Wow. Who’d have believed this? Wake Forest 30, Florida State 0. In Tallahassee.
As a Wake grad and lifelong Deacon fan I’m as happy as I am surprised every time we manage to win a football game, and this year has been nothing short of stunning. It’s a team that doesn’t have the level of pure athlete that most the teams it plays can call on (especially when a lot of its best players are hurt), but they’re smart, committed, organized, composed, and incredibly well-coached. A good team will usually beat a group of good athletes, and this is your proof. (FSU has had a lot of injuries and is playing a lot of freshmen, but last night something seemed very wrong with the program – they just looked lost, and I’m not sure how much of that I think had to do with the youth of the players.)
However, I’ve always been really old-school. I grew up in a house where we loved sports, but no matter how big the game was school came first. Winning mattered, but winning right mattered more, and win or lose I had better do it with sportsmanship if I wanted to play the next game. As a result, I’m more proud of Wake’s standing as an elite academic institution than I am of its sports successes (in the professional world, the fact that my diploma is from a top 30 national U counts for something with the people who are thinking about hiring me).
Given all this, I guess I’m most impressed with Coach Jim Grobe and the fact that he seems committed to doing things the right way. As the clock wound down last night he avoided doing anything that would show the ‘Noles up. His players were happy, obviously, but they handled what was arguably the biggest win in the school’s history with class, and they showed respect to a proud opponent having a down year and night. Grobe and Bowden’s post-game handshake reflected a lot of mutual admiration, and if in a couple years the universe is restored to order and FSU is number one and Wake is a middle of the pack team, I know we can expect the same sort of respect in return from any team that the current FSU coaches have anything to do with.
I don’t think there’s a coach in America I’d rather have at the helm of my school, and if I had a son who wanted to play college football, Grobe is the man I think I’d want him to play for.
Now, if we can manage VT, Maryland, and Georgia Tech…