I have to admit, I am pretty frustrated with Beaver Nation right now. As a blogger, I guess I can voice my opinions and people will probably just decide to not follow read me and I will be the tree falling in the woods, or whatever metaphor most accurately represents someone that everyone else thinks is on crazy pills.
My beef is simple, and it goes with my base philosophy in sports:
Its about the players, not the fans.
On the internet, it is easy to gripe and moan about players or coaches or whatever because it is anonymous and there is no personal element. I see things written about Craig Robinson, for example, and I wonder if they have ever even talked to him. Or his coaches. Or their wives. Or the Players. I wonder if any of them have sat in a room with Bob DeCarolis and asked him about Craig and why he has done the things he has done in terms of his contract.
Unfortunately, the fact is Craig has a losing record over six years. No matter what the circumstances are, he is not winning and not taking OSU to the next level. He will most likely be back next year and maybe they shock everyone and go to the NCAA or NIT. I wouldn’t put money on it because he hasn’t done it in six years and this team next year has a ton of questions round it.
But that is the program, the coach and the decisions of the administration. What gets lost in all of this is the hours and hours of training and practice that the players put in, the heart they showed game after game even as the had more than their share of disappointing losses that looked like they might be wins. The program was maybe one player, or a few less turnovers or a few made free throws from tying for third, rather than plummeting below the six team log jam at the middle of the Pac-12. Those players played even when no one was watching because they came to OSU to play.
So I support the CBI because, for many of them, this is going to be their last chance to play basketball at this level or higher, and is definitely the last time this team can take the court together. We can complain that they are wasting money, though the program was one of the most profitable teams in the conference. We can talk about perception, but if Craig doesn’t win next year, the perception won’t be that much different because he will most likely be gone and someone else will come in to hopefully right the ship back to its winning days of yore.
What people are not saying is that this is the last chance for Roberto Nelson, Angus Brandt, Devon Collier, Daniel Jones, C.J. Mitchell and Michael Moyer to suit up for the Beavers and play with their brothers on this team. It is a chance for the younger guys to get more practice and more games and it is a chance to support the young men that wear the Orange and Black for us and have for the last four or five years.
Say what you want about the coach and the program, but for me, the CBI is for the players and I wish them the best. Enjoy these last games and build for next year. Most likely they are not going to focus on empty seats at Gill but rather on the people playing next to them. Go Beavers!