It was October 26th, 2019, our Miami Hurricanes had just pulled off a dramatic 16-12 win over Pittsburgh on the road, and later that evening, it finally hit me. IT WAS OFFICIALLY FSU WEEK!
ITS OFFICIALLY FSU WEEK!!!!!!!! LET THE HATE RUN THROUGH YOU. WE’RE COMING FOR THAT W SEMINOLES pic.twitter.com/xHEHCkiLpZ— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) October 26, 2019
The greatest time of the year, the most magical week you can dream up as a sports fan, it’s the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles. Nothing else matters, this is THE GAME.
Wow, after typing all that I'm ready for kickoff. Then I realize it’s still 127 days until these two teams meet on November 7th.
November 7th. Let’s do battle pic.twitter.com/9S7ypYMtIa— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) January 22, 2020
I’m a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, so I hate the Eagles. I’m a diehard Yankees fan, so I hate the Red Sox. Even so, still doesn’t come close for my feelings about FSU. That’s how much I love this rivalry. No matter the day, no matter the time, I am always ready to talk about the Canes and the Noles. This game, this rivalry, means absolutely everything to me as a Miami Hurricanes fan.
I know there are many Miami fans who will claim the Gators as our biggest rival, or maybe even Notre Dame. But for me, it’s FSU at number-one, and frankly, the other teams aren’t in consideration as far as I'm concerned.
I will always hate FSU more than any other team. That hatred is deep, man. I sure as hell don’t like Florida, but it doesn’t come close to distaste for the Noles— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) June 13, 2019
Growing up in the early 2000’s, Miami didn’t play Florida every year, they didn’t play Notre Dame every year, but I did know, that every season, that team from Tallahassee would be on the schedule. The first game my father ever took me to was the classic Wide Left matchup in 2002 against the Seminoles. From then on, I was hooked, not just on Canes football, but for despising Florida State.
"WIDE LEFT!"— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) May 13, 2020
The 2002 Florida State-Miami classic will re-air tomorrow pic.twitter.com/AQpniE7Mdc
The most vile sound in human existence, is the chop that the FSU band plays after EVERY SINGLE PLAY. Seeing 80,000 Seminoles fans join in on the chop, it’s nauseating.
This rivalry is what taught me hatred, and it’s stuck with me ever since. There’s just something about being the stands during Miami-FSU, when the fans would chant or yell, you could see their faces boiling, and when they said whatever they said, they meant it.
Same case with the players playing on the field. When it’s Florida State, there’s a different level of energy for the Hurricanes coaches and players. The emotion is there, the passion is on full-display, trash-talking is everywhere, there’s nothing quite like it.
This rivalry is, um, different.— Warchant.com (@Warchant) October 6, 2018
The trash talk is flying pre-game between Miami fans and FSU players. pic.twitter.com/JsNFCOQkgU
The moments that this rivalry has produced, just in my time as a fan over the past 15-so years, are simply amazing. Jacory Harris shredding the Noles defense in Tallahassee in 2009. Sean Taylor winning the game, basically by himself, in 2003. Frank Gore scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime in 2004.
When Malik Rosier hit Darryl Langham for the game-winning score in 2017, snapping the seven-year streak of losing to FSU, that was one of the best moments of my life. I flew down for the 2018 game, and witnessed the Seminoles giving up a 27-7 lead. By far, the best game I've ever seen in person.
Man that 2018 FSU game......Hard Rock was a mad house pic.twitter.com/w06V13tjHu— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) June 16, 2020
Sadly, this rivalry has also produced some of my saddest moments as a Hurricanes fan. Brian Monroe mishandling the field goal snap in 2005, Dalvin Cook terrorizing Miami in 2015 and 2016. That 2016 game, let me tell you, when the Noles blocked Michael Badgley’s potential game-tying PAT, I was debating giving up on football. That was probably the most heartbreaking loss I've ever been through as a sports fan.
I will say this, having lived in Tallahassee for two years, I came to respect their program and their fans. Between Miami and Florida State, there’s hatred and lots of it, but there’s mutual respect. Most of the players on both teams grew up playing against each-other, whether it was in little league or high school. And plus, FSU kept Miami on the schedule for all those years, which can’t be said for another school in the state of Florida.....
UF vs Georgia is not a rivalry. I repeat UF vs Georgia is not a rivalry! Georgia is only known for Food, Fashion, and Entertainment. And well the gators are from Gainesville and that in itself is an atrocity! FSU vs Miami this week baby!— freddie stevenson (@strugglemade105) October 29, 2019
And no offense to the FSU-UF rivalry, but when both schools are good, there are few rivalries in the country that can compare to Miami-Florida State. There’s a reason why ESPN decided to re-run some of the greatest games between the Hurricanes and the Seminoles, and not the Gators vs the Seminoles.
Both Miami and FSU need to get their crap together. College football is so much better when the Canes and the Noles are great— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) May 15, 2020
Now, that doesn’t change the fact that I loathe the garnet and gold with every fiber of my being. When gameday actually arrives, actually just game week in general, and it’s Miami-FSU, I change. For six straight days, I feel like I'm Rocky Balboa walking to the boxing ring. I’m jittery, I'm continually watching old clips of Willis McGahee running down the sideline in 2002, or Jeremy Shockey catching the touchdown from Ken Dorsey in 2000. If Manny Diaz gave me a pair of shoulder pads, I'd lead UM out onto the field if I could.
Screen from Dorsey to McGahee against FSU. 68 yards down the sideline. Orange Bowl is going nuts pic.twitter.com/i2vlhhawyp— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) March 23, 2020
Also, I don't care what the record of each team is when they play each other. It’s Miami-FSU, records are thrown out the window for this game, because anything can happen. Even when both teams entered the 2019 matchup with 4-4 records, I was as hyped as ever, and when Jarren Williams hit Dee Wiggins for the game-clinching touchdown, my cheers could’ve been heard from Tallahassee.
If you win, you’re buying peace, you have bragging rights for a year. But if you lose, it’s 365 days of pain. It’s Miami-Florida State, it’s just different.