Seminoles nickname not a problem at Florida State

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A student sitting atop a speckled Appaloosa and wearing a headdress and war paint will ride to the 30-yard line before the BCS title game and plant a flaming spear into the turf.

Some might cringe at the 35-year-old tradition carried out by "Osceola" and "Renegade" — the Florida State mascots that will lead the cheering when the Seminoles play the Auburn Tigers for the national championship Monday night.

But in a football season shadowed by controversy over the Washington Redskins nickname, nary a complaint has been heard out of Tallahassee, Fla., where "Seminoles" is synonymous with the university, its football team and, of course, winning.

The key reason: The Seminole Tribe of Florida counts itself among the very biggest fans of Florida State, its nickname and all it represents.

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