You’re Scouting Who?
The football players at Raymond James Stadium Saturday night were not the only ones on the field being scouted for talent; the officials were also being closely scrutinized for a potential career in the NFL. Gale Porter, 36 year College Officiating Veteran since retired, was looking for “young men with talent to move to the NFL.” Porter, who was the head official for USF’s first ever game against Kentucky Wesleyan, regaled me with officiating stories, including leaving University of Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler in the middle of the field all by himself because he refused to talk to him anywhere beside the sidelines, and gave me lessons on what different signals and different colored bean bags mean. Amid the colorful stories and bean bag drills, Porter told me that officials must be in shape and that being a talented official is being in the right position to make a good call. Now what color was the end-of-a-punt-marker-bean bag, grey or blue? I sure hope that Mr. Porter doesn’t read this.
The USF ties that bind
Bill and Santiago Gramatica, both former kickers for the Bulls, were present during Saturday’s game against FAMU. Santiago, the youngest of the brothers, graduated last year and was not picked up in the 2005 draft. Bill, who used to kick for the Arizona Cardinals was signed last year by the Miami Dolphins, but was later let go at the end of the season. Not present at the game was Martin, the eldest of the Gramatica brothers. Martin played at Kansas State University where coach Jim Leavitt was a former assistant and like his brothers, Martin is not playing for any NFL teams this season. After a long stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Martin was signed and dropped by the Indianapolis Colts last season.
Let it all out
As always, everyone’s favorite Hooters owl, Hooty, was doing his thing during a timeout at Saturday’s game. Hooty, an inflated owl, waddles into the end zone and tries to dodge football’s hurled at him by randomly picked members of the crowd. After a few successful strikes, Hooty began to amble off the field deflating as he went; his pace was slowed and he was in fear of falling over, but an assistant from the Hooters organization was able to help him off the field. The deflated Hooty could not be reached for comment.
Fill ‘er up
Gas prices may be at an all-time high, but so is USF football attendance. 43,122 fans showed up on Saturday to watch the Bulls trounce the Rattlers. The crowd was the biggest for a USF game at Raymond James Stadium and was second on the all-time list behind USF’s program opener against Kentucky Wesleyan in Tampa Stadium on Sept. 6 1997.
Strike Up the Band
If you got up during half time to empty the tank or buy another hot dog, you missed one hell of a show. Never in my four years of attending USF football games have I seen so many people stay in their seats during half time. Director William Foster and FAMU’s Marching 100 got the record crowd on its feet as they danced, played and boogied around the field, the drum majors even did several splits during the fifteen minute routine. Awarded the 1985 Sudler Marching Band Trophy for the highest musical standards and innovative marching, FAMU’s Marching 100 has a long list of accolades including marching at the 1984 Olympics, being chosen as the official band for the 1989 Bastille Day by the French Government and playing at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. The Marching 100 has also been showcased in commercials, television news programs and at the Super Bowl.