Welcome To The Doak Insider
It all started when he saw Deion Sanders run past the Clemson Tigers in 1988. Now as senior writer for Seminoles.com, Brandon Mellor welcomes all his fellow Florida State fans to The Doak Insider page.
July 21, 2011
Let me introduce myself as the new senior writer for Seminoles.com with something I was never really a fan of when I was in school: a pop quiz.
My name is Brandon Mellor; which one of the following statements about me is false?
A) I attended Florida State University as both an undergraduate and graduate student
B) I proposed to my girlfriend after a big FSU football win
C) I got married standing next to the Unconquered Statue
D) I "baptized" my infant daughter in 2010 by rubbing some dirt from Bobby Bowden Field on her forehead
E) None of the above
No need to over-think these questions. I will tell you right now that the answer is "E."
Yes, I went to FSU. Yes, I popped the question to a fellow Seminole after a victory in Doak Campbell Stadium. Yes, we then got married not too far from where I asked her.
And yes, my daughter will have a really cool story to tell her friends one day.
Is it clear yet that I may not be a fan of pop quizzes but I am a fan of Florida State?
Growing up in Central Florida you have -- for the most part -- two choices: Florida State or Florida. Those who know me or who have read my writing in the past know that I credit Deion Sanders' late-'80s exploits for guiding me to the right decision. One of my earliest sports memories as a young child was watching his dazzling punt return for a touchdown in the 1988 game against Clemson.
I didn't truly understand the significance of it at the time, but that special-teams play by a very special player ignited my love affair with the 'Noles. Terrell Buckley, Charlie Ward, Marvin Jones, Derrick Brooks, Tamarick Vanover, Warrick Dunn, Chris Weinke and Peter Warrick then fanned those flames as I got older.
I grew up with dreams of one day going to Florida State just like each of them.
The rest, of course, is history. I came to Tallahassee as a freshman in 2002 and ultimately met the former Miss Christy Clause who shared my same affinity for the 'Noles and would one day share my last name.
Not too long after I met her, I applied for a job with the FSView & Florida Flambeau after I read the student newspaper's spring football preview before class one day. I remember seeing other students analyze the two-page spread that highlighted the depth chart and storylines for the start of a new year. I wanted those students to be reading my work. It was yet another way to get closer to the thing that injected FSU in to my bloodstream in the first place.
I wound up serving as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper before I graduated. I also had the unique opportunity of working as a correspondent for the Daytona Beach News Journal, Tallahassee Democrat and Orlando Sentinel during that time. I am forever indebted to the great writers and editors that helped teach me how to write ledes, adhere to AP style and meet deadlines.
I got to learn from the late, great Steve Ellis at the Tallahassee Democrat. Incredible.
What started out initially as a fun little hobby turned into something that I wanted to turn into a career.
After spending the last several years as an assistant sports information director at Florida State, I now have the humbling opportunity to do just that here on The Doak Insider page at Seminoles.com. As the official athletics website of FSU, Seminoles.com has always had the best information when it comes to your 'Noles and I look forward to providing an additional way to share the stories of the many amazing student-athletes that don the garnet and gold.
Twenty-three years after watching Sanders do what he did best on the field that day in Death Valley, I am getting to do what I do best in the Moore Athletic Center at Doak Campbell Stadium.
I'm a fan of that. I hope you are, too.