The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

SOUTH! FLORIDA!

And in the best sports news of any kind since October 18, the University of South Florida Bulls today captured their very first bowl victory, 24-7, over the East Carolina University Pirates in the inaugural PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama.

Like you hadn’t already planned your Saturday around that.

Wherever your collegiate loyalties lie, even if they lie nowhere (unless they lie with those ECU shinkickers), won’t you join the USF Alumni Association chapter of Stephanie and me in a hearty round of what we used to shout on alternate sides of the Sun Dome?

SOUTH!

FLORIDA!

SOUTH!

FLORIDA!

SOUTH!

FLORIDA!

YOU! ESS! EFF!

YOU! ESS! EFF!

YOU! ESS! EFF!

Ahhh…

For those of you somehow unfamiliar with this heretofore untapped bastion of scholar-athleticism, the University of South Florida — USF to us, if not the sports media community at large (screw you, University of San Francisco) — has been in business for 50 years and just completed its first decade of college football. The Bulls/Golden Brahmans entered the top tier of play in 2002 and have been quietly successful as a Division I program. There’s been more quiet than success in North Tampa if you measure your standing in the sport by, say, Ohio State standards, but it’s only been a few years of competing at this level. You needn’t be an Oracle to understand that this piping hot triumph in the PapaJohns.com Bowl, one year after a misfire in the equally prestigious Meineke Car Care Bowl, is a saucy milestone…a tangy topping on a 9-4 season…a crunchy, crusty bite of pigskin pizza for those of us who intermittently bleed green and gold.

If you find this audible self-indulgently off-topic, know that ESPN2 assigned Gary Thorne play-by-play duties. He’s as pompous and clueless at college football as he was as a latter-day Metscaster on WPIX. In the first couple of minutes, he referred to USF as “underlooked” and left the South out of Florida (thus giving the hated Gators an extra game). He may have even said a museum at a church that is an icon of the civil rights movement celebrates segregation. That’s Gary Thorne, talking without thinking, whatever the sport.

But he couldn’t ruin this. A molasses-slow crew of Sun Belt Conference officials that kept this thing trudging from 1 until past 4:30 couldn’t ruin this. The inept Pirates hairline-fracturing our redshirt freshman quarterback sensation Matt Grothe with a kick in the shin couldn’t ruin this. The rush of ESPN2 to dump out of the postgame so it could kiss that horse’s ass of horse’s asses Bobby Knight couldn’t ruin this. Even the knowledge that we remain the most obscure 42,000-student school on the planet — bigger by half than it was during my early ’80s studies — couldn’t ruin this.

To be fair, USF is pretty obscure to me since I turned north on I-275 on April 29, 1985. As a Big East member, we’re on TV now and then, but I usually seem to miss it ’cause I don’t go out of my way to find it. My ability to drop a name like Matt Grothe surprises even myself. Alma mater is alma mater, however. USF’s greatest college athletics tradition may be apathy (the cameras revealed plenty of good seats were available in Birmingham) and I may throw every single fundraising appeal straight into the trash, but gosh darn it, we just won a bowl game. Until it happened, I wasn’t sure what sports outfit I identified with most when there are no Mets around.

SOUTH! FLORIDA! indeed.

6 comments to SOUTH! FLORIDA!

  • Anonymous

    for what it's worth, i can recall playing at usf in march 1979, when our ultimate frisbee traveling squad (11 guys, three cars, many beers) made a spring break tour of florida university clubs.
    we played at u. miami (before it was an even bigger party school; one student told me there, “the toughest call i have to make is where i'm putting my lounge chair at the student union pool”);
    and university of central florida, later home of daunte culpepper, but then, man, seemingly nothing more than a field of green in a swamp;
    and you-ess-eff, whose club sported the unconscionable courtesy of scott zimmerman — THE scott zimmerman, then the frisbee world champion, his name imprinted on the wham-o disc and everything — as a ringer playing on their team. it was an honor getting beaten.

  • Anonymous

    Congrats!
    :)

  • Anonymous

    Greg,
    Congrats to your Bulls, but as a resident of Central Florida, I gotta say, I don't share your elation; all I have is a hint of jealousy over what might have/could have/should have been for the University of CENTRAL Florida.
    We're getting our own on-campus stadium built; that's good. We've got a good crop of sophomores who had a grueling freshman season and can only get better; that's good. We've got a coach who has a vision, and had a nice string on wins for a while last season; that's very good.
    But for USF to win a bowl game, one year after UCF played in its first conference championship game ever, at home, and lost, then went out West to its first bowl game ever, went to overtime, and lost – by one point. Well, that just stings.
    Go Bulls. I guess.

  • Anonymous

    I covered a Florida Board of Regents meeting on the UCF campus once. I roamed the parking lot for probably half an hour convinced my car had disappeared. Ohmigod, how am I going to get back to Tampa?
    Then I found it.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody ever said we couldn't throw a disc around.
    Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think I ever threw a disc around during my college years. I threw mostly tantrums.

  • Anonymous

    Parking is still the biggest problem on that campus. My daughter goes there, and if you're not in a space by 7:45am, you'll be late to your 8:30am class.
    But the coeds there are kinda hot.