve been frustrated. Sure, I’ve been disappointed in the way the season progressed. Last year we were 11-2 with a loss to Georgia and a postseason loss to Louisville. This year we were 4-8, losing our last 7 games in a row. Yes, we lost to Vanderbilt. At home. For homecoming. The last home loss to Vanderbilt had been at the end of WWII. Yes, we lost to Georgia Southern, a FCS school. Luckily, I had done my summer internship there so my love for the Eagles and excitement for their monumental win overshadowed my jealousy. Of course, we lost to Florida State, who, by the time you’ll read this, will be ranked #1 in the BCS and headed for the ACC championship game. With a win there, they’ll most likely be in the BCS National Championship in Pasadena.

Chalk it up to bad coaching, injured players, or something altogether different. The Gators have had their worst season in close to 30 years. I could turn my back on Coach Muschamp, like many others, but I won’t. I could share my negativity all over social media, but I won’t. The world has enough negativity already. You’d think I would hate Florida State. Many of their fans have been obnoxious all season, seeing that they haven’t had an undefeated season since 1999 when they won their last national championship. Then I found this on social media:

Humble words spoken by my friend John-Eric, a Seminole. He has been a fan his entire life, and even noted that he remembers the last time FSU was ranked #1 in the polls. He was 13. His posts have been nothing but classy all season, so you can’t help but be excited for them. They’ve earned it. And John-Eric sets the example for his team. Imagine a world where all Florida State fans were like him.

Instead of complaining or making excuses like many Gator "fans" I've encountered, I’ll be grateful to have attended a school that has a football team. Win or lose, I’m still a Gator fan. 

In all kinds of weather we'll all stick together for F-L-O-R-I-D-A!

I accept that I’m an eternal optimist. Sure, it would have been incredible to win every game including the SEC championship. However, Missouri earned their spot in the SEC east fair and square. I watched them beat us from Columbia, as a matter of fact. And for Auburn to take down Alabama in the last second of the game (literally), they also have certainly earned the title of SEC west.

Kid President says it best:

Until next year…

Student Affairs - the First Years

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