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1 Xavier Lee Question = Tons Of Passion
Posted Jun 24, 2007 by Aaron Knox
Updated Jun 25, 2007 at 12:38 AM
The passion of college football fans never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes that passion borders on psychotic obsession, but generally speaking, there’s not another sport in America that has such a rabid fan base.
In my decade as a sports writer, the closest comparison I have to the fervid devotion of a Florida State or Florida fan is the edginess that accompanies the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Those teams dislike each other, but not nearly as much as their fans. I recall walking behind a pair of Red Sox fans entering Yankee Stadium during the 2003 ALCS and listening to the abuse they took from Yankees fans. I was surprised they made it into the stadium in one piece.
Since moving from Tampa to Tallahassee a year ago to start covering Florida State’s athletic program – with an extra emphasis on football obviously – I’ve been constantly reminded of that passion in reader e-mails, blog comments (not nearly enough) and the occasional phone call from an irate reader.
And nothing draws more reaction from readers than talking about FSU’s quarterback quandary. Should Drew Weatherford be the starter, or is Xavier Lee the man for the job? Of course, that answer remains as elusive as a scrambling Charlie Ward.
We’ll know a lot more starting the first week of August when the Noles report to fall practice to begin preparing for the season opener at Clemson.
For now, the debate is confined to talk radio, Internet message boards and blog posts like the one I filed a few days ago. The question I posted was simple enough: What does Lee have to do this season to avoid possibly being labeled as the most overhyped recruit in FSU history?
I figured I’d get a few responses and that would be it. I have received a handful of responses on the blog and most of them make sense.
However, my little blog question was posted as a thread on Warchant.com, online home of some of the most rabid college football fans in the country. I became aware of it over the weekend when a couple of people e-mailed me, so I checked it out.
As a result, I am once again reminded how hot of a topic FSU’s quarterback situation is as the season creeps closer and closer. So much of FSU’s quest to return to prominence rests behind center. Based on many of the fans’ responses, most believe Lee has more talent, but for multiple reasons, it seems there is a belief among the Warchant Warriors that Lee remains No. 2 on the depth chart despite changing his jersey to No. 1 in the offseason.
Who knows at this point? I certainly don’t and I don’t think Jimbo Fisher does either. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Weatherford to start the season opener at Clemson.
As for answering my own question, I’d say Lee needs to win the job and start putting up some big numbers and big wins to stay out of the race for biggest bust in FSU football history.
As for which player holds that honor now? I’d have to agree with several posters on Warchant who voted Dan Kendra as the biggest flop in FSU history.
So for you Xavier Lee fans out there, the X-man might never be No. 1 on Bobby Bowden’s depth chart, but at least he probably won’t be No. 1 on the biggest-bust chart either.