The last blog entry "The Beauty of Baseball" received the most comments of any entry in the short time Golden Panthers Prowl has been up and running. And some passionate comments they were.
Yes, I know there is huge dissatisfaction (that's an understatement) with the Golden Panthers baseball program and change is probably coming, but let's see if we can get a positive blog going here as we switch over to football and the upcoming Blue/Gold Spring Game on Friday night (7 p.m./Tailgating 5 p.m.) at FIU Stadium. The game will be the last event at FIU Stadium before construction begins on the new football stadium.
One of the phrases that has stood out in my mind as I've watched the FIU football team practice this spring, I heard on the very first day of spring practice. And I think the phrase is what the new FIU football program and eventually all FIU athletic programs will be about (and yes, that includes baseball for those of you scoring at home).
In the very first practice under MC and the new football coaching staff, there was one player lazily walking to a drill. One of the coaches saw the slacking off and instructed the player that you jog to and from drills. The coach finished by yelling: "Those days are over, son!" (T.D.A.O.S.)
I think that could be the motto of the new FIU athletic department (TDAOS). FIU sports for a while now have been mired in mediocrity (when I covered the FIU baseball game at um two weeks ago, 2 guys wearing um shirts in the press box commented that's "FIU-ish" when talking about something that wasn't being done the right way). Well, news flash for Homer and Barney over there at um: The um has done some "um-ish" stuff as well.
Anyways, the impression I have gotten from the new FIU athletic administration is that those times are going to change or in blog-speak: TDAOS.
You don't have to look any further than the marketing blitz for this Friday's spring football game, which includes unveiling the designs of the new stadium, music, food, prizes and a garage sale of retro FIU athletic uniforms and gear.
Never in the previous five spring games has there been the type of fanfare that this spring game is getting and judging by your e-mails and responses to the Golden Panthers Prowl there seems to be plenty of interest. Heck, even the Spanish sports talk show "Descarga Deportiva" on 1550 AM is getting calls about the spring game and interest in FIU football.
There won't be 47,000 at FIU Stadium on Friday, like the NC Gators got for their game, but I would wager jogging from assignment to assignment and NOT walking, if this spring game does not have the highest attendance of any previous spring game.
That's a good start for TDAOS.