Aug. 8, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Sunday was anything but a day of rest for the Florida State football team, which crammed a jam-packed schedule of activities in an 11-hour window, beginning with chapel at 7:30 a.m. and culminating with a two-hour practice open to the public inside Doak Campbell Stadium.
First-year head coach Jimbo Fisher's first Media/Fan Day may not have come off without a hitch, but virtually everyone that was a part of the annual event came away with something to remember.
"We had a great turnout," Fisher said, at the conclusion of a practice that drew approximately 2,000 spectators. "The fans got to see some things in practice and see how all the mistakes are made before you perfect things. They saw the hard work these guys put in.
"We're very appreciative of all the people that turned out for those guys to get the autographs. Some of those young kids really look up to our kids. I hope our guys did a good job representing themselves."
From the moment that the players left the team meeting room following chapel they navigated as series of required events, beginning with photos. Then it was on to the interview sessions. Armed with cameras and recorders, approximately 50 media members descended on the Moore Athletic Center for interviews with players and coaches numbering nearly four-dozen. The first portion of the day concluded with the traditional team photograph, with Fisher's inaugural 2010 squad posing in the north end zone seats of the stadium.
By the time the `Noles boarded buses bound for Fan Day at the Donald L. Tucker Center their day was already four hours long. If they needed a shot of energy, and estimated crowd of 6,000, anxious to get an up-close glimpse of Fisher and the Seminoles, provided it.
"Fan Day is always a good time for me because they're just as much a part of this organization and what we do as us," said junior wide receiver Bert Reed. "We need them as much as they need us.
"It really is a good time. I just don't sign the pictures. I really do try to communicate with people and give them a sense of my personality and let them know I really appreciate them. I love being around people that care about Florida State football."
Though the doors did not open until 11 a.m., fans began lining up outside the civic center at 7:30 for a premium spot in the long line of autograph and photograph seekers.
"There were a lot of new faces; a lot of kids and young alumni," said Florida State director of marketing Jason Dennard. "There are a lot of people excited about the new staff and the direction of the program. You could really see the excitement and feel the energy for the program and the kickoff of the football season.
"Everyone that came, left with something."
That includes the players and coaches who took part in the Fan Day experience and could sense an renewed enthusiasm for Seminole football.
"There really is like a buzz," Reed said. "You can't say what it is, but you know it's there. You can feel it and it's in the air. People are ready for the season to come and are committed, just like our poster says. I really feel like they're behind us."
On Monday, the Seminoles will get back to a more normal routine with an afternoon practice scheduled for 3 p.m.