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College football

Rap that hit all the wrong notes

Don't expect a repeat performance of FSU's 1988 musical mishit, Seminole Rap, which prefaced a 31-0 Miami rout.

By BRIAN LANDMAN
Published September 10, 2004


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It doesn't make former Florida State quarterback Peter Tom Willis cringe, even when his wife shows it to party guests. If it did, he wouldn't have saved a copy all these years.

"It was fun," Willis said.

The it is the Seminole Rap, a music video performed by the FSU football team and released before the start of the 1988 season; a season of unmatched promise for a program on the rise and the last time FSU opened against Miami.

The Seminoles, coming off an 11-1 finish and a No. 2 national ranking, featured a roster replete with established stars such as Deion Sanders, Sammie Smith, Odell Haggins and Pat Tomberlin and budding standouts including Lawrence Dawsey, Dexter Carter, Chip Ferguson and Willis. For the first time, FSU had earned the Associated Press preseason No. 1 ranking. Here's the rap's refrain, co-written by another player, Dedrick Dodge:

Hey. We are the Seminoles of Florida State.

We know we're good, some say we're great.

Our goal is simple: Best in the land,

Rocking to the beat of the Marchin' Chiefs band.

On Saturday night, we'll strut our stuff,

And show the nation the 'Noles are tough.

We've worked real hard to get where we're at,

So we're having fun doing the Seminole Rap.

"I think what happened is we probably didn't handle it the right way," Willis said of the preseason hype. "We got a little cocky."

I'm Chip, I'm Pete, and we're the QBs.

We've got the best job as you can see.

'Cause we get to lead the offense attack,

Then watch the defense get the ball back.

But if you get lucky and we can't run through,

We'll just unload some passes on you.

No matter what you do, we're gonna score.

And if you make us mad, we'll score some more.

Hopes of the video climbing to the top of the charts ended after the season opener at Miami, where a less experienced Hurricane bunch embarrassed the 'Noles 31-0. FSU fell to No. 10 and despite winning its next 11 games finished No. 3. "To me it was blown out of proportion," said Haggins, now in his 11th season as a defensive assistant. "I'll say this: We didn't prepare and that goes with making a video. We did not prepare."

Hey QBs, watch out my friends

I'm Odell Haggins, I'm back again.

You can double me up on every play,

It won't matter, can't keep me away.

When the ball is snapped, I'm off the line

Into the trenches where I will grind.

Stay out of my way I'm taking no slack,

Just want to kick back doing the Seminole Rap.

"I went to Europe (for vacation) and when I came back there was a tape," coach Bobby Bowden said. "I didn't want to destroy it because I thought it might hurt morale."

And truth be told, he knew his team was good and could be great. Its lone loss in 1987 came to eventual national champion Miami in Tallahassee 26-25. If his team could get by in the opener against the host 'Canes, who lost many of their key starters, including Michael Irvin, Bennie and Brian Blades and Daniel Stubbs, well why not dare to rap like the 1985 Chicago Bears?

We'll be on the warpath for every game.

When we get loose, those others get tame.

We set our goals; we made our plans.

We're gonna be the best team in this land.

We're working hard in the Bowden camp,

To bring Tallahassee a national champ.

We'll win it for the coaches, Rooster and Burt

And all those fans on a victory alert.

"Miami lost all those kids and we went out there and thought we were going to beat them up," Haggins said unashamed. "Miami beat our butts, plain and simple. It was a tough lesson for us to learn. We ended the season as one of the best teams in the nation. We had great talent, great talent."

Not a bad rap to have.

And like Willis, he kept a copy of the rap.

[Last modified September 10, 2004, 01:16:18]


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