Okay, I found out what a 'Nole is. It's short for Florida State University Seminole, and there are actually two types. Here is the more common one:
and here is the other:
I think I know why the 'Noles sometimes snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (which to me still sounds like a lot of fun). It's because only the first kind of 'Nole gets to actually play in the game. I'm pretty sure that if they each had a big horse and a flaming spear, the outcome would never be in doubt.
They were at it again last night. As M explained it to me, the 'Noles were trying to protect a seven-point lead with less than five minutes left in regulation play. But their opponents, the University of Maryland Terrapins, or Terps for short, had the ball and were moving it down the field. They were trying to score a touchdown and kick an extra point that would tie the game and force it into overtime, where they might hopefully win it. (Or, he said, they could make a touchdown and a two-point conversion with a run or a pass and win without the overtime. But hardly anyone tries that because it's too risky.)
The Terps' situation, M pointed out, was like the one the 'Noles faced last week, except the score wasn't tied--though it had been tied earlier, and in fact the Terps had led three different times. So now the Terps would first have to tie it again and then win in overtime. And if they couldn't do both of these things, they would be the ones to snatch the defeat, yadda-yadda-yadda. I yawned, because it was pretty late and this was a lot of confusing detail to absorb.
I asked M what the name Terrapin means, and he said it's a kind of turtle. Hello-o! Had I heard him right? The 'Noles were having a tough time beating turtles? Wild dogs would eat them for brunch.
Anyway, with under a minute left in the game, an exciting thing happened--and it wasn't a Terps touchdown. One of the FSU players intercepted a Terps pass on the four-yard line and ran it back 96 yards for a 'Noles touchdown! The game ended with a final score of FSU 30 - Maryland 16.
One thing that still puzzles me is that while the 'Nole was running for that last touchdown, his teammates and the FSU coaches were trying to get his attention and make him put his knee down and stop the play. Then FSU would have won by just seven points, but the game would have ended sooner because the Terps couldn't have gotten the ball back. Excuse me, but that's just silly. I know I'm just a dog, but I promise you that if I'd caught that ball I'd still be running with it!
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