The following is in a series of road-to-CFB trials for live Game Day experiences in stadiums across the country:
Florida State Football Game Day exudes tradition and distinction. The atmosphere is emotional, hostile at times and sexy as hell.
Sold crowd demolishing the house!
#9 Notre Dame 41, Florida 38/or T
There is a strategy when finding a Florida game to go to. The Seminoles are a historic force in college football, but they’ve had better seasons lately. When expectations are not met, FSU fans spin fast. This results in a dissipated crowd and a less than exciting atmosphere.
That’s why I chose Opening Weekend to hit Doak Campbell Stadium. First, I was already in the area (ish, southeastern US) and my pre-season analysis of the ‘Noles told me they would struggle again.
The stars lined up with this game – the game was held on a rare Sunday (the NFL hasn’t started yet) and Florida was the host of the top 10 Notre Dame teams. Tickets weren’t cheap, but $110 was a decent price to pay for the seat and conditions. Even before kickoff, I got my money’s worth.
Florida Football Game Day: Arrival
I headed to Tallahassee after my parents got home from Charlotte. The seven-plus hour flight passes through some wonderful, rural American land. I mostly avoided highways, choosing to take the Georgia state highways through Macon rather than get to Jacksonville. It only adds a few minutes, avoids any rush hour bullshit, and I can’t recommend this route enough.
One thing to know about Florida State Game Days: Parking is an absolute nightmare. If you’re not ready to go several hours before kick-off, tail holders snatch every available spot. Don’t park on the side streets – although the signs don’t tell you, your car will be towed to make way for team buses (I asked an officer). It circled about 40 minutes.
Easiest parking in the Capitol, which cost me $2 in full. It’s a walk and a half, but it’s cheap and getting out is a lot easier.
before the match
Although Florida is in the ACC, they celebrate like an SEC school. The back gates are noisy, widespread and exciting. Greek Housing Stroll from the Capitol to Doak Campbell and you’ll get the full experience of what these parties look like. I didn’t participate this time, but if you get the chance, make sure you take part in the first game.
There are plenty of things to see and do around the stadium itself. The most popular place to take pictures on campus – probably in the nation – is the unconquered statue on the southeast side of the stadium. Lines often form, so you have to wait for your turn, but it is 100% worth it.
Group walking tours are so much fun and I try to make everything I can – indoors and out. I’ve seen plenty of greats along the trip, particularly Mississippi, but Florida falls into the elite class. Hundreds of fans gather to watch their team enter the stadium. He was among the crowd preparing for the team’s march ESPN’s Marty Smith. He is a friendly and attractive person who asked about the trip.
I think he likes now?
Another statue to note around Doak Campbell Stadium is legendary coach Bobby Bowden. Bowden sadly passed away in the off season. Flowers and tributes were placed around the statue, a truly remarkable gesture from FSU followers who watched Boudin lead the Seminoles to patriotic prowess. More on Bobby later.
Florida State Soccer Game Day: Doak Campbell Stadium
Fun fact, Doak Campbell Stadium is the largest brick structure in the world. This is a well designed facility with the most spacious concourse outside the grand house I have visited. Lobbying is often an overlooked but very important piece of the stadium. Crowded meetings with records can lead to frustration and loss of game activity. For examples of this, see Ohio and Georgia.
The stadium is not that gigantic for a facility, so crossing to the “upper floors” is not difficult. Like a few other venues — Michigan Stadium, Rose Bowl, Jones AT&T Stadium — Doak Campbell chooses to build rather than build. It gives the whole place a much more intimate feel even though it sits close to 80,000.
It epitomizes the state of Florida, with a canopy unique to the southeastern tip region. Overall, it’s a polished and functional playground.
Osceola head and spear plant
Go to follow
Florida has a pair of my favorite traditions: the controversial piece of tomahawk and Chief Osceola’s spear plant. The live mascot of FSU and his horse in midfield as the horse pats on his hind legs and Osceola surely sticks his spear – over a terrifying fire, mind you – in the midfield logo with BOOM echoing! from the crowd.
Moving away from the problematic depiction of Native Americans in sports, Florida’s lore remains constantly under the microscope. There are differing opinions about the piece of tomahawk and its meaning, but the way the indigenous culture in Florida is portrayed could not be further from the offensive. You don’t have fans wearing headscarves or chanting stereotypical “Indian chants”. It’s a strong tribute and a weak point for some, but I really think it’s done really well here.
Florida Football Game Day: The Weather
electrical. explosive material. Sometimes hostile. tension. Thrilling.
I won’t go into the masses in detail, but it was a riotous group. FSU fans bleed a chestnut and tell everyone about it – especially for Notre Dame fans. You could have fooled me that the rivalry between Florida State University and Notre Dame runs as hard as the rivalry between Florida State University and Florida. Some hateful words have been exchanged in this game.
Don’t bring your kids and I’m not being frivolous at all.
What led to it, was the loudest I’ve ever played in my life. LSU, Penn State, and Texas A&M claim the highest stadiums in the world and that’s definitely backed up by my experience, but I’ve never heard escalation sounds louder than in this game.
Jason Corbin ran back by a 90-yard drop and the place got very noisy, and my ears were trying to dampen the noise. It causes headaches in the best way imaginable.
Florida has lost an absolute heartbreak in overtime after erasing a massive deficit. McKenzie Milton, the former UCF star who hasn’t played football in two years due to one of the worst knee injuries I’ve ever heard, has made a triumphant comeback. The game itself rarely steals the show for me throughout this trip, but Florida State v Notre Dame did.
Everyone in the sports world knows who Bobby Bowden is and the lasting impact he has had on college football. This was Florida State’s first game since his death and it was really special. The Bowden memorial logo is placed in the end area next to my section. They did the usual moment of silence and a video acknowledging his accomplishments.
However, the halftime show was something else. FSU . played Amazing blessing While every one of the 80,000 fans present lit up their phone. Chants of “Bobby, Bobby, Bobby” resound throughout Tallahassee. It was as surreal as it came out of a movie.
The screen was very touching and was one of the most emotionally touching things I was a part of on the way to CFB. I will never forget it.
Score day game
stadium: a-. Despite being one of the more recently constructed (the 1950’s is relative, but many of these Energy School playgrounds were built in the 1920s), Doak Campbell Stadium holds a lot of history. It looks smaller than it is, but it’s great overall. The concourse, as mentioned, is a huge plus.
tradition: a. Bobby Bowden, Tomahawk Chop, President Osceola. Florida itself is one of the most tradition-rich schools in the country.
ambiance: a +. 100%. full mark. Silly place to watch the right football match.
the tail:A: I’m not asking fans to maintain style at the back gates, and that’s something that attendees and friends have to worry about. These places are difficult and the prevalence is widespread. Almost a condition in Tallahassee.
fans: C. Passionate is the only beautiful word I will use for the fans in attendance at this match. I’m no saint, but the interactions and things said between FSU fans and Notre Dame fans are the worst things I’ve heard throughout my trip. I’ve been in the middle of the competition between Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas and Texas. This is where I hope the fans clean it up a bit.
extracurricular:D. Tallahassee is too far from the beach to claim and the town itself really lacks anything to do. There are plenty of bars around Florida, but it doesn’t feel like a college town. I think the best way to do a game in Florida is to go early and get out of town after the game.