Florida State University Day at the Capitol happens every spring. But this year's celebration had some special touches: a Waterford Crystal trophy, a famous bronze statue of a football player side-stepping a defender and members of a national championship football team.
A presentation at the morning House session included a highlight reel of the Seminoles' historic run that resulted in the BCS championship in January. Star quarterback Jameis Winston and Coach Jimbo Fisher (left) brought greetings on behalf of the team; most of the elected officials stood in awe the entire time with cell phones in hand. The team presented Speaker Will Weatherford with a custom-made football jersey.
The recognition ceremony repeated later in the Senate. Senate President Don Gaetz allowed prominent FSU alum and rumored FSU presidential candidate Sen. John Thrasher to preside.
About a dozen members of the team, by that time looking slightly uncomfortable in dress shoes and slacks, posed for countless photos and remained gracious.
Later tonight, Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera are scheduled to host Fisher and other FSU dignitaries at a reception at the Governor's Mansion. They will sip on Toomer's Lemonade sent by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley after losing his friendly wager with Scott over the outcome of the national championship game.
No fret, Eagle. UF Gator Day is Wednesday. And with a top-ranked basketball team playing in the Final Four on Friday, there is the chance for another Florida national championship.