Hey everyone, I want to write a brief history of my Florida St. fandom, illustrate why things will be different with Boise St., and then make a proposition.
As several of you know, I grew up in Central Florida as a Seminole fan. I am originally from Texas and had only been a fan of the pro game and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys up until that time...I had no CFB team I rooted for. In Florida, I sided with my Dad in rooting for Bobby Bowden's Seminole team over Jimmy Johnson's Hurricanes even though my Grandfather (Dad's side) lived in Miami at the time, and was a Hurricane fan.
This began the process of what I would value in a CFB program. Bowden was a family centric, classy guy who prioritized human development over player development, treated opposing teams with respect, and favored a balanced offensive approach. Johnson was brash, used a plethora of psychological tools to push his guys and destroy the other team's will to fight, and favored the big play. Later, it would be an awkward transition for me as Jerry Jones fired a legendary, stand up coach in favor of the guy who led my CFB team's arch nemesis.
When I joined the USAF in 1995, and left Florida, the internet was one year from its genesis point. As I moved from country to country, keeping up with the Seminoles became more difficult, despite the fact they were dominating CFB. But I could still maintain a basic grasp of how they were doing via sports magazines, CNN/SI, and the rare opportunities I had to see them on TV (I watched the Noles win their 2nd National Title against Mike Vick's Va. Tech Hokies at about 3AM in Italy and went to work the next day).
As the Noles slipped into the Lost Decade, however, news coverage from the national media steadily slipped to nothing. Within a couple years, I knew the names of les than half the roster. When FSU played Oklahoma, I was shocked at Oklahoma's defensive dominance because I was, frankly, a poorly informed fan of the sport. SB nation, and sports blogs in general, didn't exist at that time.
It has taken me four years of consistent reading of sites like Tomahawk Nation to reestablish a knowledge base for the team and, thereby, reignite my fandom. Prior to last season, I was aggravated with how vanilla the Nole offense was, but I was also getting more and more acquainted with how the program was being run. I was lucky to have really hit my stride in that understanding as all the pieces came together and the Seminoles exploded back onto the national scene last season.
So, what does this have to do with Boise St.? Well, because of sports blogs and internet sports streaming, I can now stay in touch with a team, and it's community, no matter where I am. When I went TDY to Guam, I was able to continue discussing Bronco football here on OBNUG, as well as watch the actual games (either on cable or on my tablet).
And that's why I think this will be different. Next summer, I will retire from the USAF. I am really looking forward to this next step and I already have my plan in place. I will be moving back to the east coast, to Lynchburg, Va., and attending college full time at the actual school. I know what I will be majoring in, and my situation going forward is just about perfect for me as an individual. I am grateful for the fact that sites like OBNUG exist, so I can keep in touch with both the program's development, as well as the community as a whole. These are the tools that make long distance fandom possible and at least in the same ballpark as local fandom.
I am not certain yet, but sometime in the Spring/Early summer, I am entertaining the idea of organizing an OBNUG meetup at the Ram, like Senior Chief has done in the past. I would probably do this post Spring Training so we have some fresh things to discuss along with sharing opinions on Harsin's first season. It may not happen at all, I'm not making promises...we'll see what circumstances look like at that time. But it is on my mind and I wanted to give the heads up to everyone.