At this point, the weekend has come to a close and coaches, players, and fans have had enough time to digest what took place last Thursday. I’m neither a coach nor a player. I’m a fan/sportswriter that will hopefully become sportswriter/fan someday. The initial reaction from the coach was disappointment. The initial reaction from the players was shock and dismay. The initial reaction from yours truly was wow this sucks.
I realize that “wow this sucks” isn’t exactly something a sportswriter would feel proud about writing in his or her article. I haven’t read the book but I’m sure “wow this sucks” is probably in the chapter titled “What Not to Write” in the book Sports Writing for Dummies. Hence why I’m a fan/sportswriter but I digress. The point is I feel your pain fans.
I heard from a fan the day after the game that we won’t win a game all season. If we lose this weekend, maybe I won’t think that comment is ridiculous. Until then, I will continue to believe that maybe the season isn’t entirely lost. Here are some reasons why.
Reason number one: Our best player hasn’t yet played his best. Damon Nickson was a Sports Illustrated Preseason All-American. Think about that for a second and realize that he hasn’t played his best this season. You have to believe he will only get better, right?
Reason number two: The future is now. Dwight Dasher showed why he should be the starter on Thursday. I hate when a player loses his job due to injury but in this case I don’t believe Joe Craddock will/should/might lose his job to injury. If Craddock does indeed lose his job it’s because Dasher is more than a quarterback, he’s a playmaker.
If you’re going to lose you might as well be exciting. Dasher is exciting. He makes Blue Raider fans say, “Did you see that?!” His ability to lead a team, which looked lifeless after the first quarter, into position to send the game into overtime had fans coming back in the stadium they were leaving two minutes prior.
Reason number three: The coaching staff ain’t having it. Again another terrible journalism word but it’s the best word to describe the feeling. These coaches have worked too hard to let this team slip. What’s even more important is that the players trust and buy into what the coaches are preaching. They have no choice really, they did go to a bowl game last year so a rough start to this season can’t get them down too much.
The main idea to remember for fans is that it’s not about this season anyways. Whether the coaches want to admit it or not, many critics and fans saw this coming. Last season wasn’t a dream but the team caught some breaks and played above their heads to win a game or two. Even with much of last year’s team returning for this season, reasonable people had to believe this year wouldn’t be as successful as last season.
I’m not here to tell the coaches to admit that this season is a building point for next year. I’m not asking fans to accept less from their beloved Blue Raiders on the field. What I’m saying is to look at this season with a different approach. Instead of expecting what happened last year to happen again this year, approach this year like you did last year.
Let whatever positive happens be a surprise and go with the flow. Be excited when Dasher runs for 20 yards on 3rd and 11 and then follows it up with a 12 yard pass over the middle for another first down, and think about having three more years of that and more.
Don’t fret Blue Raider fans. Expect to take a few lumps this season and realize that next year at this time we should be speaking of our team in a different light. On a side note, the Blue Raiders are 0-5 since I started covering them at the Motor City Bowl so I’m hoping for a win as much as you.