In My Life, I Have Watched Florida State Lose More Than Any Other Football Team

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State and I go way back. And even back then, they were losing.

You read that headline and, Syracuse Orange fan or Florida St. Seminoles fan, immediately said to yourself, "Okay, what's this a*****e doing?"

But you know what, it's true. I have watched Florida State lose more than any other college football team.

I have watched Florida State lose a football game more than any other team there is.

I have watched Florida State lose over and over and over and over again.

Quite specifically, this is because I have watched the ending of the November 13th, 1993 game between No. 1 FSU and No. 2 Notre Dame roughly 5,826 times.


If you've read How To Grow An Orange, you know that I grew up a die-hard Notre Dame football fan (again…I'm sorry). I was 15 in 1993, which is roughly the age at which a young American male college football fan reaches saturation point. There was never a point in my life before then that I was a bigger fan and there hasn't been a point in my life when I was a bigger fan since.

I was at that game so I saw that glorious ending live. My mother recorded the broadcast for me on a VHS tape, so when I got home, I popped that sucker into the VCR, watched it, rewound, watched it again, rewound it again and kept doing so until some time in mid-1994.

Here's what I wrote about the game back in 2008...

All due respect to my time at Syracuse University and the many football games I've attended, but I don't think I will ever have a better time than my one and only live Notre Dame experience. #1 Florida State versus #2 Notre Dame on November 13th, 1993. To this day I don't know how my Dad got tickets. Frankly, I don't want to know (I never did see my sister Abigail again). But I do know that when we arrived that morning in South Bend and I walked into Notre Dame Stadium, it was the greatest moment of my life. Seriously, I was 15 at the time and this is how I would have ranked my life up until this point:

  1. Getting Chip and Dale's autographs at Disneyland
  2. Hitting a base-clearing triple to win an All-Star Little League game.
  3. My Bar Mitzvah after-party.
  4. Getting to 2nd base with Judy Smigelski in 7th Grade.
  5. Attending #1 FSU vs. #2 ND in South Bend

If you're too young to remember, you can't overstate how big this game was. FSU was on the precipice of becoming the FSU that you now know and Notre Dame was the mighty traditional powerhouse standing in their way. They were the only two teams in football that year that mattered. It was assumed that no matter who won and who lost they would play each other again in a bowl game anyway cause no one else could match either of them.

Even Bob Costas thought it was a big deal:


Chills, people.

As I'm sure you know, the game was a bit of a classic. I'm sure it seemed that way watching from home. But from the actual stadium? Well...as a young Notre Dame who has never been to a Notre Dame game and gets to watch his team upset the #1 team in the country in a game that came down to the last second? It was, um, enjoyable.

Afterwards my Dad and I walked on the field, past the band and the crazy guy in the kilt and through the tunnel towards Touchdown Jesus. We pass the catatonic Florida State fans on the way out, which only made the experience that much better.

In the years since, FSU fulfilled the promise it showed back then, winning multiple national titles and dominating college football for a solid decade. Now, they're back at that same precipice, hoping to end 2013 the same way they ended 1993 (God damn Boston College…). And once again, my favorite team is standing in their way.

No one's going to confuse Syracuse vs. FSU with that game, and I'm certainly not expecting an outcome resembling it. But my initial foray into rooting against Florida State (who had been, up until then, That Florida School That Sometimes Beat Evil, Evil Miami) reminded me of a familiar feeling. That sense that "this is FSU's time." The belief by many that FSU would walk away with victory. They didn't.

I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

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