I Heart Jimbo Fisher
Posted by Troy Hebert
and other revelations by Troy Hebert
In the Valentine’s Day spirit, here on ScalpEm.com – I decided that we should walk the thin line between Man Love and….. well, you know.
Jimbo, I love you. Seriously. In one fell swoop, you cast my world in sunshine, ice cream and puppies. I went from mumbling incoherently to singing James Blunt songs in my head. I was in a bad way, Jimbo. And then you came like a swooping, heroic Angel of Mercy. This season we managed to lose to another rash of crap-programs who didn’t have half as much talent as we did – and yet, walked all over us on the field. The team looked directionless, looked violently awful, poorly coached, HOPELESS.
The old man in the tower said we were bad fans, that we were spoiled by his success in the last 20 years, that, in fact, we didn’t so much DESERVE to win some of these games. He blamed players, he blamed the media, he blamed freaking eBay, for God’s sake. Florida State Football was quickly becoming the laughing stock of college football. Well, that’s when the greatest possible outcome occured:
Wake Forest whipped us 30-0.
On Bobby Bowden Field.
At Doak S. Campbell Stadium.
On an ABC nationally televised game.
The team quit on the coaches, the coaches quit on the team. The only person playing for his life out there was Buster Davis, who frantically tried to muster a miraculous Safety, or a defensive touchdown in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. (Damn, I should mention that I love Buster Davis, too. But maybe I’ll save that for next Valentine’s Day.)
In that stadium, on that day. The world ended for me. My parents couldn’t come up the week before, on Parent’s weekend, when FSU shutout UVA 33-0. Nope. They came up for the “big game” against Wake Forest. We sat in the freezing cold rain, and the party slowly dissolved before our eyes. My parents and my 10 year old brother left at halftime. My girlfriend and her Mother (attending her FIRST EVER FSU game) left shortly after.
Only my 11 year old sister and I decided to trudge on, to face humiliation dead in the eye. We walked from our perch in Section 15 over to the student section, where 250 or so of the craziest kids were still rooting for their team. Sarcasm a-blazing or not – they stayed the whole game. The same can’t be said for the team, as they had already started walking off the field as Wake Forest was snapping the ball to run out the clock.
I’m glad I got the opportunity to walk over there and see the looks on those kids faces. I’ve never seen a group so utterly destroyed before. Nobody made eye contact with the soaking wet student section, nobody bothered to stop and give a hug to a cheerleader, or stop and answer a few questions for the media. Defeated and broken, they jogged into the locker room. Seeing them jog in there was the closest thing I saw to HUSTLE the entire night. A slow, fleeting chant of “Bob-by Bow-den (clap-clap clap-clap-clap) started echoing through the now 100 or so of us left. He looked lost, confused. He tossed his hat into the stands (as tradition requires) – but even then FSU came up a bit short. The hat never made it into the stands, and instead was quickly snatched up by a greedy little cheerleader on the field. She refused to make eye contact with the crowd, too – and took her autographed memorabilia over to her gym bag.
You see, I only tell you this now, because to me, losing this game, in the way we did, was the absolute rock bottom of superfan-ness. It gets no worse. You can hear the jokes, see the articles, almost envision the ESPN diatribes about how awful we’ve become in Tallahassee. It was like love forlorn: the Fast Break Offense, the Heismans, the lofty preseason expectations – they were all gone. It was like that very first love of your life breaking your heart – and then taking you back, building up your hopes and dreams, and then doing the same thing to you – for 6 straight years. Jeff Bowden was the worst Man Crush a guy could have EVER HAD. And then, the next day came.
Jeff Bowden announces he is stepping away as the crusher of hopes and dreams. He announces that he will be resigning as waster of incredible talent, as non-preparer of game plans, as blamer of teenagers and media alike. He will be gone. Ding dong, he’s dead to FSU. And the names start flashing along the screens at Warchant, at Scout.com: Jimbo Fisher, Chris Hatcher, Steve Sarkisian, George Henshaw, even the obligatory Norm Chow name drop. Well, from then you had to play the “7 degrees of Bowden” and find the links (Bobby doesn’t hire strangers to run his offense). Fisher jumped to the forefront, since he had a rocky relationship with his current regime, and was recruited by Terry, played under Terry and Jeff, and brought in to coaching by Terry during his time at Auburn. The other candidates were either longshots, or were too old, too unexperienced, too expensive.
Jimbo was perfect.
This brings me to my original point. That – well….. Jimbo is PERFECT.
A down to earth, southern man – a Bowden family tree guy – who runs variations on the Bowden scheme of the 80′s and 90′s. He won big games in big conferences and helped turn LSU from a laughing stock into a contender. Sure, that Saban bastard had something to do with it, But – Saban is a defensive guy. That’s Jimbo’s offensive resurrection there.
And that’s another thing: He wins the right way. He beats teams he should, by the amounts he should beat them by. He wins his share of huge road games, and does very well in bowl games. He works with his defense, rather than at the EXPENSE of the defense. I don’t think we could have gotten a better guy.
I honestly don’t. We brought in his best friend Rick Trickett to run the offensive line. We brought in a guy he’s worked with before in Lawrence Dawsey, who coached the Wide Receivers at LSU during their run at the 2003 National Title.
And need i remind you…. of this joke…
“If it’s 2:40 in Coral Gables – what time is it at the 2005 Peach Bowl?”
“40 to 3.”
This is the guy that put up 40 points on Randy Shannon’s vaunted defense, in a bowl game, WITH THE BACKUP QUARTERBACK.
“Flynn, a sophomore filling in for injured starter JaMarcus Russell, completed 13 of 22 passes for 196 yards with no interceptions.”
“I was just trying to get the ball to the athletes around me,” Flynn said.
Imagine that. An offense built around playmakers, and getting the ball into their hands. Watching them do some things. Not putting pressure on your Quarterback to do EVERYTHING. Huh. Crazy.
I Love Jimbo Fisher.
Sincerely. I truly do. I of course, like you, have NO CLUE what he’ll do with this offense. I assume it will be great. It can’t get much worse, and remember that a touchdown against Clemson, NC State, BC, Maryland, and Florida – would have won EACH of those games.
If Jimbo can get us ONE more touchdown, or get us on that field for ONE MORE LONG DRIVE (which keeps the other offense off – or rests our defense) then we have a chance to do some big things.
This year, Our defense returns 19 of 22 big time contributers. We lose 2 great linebackers, but 2 more will step in. The defense should be fine. Like I said, we have a chance to do some damage next year.
And, even if we don’t – We still have Jimbo. And as long as that’s true – I’ll be a believer in the inevitable.
Jimbo. I (man) love you.
forever and ever,
Happy Valentine’s Day. Go Noles.