Up Close with Tomahawk Nation: Meet the real Brian C
Here at Tomahawk Nation, we’re lucky to have ourselves a fine group of learned people who are able to help shape, produce, and elevate the content we put out here covering Florida State athletics, both on the front lines as well as behind the scenes.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that there’s a human behind the words — we’re here to fix that. Each week, we’ll be giving some insight into the people that make TN’s engine purr.
Up next, one of the big brains behind the scenes and a well-respected member of the Tomahawk Nation analytics team, our resident rocket scientist, Brian C.
What was the deciding factor in your decision to attend FSU in Tallahassee?
Believe it or not, it was the small classes.
I transferred to FSU in January of 1990 from Cornell with a stopover at Hillsborough Community College in between.
At the time the engineering school was small, and the classes were also small compared to UF or USF. Plus, the FSU professors in the Chemical Engineering department would go out of their way to help you if you asked.
Who is your all-time favorite FSU football player?
Marvin “Shadetree” Jones. He was an absolute monster at middle linebacker, and I loved when he spoke about “helicopter hits.”
The phrase “agile, mobile, and hostile” described the way he played to a T.
I feel that he’s been overshadowed a lot since he played before all of the championships were won.
He is up there with Derrick Brooks as a one of the best linebackers at FSU and deserved a championship ring at both the college and pro levels.
Which Seminole highlight makes you the happiest when you watch it?
Ward to Dunn. The Gators were making a furious comeback in The Swamp and had FSU not scored on that drive, the Gators, I think, would have finished the comeback. The silence in The Swamp after Dunn scored was deafening and golden. The silence was also wonderful to hear from my Gator colleagues at work after all the chirping they’d done all fall.
Which was the most memorable FSU game you witnessed live, at Doak or elsewhere as a visitor?
There were two games that I remember the most. Wide Right I in 1991. Tallahassee died that day, and I have never seen a place so somber before or since after a game.
I was able to hear Bobby Bowden preach at 1st Baptist of Tallahassee the next morning and it was incredible listening to him. When he spoke of “Faith, Family, and Football, in that order.” he meant it and demonstrated it that day.
The other memorable game was the Georgia Tech game in 1992. We had lost another heartbreaker to Miami two weeks before, and we were down 24-7 going into the 4th quarter, if my memory serves me right. Marvin Jones was hurt, and it looked like FSU would take the L that day.
This was when the “Fast Break” offense made its debut. We scored 22 points in quick succession and won the game. Seeing the D carry Marvin Jones in tears on their shoulders after the win is something I haven’t forgotten. That was the day FSU turned the corner as a team and became the dominant FSU team that we know of today.
What was your major at FSU and what is your current occupation?
I majored in Chemical Engineering at FSU and earned my BS in 1992. I currently teach engineering at the community college level, and I do data science/analytics as a side gig.
What was your favorite spot on campus or in Tallahassee when you were a student?
The bar called “The Pub” right across from McCollum Hall. One of my friends used to work there, so we used to hang out there quite a bit. I don’t think it is there anymore.
RELATED: Did you miss some Friday morning classes due to an enthusiastic Thursday night at The Pub on West Tennessee Street? If you were at FSU in the early 90s, the answer is most likely “yes”! It was a great spot to chill out on the upstairs deck overlooking campus, and the beer was always cold and plentiful. One of the downsides was negotiating the old staircase on your way out (not-so-good planning there)… it literally spilled out right onto Tennessee Street, which led to a few unfortunate incidents we won’t go into here. Once the Phyrst closed for good, The Pub became the rightful heir to most popular campus bar that wasn’t part of the Tennessee Waltz over at Poor Pauls and Bullwinkles.
What is your favorite non-football FSU sports moment?
A toss-up between watching the women win the 2018 WCWS, and seeing the 1991-92 men’s basketball team win their first ACC basketball game at the Dean Dome vs. N. Carolina.
What is your favorite non-FSU sports moment?
Watching the NY Mets comeback in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Watching Mookie Wilson get that grounder past Bill Buckner to win the game brings me joy to this day. Of course, they won the series which made it even better. To top it off, the Giants won the Super Bowl that season.
If it couldn’t be FSU, which college team would you root for?
St. Johns. I grew up a fan of St. John’s basketball during their run in the early-mid 1980’s with Mullin, Berry, Wennington, and Louie Carneseca coaching.
Georgetown’s use of the Box and 1 against St. John’s in the 1985 Final 4 broke my heart.
Which pro teams are you a fan of, if any?
NY Mets, NY Islanders, NY Giants, and am casual Knicks fan.
If you could’ve played for FSU, what position would you have played and what number would you have worn?
Free safety, and I’d wear number 28.
Tell Tomahawk Nation something unique about yourself?
I had the privilege of watching 12 Space Shuttles lift off from the Press area. That is about as close as you can get to a launch.
I would like to thank Brian for his contributions to Tomahawk Nation over the years and for sharing his FSU experiences with the Tomahawk Nation Community.
Please check out these other previously published Up close with the Tomahawk staff.