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Poker mania: UCF fans bombarding Grothe



USF quarterback Matt Grothe knows Saturday’s sold-out showdown with Central Florida is a rivalry game, if only because UCF fans keep poking him.

Not physically, but online, at, where users can “poke,” which sends a prompt to another Facebook user, seeking a reply or poke back.

“On Facebook, they have this stupid, ridiculous thing called Poke the Opposing Team’s Quarterback,” said Grothe, likely prompting much, more poking in the next four days. “I’ve probably been poked three or four times by other schools all year. I’ve probably been poked about 6-million times this week.”

USF fans will debate as to whether to call the UCF game a rivalry, but Grothe said it stands out to him because of how intense the fans get.

“(I remember) how packed it was at their stadium last year,” said Grothe, who led a second-half comeback, throwing the winning touchdown in a 24-17 USF victory with 3:20 to play. “To see their fans and our fans, how much their fans wanted them to win, how much our fans wanted to win. Hearing some of the comments I could hear behind me in the stands, how much our fans hate theirs, how much their fans hate ours, it’s just building up more and more. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to Saturday.”

USF has won both previous meetings with the Knights, and this is the last scheduled meeting in Tampa, along with a game in Orlando next season. For now, UCF’s fans have mobilized online, and Grothe has noticed, stopping short of saying they have too much free time on their hands.

“It’s just trying to get into their heads, I guess,” Grothe said. “It’s kind of funny. Some of those people … I don’t know.”

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:42am]


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