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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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.

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USF is 6-0

The battle of Interstate 4 belongs to your AP-ranked No. 5 University of South Florida Bulls!

It was a stampede! A stampede, I tell you! USF 64 UCF 12! I must use more exclamation points!! Maybe 64 of them!!!

The University of Central Florida Knights would allow me to run up the punctuation score. They allowed a lot Saturday and saw more green than any USF opponent this season. They spent the afternoon backed up halfway to Orlando. I’d say they’re third-and-Plant City right about now.

This is how Bullish I am on my 6-0 alma mater: I spent this crisp and sunny Saturday afternoon at my computer listening to play-by-play courtesy of WFLA-AM’s streaming audio. WFLA is the station whose sports talk show I called into as a freshman to complain that the Mets’ run at a second-half title in 1981 wasn’t being given enough respect by the Tampa Tribune‘s baseball writer. I had my finger on the pulse of the market, I tell you what.

I had never listened to a USF football game before. They didn’t have USF football games when I went there. It didn’t occur to me until this morning they have USF football radio broadcasts. I heard a woman interviewed during halftime who said the enterprise she represented had been selling something Bulls-related since they became nationally ranked. “Front runner!!!” I scoffed, careful to use multiple exclamation points. Why, I’ve been a diehard USF football fan since at least a week before they became nationally ranked!!!

Two weeks after deciding it wasn’t worth ever again being excited over a sports team’s prospects because all they’ll ever do is lose twelve of their final seventeen games and make you miserable, I am using every ounce of green and gold in me to prevent myself from gloating unbecomingly over how we just Bullhandled UCF. I’m pretty sure I gloated over the Phillies’ poor start six months ago. Let me check…yes, yes I did. This would be a good time to change the subject to something that makes me look less foolish. Like…


Sorry UCF, you can’t stop me. Of course you can’t stop me — I’m from USF.

My goodness, I’ve never said with that the remotest sense of pride before.

Listening to USF football with severe interest was bizarro world. It could be described as listening to a Mets game for the first time ever and discovering that there is a whole media apparatus devoted to you. Except there was no Gary Cohen within earshot. The announcers were college football homers all the way, which would usually turn me off, but why be interested in college football if you don’t have a heavily pronounced rooting interest? Why would anybody who isn’t a gambler care about college football if it not for the “we” proposition? During the game, Chuck called and everything we said about USF was “we” this and “we” that, punctuated by “Can you believe this? Can you believe this?”

We weren’t talking about the sudden ascension of our alma mater to gridiron prominence. We were talking about how we were talking about USF football at all. “We” didn’t have a Wooden Nickel‘s worth of school pride between us through the ’80s, the ’90s and most of the 2000s. Now we’re “we” to the max.

We rule!!! We’re No. 5!!! BCS rankings come out this week and We will be in them!!! Nothing could possiblie go wrong!!!

Except we play the Scarlet Knights at Rutgers this Thursday night and everything could definitely be ruined there. Tough opponent, their house, short week, the starters can’t even go six, the relievers can’t get anybody out, Reyes has been all messed up since August…whoops, wrong anxieties.

USF is 6-0. Even the Mets were only 4-2 at this stage in April when it all looked and felt this good.

15 comments to USF is 6-0

  • Anonymous

    If you think that's something, wait until Thursday night – the USF/Rutgers game is going to be on ESPN!

  • Anonymous

    I'm already checking my cable connection every five minutes to make sure it's secure.

  • Anonymous

    And with Game 6 of the NLCS scheduled for Friday night there'd be no conflict.
    Ya know, if, well, ah nevermind.

  • Anonymous

    Before you get toooo excited about this accomplishment, I must point out that there's another team in D1 known as the Bulls, which just won its third conference game for the first time in its history and has a better conference record right now than national champ USC does.
    For a team that, as recently as the start of this season, was ranked in the ESPN Bottom Five, this is something to crow about.
    I feel your non-pain.

  • Anonymous

    Yale is 5-0!
    On the other hand, I know that because I just Googled it.
    I'm quite the fan.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who knows the USF fight song by heart — Greg and I sing it on occasion when we feel a surge of pride in our alma mater — I always knew USF would be able to become a national football powerhouse. I just never realized it would occur in my lifetime. Now that LSU lost — a fact I knew when the guy sitting in front of me at the theater tonight turned around to whisper to me he had just gotten an email stating that fact; I almost let out a whoop, which was not part of the dialogue on stage — the Bulls may climb even higher. Not only is this mindboggling, it's making me as Giddy as Greg. Whoo hooo!
    — Chuck

  • Anonymous

    Kentucky 43, (1) LSU 37
    Oregon State 31, (2) Cal 28
    Ladies and Gentlemen, your South Florida (3) Bulls

  • Anonymous

    Jason, I'll wager Mets '07 WS tickets on the Harvard-Yale game!

  • Anonymous

    Metstradamus – the polls will see your #3 and raise you one.
    The number TWO USF Bulls? What in the name of Jim Leavitt is this?
    I live in UCF country, so you can imagine how I feel today.

  • Anonymous

    Following losses by LSU and Cal, USF leapfrogged Boston College to rank as the No. 2 team in the nation in this week's AP poll, gathering 11 first-place votes to finish behind Ohio State and nobody else.
    So just to recap, here are the top college football teams in the land:
    1) Ohio State Buckeyes: Team formed in 1890, conference champions on 31 separate occasions, five-time national champions
    2) University of South Florida Bulls: Team formed in 1997, never ranked prior to September 2007
    3) All others

  • Anonymous

    Thank the boys for taking it easy on us in the name of I-4 solidarity.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, what a surprise to see this post come up in my rss reader. I had no idea you went to USF. I graduated in '94. USF was the only thing we had going for us after the Met's collapse. This is surreal. Go Bulls!! Now to stub-hub to get some tickets for the RU game. — Tom

  • Anonymous

    [/making the ripoff Hook 'Em Horns gesture in USF salute in your direction.]

  • Anonymous

    Hate to burst your bubble, but despite being #2 in the country, USF is still at best #2 in the state. The Gators may have 2 losses, but I'd still take them over USF, spotting 2 touchdowns. :P Besides, how can you NOT love a team wearing orange-and-blue and whose most vile enemy is the tomahawk chop? Having been born a Mets fan and now a Florida alum, that was my criteria for my collegiate choice.
    That being said, better the Bulls than the Buckeyes in the National Championship.

  • Anonymous

    The only bubble-burster I'm worried about is Rutgers. But thanks for checking in.