Agent Johnson: [Whooping as their helicopter buzzes along just above street level] Just like fuckin’ Saigon! Eh, Slick?
Other Agent Johnson: [grins back] I was in junior high, dickhead!
There I was, watching the Team USA v España gold medal game when a commercial break happened upon me. Being all popcorn-brained and whatnot because of iPhones and Twitters or whatever, I had to find something else to watch. Lo! and behold! FSU’s spring game was on ESPNU. I have a weird affinity for Florida State mostly because they were good in the 90s when gained sports consciousness. I made this known The Woman and proceeded to explain how, exactly, I came to have this affinity.
I’ll save you the 35 minutes and hit the high points:
-They were good.
-They were on TV quite a bit.
-They had former and future NFLers.
-Most awesomely, they ran four and five-wide sets that I didn’t see often enough in the NFL. I wasn’t around for the Run ‘N Shoot heyday nor did I watch much Buffalo Bill K-Gun. I just knew handing Emmitt Smith the ball 135 times a game.
Anyway, my first years of watching college football were in those late-90s, Ricky Williams/Major Applewhite days. Before that, I only watched a sprinkling of the big games like OSU-Michigan, Bowl games, Wide Rights, Joe Germaine and Stanley Jackson at OSU, and Jake Plummer at ASU.
I remember these things and they influence my perception of current college football (no shit). I finally understand what all the baby boomers were yapping about. I’m sure if I am honest with myself I probably want UNT to recreate teams that I grew up watching. It is hard to shake the feeling that the way things were when you first encountered them should always be that way. Also, you try to relive some of those (amazingly awesome) memories with people and you just get blank stares like Agent Johnson (no, the other one) in Die Hard.
Well, after briefly rattling off some names of FSU greats, I took to youtube to watch a clip or a hundred of said awesomes. Amazingly, I found this:
What is that, you ask? Well, that is just the greatest college football game that I had seen. Florida State’s defensive line was football evil. They were sack monsters and struck fear into the hearts of quarterbacks. I had seen QBs evade the rush and scramble for a few yards before (Stanley Jackson, Steve Young, Randall Cunningham) but I hadn’t seen a guy do what Mike Vick did (and does). It was awestruck. The dude was amazing. This is why I am still a fan of the guy, dog-murdering be damned.
Also amazing? Peter Warrick. You might know him as NFL-bust and erst-while Dillards bargain hunter. I know him as the guy with the awesome entrance to this game, a returner extraordinaire, and catcher of game-sealing passes. We probabaly should have known he wasn’t going to pan out in the League based off his poor showings in Big Games (two one-catch games before this one).
This game was my favorite game of all time until both VY Rose Bowls. Enjoy, Slick.
**BONUS — There is a preview for the Bills-Titans game on Jan 8 2000 that would come to be known as the Music City Miracle.