Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Weekend in Seminole Country

The Sheepdog got out of town for a few days this past weekend. To be honest, I needed it. It's always good to get outta Dodge for a while, see some new scenery, and refresh a bit. The trip took me just outside Tallahassee, FL to visit some friends and attend their daughter's high school graduation. It's beautiful down there. Frequently, I found myself thinking, "I bet there's some good deer and turkey down here."

Florida St. baseball team after Sunday's victory over Samford.
While there, I had the opportunity to attend a Florida State Seminoles baseball game. I attended their game on Sunday against Samford in which they were playing for the NCAA Baseball Tournament's Tallahassee Regional championship. The Seminoles defeated Samford in that game 5-2 advancing to the Super Regional which begins Friday night. The 'Noles will play Stanford, and it should be a good series.

For years, I claimed my blood ran orange. I was a big University of Tennessee sports fan and even obtained my degree there. However, the Lane Kiffin debacle, the hiring of former Georgia Head Coach Vince Dooley's son, Derek, to replace Kiffin, the cheating scandal within the men's basketball program, the hiring of a guy from Alabama to be the new Athletic Director, and the consistently poor behavior by the university's male athletes ultimately turned me off. I haven't watched a UT football game in about two years, and I can't remember the last time I was motivated to watch a UT men's basketball game. I've had enough of UT sports. The only time I wear orange now is when I'm deer hunting.

In addition to being a Vols fan, I've been a lifelong Florida State fan, too. Its primarily because of Bobby Bowden. I always liked the way the Seminoles played football under his coaching. They'd run 'n gun and throw the ball all over the field. Plus, with Bowden at the helm, you never knew when he might call some sort of trick play. He made Florida St. football exciting, and he always had a "Dadgum" or two cued up for any interview. He was an entertaining character.

At Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Before driving home Monday, my wife and I stopped by the Seminole Sportshop located at Doak Campbell Stadium to look around some. To my surprise, one end of the Stadium was open, and I got to take a look around. As I did, I thought about all the history that had been made in that place. I thought about all the wins Bobby Bowden had accumulated there while head coach, and the fact that during his tenure, the road to two Seminole national championships (1993 and 1999) had gone through that place. It was a neat day.

As I stood there on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, I also remembered how fortunate I was to have been there. Just over five years ago, I was fighting for my life. Now, I was standing on the home field of one of the greatest football programs in NCAA history, and I was doing so for one simple reason - because a man cared enough to be an organ donor. If I had not had my heart transplant, I never would have experienced Monday. Now, I hope to have the opportunity to take the next step and go back for an actual football game. That'll be a neat day, too - likely an emotional one.

There's over 114,000 Americans currently awaiting life-saving organ transplants, just as I was over five years ago. I'm sure they've all got some things that they would still like to experience, just as I did in "Seminole Country." However, they will not get that opportunity if more Americans do not register as organ and tissue donors. If you have not registered yet, I want to encourage you to visit Donate Life America's website by clicking here. You can also learn more about organ and tissue donation there, too.

Oh yeah, one other thing .... GO NOLES !!
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