By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
June 19, 2019
OMAHA, Neb. (WCTV) -- 1,173 miles away from Dick Howser Stadium and their typical tailgate grounds at the Oaks at Doak, the Animals of Section B - or, this week, the Animals of Lot B - are getting ready to cheer on their beloved Seminoles against Michigan at TD Ameritrade Park.
Just like they did against Georgia.
And against LSU.
As a matter of fact, "road warriors," might be a more appropriate nickname than "Animals," lately, even though they're still traveling in a herd.
“You know what’s been incredible is that no matter how many of us show up, we all bring it," said Johnny Mac, a member of the Animals. "We took it in Athens, we showed up and we shut down 11,000 people in Baton Rogue and now we’re about to bring it to Omaha and show ‘em what the ‘Nole fans are all about.”
While Mac isn't the Zookeeper of the Animals, he's certainly gotten his fare share of airtime leading the charge on the road.
"He gets stopped everywhere," said Alicia Cross. "If he was in the witness protection program, his cover would have been blown a long time ago."
"You know, there's a difference between celebrity status and well known status," Mac explained. "A celebrity status never pays for anything. I've got well known status, I still get a tab at the end of the night."
But, despite the new notoriety, Mac is quick to point out this isn't about a few fans getting 15 seconds of fame. it's about the garnet and gold faithful doing their part with every K-time.
Every take me out of this ballgame, ducks on the pond, load 'em up ragarm, fight song, and N-O-L-E-S cheer.
It takes to see their fighting tribe play for a national championship and, after Saturday's game against Arkansas, it didn't go unnoticed.
“From the bottom of my heart it means so much to hear you guys yelling and you’re a big part of this," Florida State manager Mike Martin said. "We haven’t done anything yet but we know that we’ve got you yelling and screaming for us and thank you.”
And maybe do their part to give their beloved skipper a sendoff like no other in sports.
“Honestly it’s just that storybook ending and no matter what at the end of the day I’m just so happy that Mike Martin’s career gets to end here in Omaha where he is so loved and respected by everyone not just ‘Nole fans but everyone around us,” Mac said.
“Once it happens I’m telling you right now Tallahassee will be closed for a week because we’re gonna party the whole week we’re there," Cross stated. "But all I ask is that you wait to celebrate because it’s gonna take me a week to get home.”
While the Noles may have had to travel further than any other team in the College World Series, and TD Ameritrade may not be the friendly confines of Howser, make no mistake; it's the Animals who are still rattling the cage.