Getting rowdy in
The Animals make Dick Howser Stadium an opposing presence
- Published on March 4, 2002
by Harris King - Staff Writer, FSView
The Cleveland Browns have "the Dog Pound", the Duke Blue Devils have "the Cameron Crazies" and the Florida State baseball team has "the Animal Section."
It's the "best college baseball cheering section in the country," according to ESPNet Sportszone.
The Animals, as they affectionately call themselves, live by the motto, "A fans is a person miserable in defeat and intolerable in victory."
This enthusiasm makes Section B at Dick Howser Stadium the most opposing presence to visiting teams in the nation.
Don't think that their presence is over-exaggerated. One time while playing the University of Maryland, they changed the words of "O Canada" (which they sing at the bottom of the fifth innings in every game) to "O Maryland, our Victory is your loss, Many strikeouts and all thy sons make errors."
The song made such an impression on the Maryland athletic director that he wrote a letter to thank the Animals, saying that he hoped it would be sung one day in Maryland.
Their most prominent moment came in the 1999 NCAA Regional at Dick Howser Stadium when Section B made a lasting impression on the Providence Friars.
"Providence is probably No. 1 on everyone's minds," Zookeeper of the Animals Drew Hankin said.
Hankin is the leader of the Animals and is the webmaster of an elaborate website on Animal tradition and Seminoles baseball coverage entitled www.sectionb.com.
Providence was playing Jacksonville University for the right to play FSU in the Regional Final. JU was on top 7-3 in the seventh over a Providence baseball program that was going to be cancelled at the year's end. The Animals moved from Section B to behind Providence's dugout to cheer them on and the emotional life propelled the Friars to a stunning 9-8 victory in 10 innings. At the game's end, the show of class and camaraderie between the Animals and the Providence fans and family, brought everyone to tears.
The Animals have a deep history.
The name originated in 1978. A group of energetic Seminole fans who attended every game would be brought doughnuts, that were horrible, from the proclaimed No.1 FSU fan Sol Carrol. One day, t his group of fans had enough the bad doughnuts and threw them back at him. Carrol called a bunch of animals, and the name has stuck since.
Along with having a Zookeeper, there are also Most Valuable Animal award given out annually and Animal Rookies of the Year. The Animals have an official song book that ranged from "How Much is that Batgirl (in the Aisle)?" to "a parody of "The Boys from Old Florida". The Animals consist of students, alumni, business people, families, and anyone else who has a deep passion for Seminoles baseball. Any student is more than welcome to join the Animals and the process of becoming one is easy.
"It's pretty simple; all you have to do is just come up and sit with us," Hankin said. "Just participate in our cheers, clap along and make yourself visible. The only initiation is that we make our rookies lead a 'Noles cheer in front of the stadium."
The official website has en email list that has grown to over 3,000 members and the Animals have even accumulated several local sponsors.
Their presence at Dick Howser Stadium is unparalleled, their spirit is unmatched anywhere in the nation and their legacy as the most loyal supporters of Florida State Baseball is set in stone.