Melanie’s Mix: A Blend of Culture – All good things must come to an end

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Melanie Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief

Just when I was getting my head into the game, the college football season was over. It was during this past season that I’ve made the shift from a confused on-looker, to a true fan. I went from being a University of South Carolina (USC) Gamecocks “supporter” to all about that garnet and black.

Along my journey to understanding and appreciating football, I became very interested in the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles team. I first saw the Seminoles play in 2013 when they gave the Clemson tigers a major beat down and won 51-14. Prior to this game I had no knowledge of FSU’s undefeated record, or anything else about them for that matter.  All I knew is how they played against Clemson, and that was enough for me. I was an instant fan. Of course I was accused of being a “bandwagon fan,” or someone who begins to like a team because of recent successes that team has experienced.  I was also informed from a friend that I was breaking the unspoken, only implied “code” of football fan-hood by liking two teams. I was told that I could only pick one. I didn’t listen and I broke this code and watched every single remaining game for both teams, right up to the championships.

South Carolina defeated Wisconsin in the Capital One bowl and finished the season ranked as the number four team in the nation, making this the highest post-season ranking in Gamecock history. Florida State entered their BCS Championship Bowl game against Auburn as the favored team to win. During the first half, the Seminoles turned the ball over several times and went into half time down 21-10. FSU held off Auburn from scoring in the third quarter, and gained three points, but it was during the fourth quarter when the Seminoles were once again playing good ole’ FSU football. They scored 21 points and narrowly beat Auburn 34-31. It was a great game to watch and I even found myself calling some of the fouls before the referees announced them. From a confused on-looker to true fan indeed.

After the season ended, I wondered why we as a people are so invested, and interested in a group of sweaty men, running around in pursuit of a small, rubber object. I don’t know the answer, but I concluded that maybe the joy comes from us not knowing why we love football so much. Either way I am thankful that I have finally found my place in this world of college football fanatics. I’m still learning and I’m sure I’ll have many more questions to ask but for now, I have a pretty good handle on the game. My next task is to tackle the NFL and decide which teams I’ll be following. What better way to get started than with the 2014 Super Bowl game?