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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:19 pm   
Golden Panther
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:44 pm
Posts: 925
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Honestly... this whole thread is pretty cool. Wish more ex-players would come on here and rep themselves. Some of these stories are great.

Thanks for starting it, Nick. If you do a GoFundMe, I'll definitely chip in a few bucks.

I completely agree with you on the history aspect. It's why I wish Butch had kept Greg Moss on as a coach. Having someone from the inaugural team could've done wonders in teaching the current crop of players about FIU and what it's been through since starting up.

I'd love to see some sort of permanent memorial to the inaugural team at the stadium. They deserve it. From practicing on crappy fields... to having to practice each other for an entire year (seriously, that alone blows my mind)... to the first game (still the most electric FIU sports event I ever witnessed, much less broadcasted)... that kind of stuff should be documented.

I would love to hear some stories from that team, personally. The NFL stuff is cool, but I think any stories about when you were there (especially the first season) would be really appreciated by the folks on this board.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:31 pm   
Golden Panther
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:44 pm
Posts: 925
Location: Jacksonville, FL
While I'm thinking of it... and because it's FAU week... Nick, I'd love to get your thoughts on that rivalry and what it means to you. Any stories related to when you guys played FAU would be great.

If my memory serves, you were a senior on the team that destroyed FAU for FIU's first Shula Bowl win... 52-6, I believe... that alone must've been an electric feeling, especially considering the first 3 years were FAU victories. Close games, too.

I also remember that game vividly because FIU tied an NCAA record with four pick-6's... and I'm pretty sure you were responsible for one of those, Mr. Turnbull.

It's the only school to be on FIU's football schedule every year... and I know for a fact that it means so much to many of the FIU players. That hasn't translated as well to the fans, for whatever reason. So many on here think of Miami as "the rival", not FAU.

EDIT: Yep, he was one of the four. Thanks, Pete Pelegrin.

http://fiusports.typepad.com/the-prowl/2012/11/don-shula-bowl-.html


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:10 am   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:47 am
Posts: 6
Wow I have many stories from our first season.. I wouldn't even know where to begin!

Lets start off with the FAU vs FIU Rival.

I didn't like that school... lol not even a little bit! I respected them, but did not like them. which probably explains why I made so many plays each time we played them! lol
In fact the weeks of those games I would get phone calls from the players on that team. Talking crap, (fun talking) we all new each other and have been rivals since our high school days. Regardless of who's record was better, that game was always going to be a hard fought game! I love the fact that its a rival and it should be.

My senior year we were 0-3 against them, losing 3 close games after having 17-0 halftime lead and all.. I remember telling the team "there is no way in hell we are going out winless against FAU" I remember that entire week we were so focused. When we went out for the coin toss, I remember smiling thinking... we are about to smash you guys!! lol and we did, they didn't have a chance.

I have a lot of stories that I cannot share on here!!! lol but here are some more.. I should honestly write a movie about this.

year one..
I remember one night I could not sleep so I walked over to the stadium at about 2am, sat at the top of the south end bleachers and starred at the football field for hours visualizing myself making plays on that field (that was the same day they finished the turf). If I could, I would still be sitting there!

I watched them put the turf on the field, I stood on the field as they stitched in the numbers.. I watched them put bleachers in, I laterally watched the birth of FIU football.

My first pair of cleats at FIU where Hi-Top cleats! lol I hate high top cleats, so I went into coach Strock's office and said "Coach I cannot play in these offensive line cleats" he looked at me with a straight face and said "Play with them" while pointing to the field lmao, the next day I had my low top cleats in my locker!

I didn't like walking over to the Rec fields for practice!! I use to jump on the golf carts of the guys that use to give parking tickets! lol I could not wait for that turf to be done.

I remember our scrimmages each week during the practice year, it was tough but we found motivation in those scrimmages. We use to treat those like a game. The first scrimmage everyone wanted to try to prove themselves. I remember at one point they also spoke about one of our Running backs (no names), he was big and supposedly fast (I didn't really know him) our first scrimmage was within the first 4 days of being at school. So I remember telling myself, I am going to hit him as hard as I can, so people take notice in me.. Well I got my opportunity, he breaks a run outside and heads straight towards the sideline, and my angle was the same as his from the opposite direction, we met on the sideline and I hit him as hard as I possibility can.. next thing I know the defense is jumping on top of me and I see him getting up from the floor near the bench... mission accomplished. I actually have the first ever scrimmage at my house!

In players dorm rooms I would tie their door handle with a rope to the door handle of the dorm in front of theirs and knock on both doors, and I would sit down the hallway and watch them try to open the door! lol, they would be there for a long time trying to open the doors.

I remember Dan Marino going to all of our end of year Banquets, so all the players became pretty close with him, well at least some of us. so my Rookie year when we went to the Super Bowl, we had media day at the stadium, as we walk onto the field I hear players saying OH MAN, its Dan Marino, They were a little star struck.. I didn't think anything of it I just kept walking, moments later I hear "nick" I turn and Dan Marino calls my name, and my entire bears team split as Dan and I walk towards each other, he hugged me and spoke a little. after words my team was looking at means ask how the hell do you know Dan Marino!!? I said "come on I'm from Miami" one of my teammates go "I'm from Miami and I don't know him" lol


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:48 am   
Puma

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:25 am
Posts: 497
I think Coach Davis needs you in the locker room, ASAP.


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:17 am   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:47 am
Posts: 6
I actually tried to get on at FIU, (Butch Davis wasn't there yet) but for some reason it didn't happen, I was a little disappointed.


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:08 pm   
Golden Panther

Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 10:20 am
Posts: 1423
NTurnbull21 wrote:
I actually tried to get on at FIU, (Butch Davis wasn't there yet) but for some reason it didn't happen, I was a little disappointed.


I'm sure if you came back now and offered to talk to the team or something, FIU and the athletics department would be all for that. Between your experience and stories, you'd be great.


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:02 pm   
Cougar

Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:16 pm
Posts: 129
FIU Beisbol wrote:
NTurnbull21 wrote:
I actually tried to get on at FIU, (Butch Davis wasn't there yet) but for some reason it didn't happen, I was a little disappointed.


I'm sure if you came back now and offered to talk to the team or something, FIU and the athletics department would be all for that. Between your experience and stories, you'd be great.


FAU Shula Bowl pep talk !!! Perfect timing


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:09 pm   
Puma

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:25 am
Posts: 497
A no brainer.


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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:41 am   
Cougar

Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:36 pm
Posts: 153
I am in agreement with you totally about FIU football history and displaying that on campus. When our future AD starts upgrades to the cage, there could be a shrine dedicated to FIU football. The room would reflect the great past and the beginning of the program. Also, former players like you Nick that helped shaped the program and believed in it. And, once a Panther always a Panther my brother....#Paws Up


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