|Florida State University Nickname: Seminoles
|Despite an ever-increasing era of political correctness, Florida State continues to embrace the Seminole Indian
heritage of their state. Former FSU president, Dr. Dale Lick has publicly stated that the school attempts to reflect a
positive light on the tribe's "noble, brave and courageous people," He has also expressed that the school has
maintained a great relationship with the tribe by treating Seminole symbols With dignity and correctness.
After playing the first two football games in their inaugural 1947 season without a symbol, the students demanded
that one be found. The Statesmen fell second to Seminoles in a student body vote. Other contenders included
Rebels, Tarpons, Fighting Warriors and Crackers. Can you imagine Bobby Bowden now leading his fighting
"Saltine's" on the field?
The FSU Seminole war chant has echoed throughout many collegiate stadiums since its refinement in the early
80's. The intimidating and sometimes deafening cheer was first started by the school's band, the Marching Chiefs.
An added dimension of a chopping motion was developed by the FSU fans and included a repetitious bend at the
elbow. This Seminole cheer grew into a national phenomenon when
Once the Seminole nickname was established it wasn't long before a pair of students dressed as Indians joined
the cheerleaders in supporting the school. This eventually evolved into the establishment of Chief Osceola and
Renegade's mascot reign at the university.
Perhaps the most exhilarating pregame ceremony in college football takes place at FSU home games when the
school's mascot stirs the passions of Seminole fans as they prepare for their opponent's massacre. This frenzied
moment includes a battle dressed Chief Osceola racing on to the field on an appaloosa horse named Renegade.
The intensity builds to a climax when the chief heaves a flaming lance at mid field just prior to the opening kickoff.
Perhaps fittingly this tradition was introduced just before a 1978 game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Former FSU assistant coach and College Football Conference Call radio host, Max Howell, describes this exciting
moment, "If you're out there and you don't get chill bumps, you're a dead man," he said. "That tradition is the most
unreal that I've ever been around. It's unbelievable."
Opposing players that visit Doak Campbell Stadium often gain quite an impression from the pregame buildup as
well. Former University of Tulsa quarterback Richie Stephenson still vividly remembers being shocked prior to his
team's 1985 kickoff against the Seminoles. "It's the closest I've ever come to having a heart attack. We'd just won
the coin toss and our offensive team was huddled on the field near the sideline. Suddenly the guy across from me
eyes get as big as basketballs, Stephenson exclaimed.
"I turn around to see what's going on and this huge horse with a screaming Indian riding it, is running straight at
me and is nearly on top of me. The crowd's roaring and the Indian is holding a flaming spear." Pausing to laugh,
Stephenson added, "I almost dropped to my knees. I thought I was dead."
Atlanta Braves fans transformed it into the tomahawk chop during the 1991 playoffs and World Series.