Happy Birthday Supermantia!

t_lrg_frontToday’s a big day for former Ocala Springs Elementary student, Joey Mantia. He’ll celebrate his 28th birthday by marching in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi this evening.

Last Friday, I ordered a T-shirt in support of Team Supermantia and viewed Joey’s website’s pictures and stories about his success in qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team. I remember Joey as an enthusiastic elementary student already making a name for himself as a champion inline skater, and I’ve followed him through the years as he made the switch to skating on ice in hopes of becoming an Olympian so of course, I bought a T-shirt.

I’ll be watching the 1000 meter speed skating on February 12th and the 1500 meter race on the 15th cheering on Supermantia.

But, Joey isn’t the only Olympic athlete I feel a connection to this year. Another Ocalan, and Florida Atlantic University alumni, Brittney Bowe will also compete in speed skating events on the 11th, 13th, and 16th. I don’t know Brittney, but as a fellow FAU alum, I’ve followed her success through the years and will be wearing my red, white, and blue pride in the form of an FAU sweatshirt for tonight’s opening ceremonies.

A third Ocalan, Emily Scott, rounds out the local delegation competing in Sochi…another speed skater to cheer.

Ocala may be the best represented U.S. city in the Olympics. Who’d have thought a town in central Florida would be a training ground for athletes competing in the winter games?

Good luck Joey, Brittney, Emily and all the competitors representing the U.S.A.



It’s Football Season in Florida!

IMG_0778Tonight Meghan, Jon, and friends will join UCF fans as the Knights kick off the college football season in their game against the Akron Zips. It’s a big night, not only for fans of the Knights but for college football fans everywhere.

Then on Monday night Sarah and Daniel will cheer on the Seminoles as they take the field against Pitt closing the opening weekend of the 2013 season. It’s officially football season.

I’ll have my eye on Friday night’s game. Usually you’ll find me cheering for the Miami Hurricanes, John’s alma mater, but tomorrow will be a different story since my alma mater, FAU, Florida Atlantic University, takes on the Hurricanes in their season opener…a first!

My closet is full of orange and green Hurricane attire, but tomorrow I’ll don my one and only red FAU shirt and cheer on the Owls, something I couldn’t do as a student since FAU’s 2001 inaugural seasonĀ  came over twenty years after my graduation.IMG_0735

Friday, for the first time we’ll be a house divided.

Recently, Emily (another Hurricane alum) sent an email entitled 40 Signs You’re a Miami Hurricane…a fun series of photos which bring Hurricane fans together.

Well, the Hurricanes aren’t the only ones with bragging rights in the state. In response I’ve put together a series of photos which bring Owl fans together.

Sure, Hurricanes flash the universal “U”, but Owl fans…including the President…show their “owl fingers”

FAU is the ONLY university in the state undefeated in Bowl Games with an all-time record of 2-0 and with the first bowl win coming in only the sixth season.

And speaking of Bowl Games, the Owls were the ONLY Florida team to win a bowl game in 2007.

  • New Orleans Bowl: FAU 44 – Memphis 27
  • Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State 10 – UCF 3
  • Sun Bowl: Oregon 56 – USF 21
  • Music City Bowl: Kentucky 35 – FSU 28
  • Capital One Bowl: Michigan 41 – UF 35
  • And UM? Oh, they didn’t make it to a bowl game in 2007.

Like the Hurricanes, we hate this man too…so much so that we’ve never let him stand on the sidelines during a game.ShapiroAnd like the Hurricanes we love this man…he chose FAU over UM.Howard Schnellenberger

Finally, we have something the Hurricanes will never have…not at the Orange Bowl…not at Sun Life Stadium…FAU has a stadium on campus.

Friday will be a first. I’ll be cheering for the Hurricane’s opponent. May the best team win!