Fool me once…

This weekend I had to watch the Beaver game at home. I had my parents, my in-laws, and my two young daughters around me — as my wife was out of town. In deference to my children,  I had to refrain from using the language I really wanted to. In keeping with my mandated “cool off time” prior to writing a post, I needed to make sure that I was objective.

Because there was plenty to object to.

Now before I begin, I really want to make sure that people realize that my complaints are very clearly split. I do not blame the players. The players played hard and did what they needed to win for the most part. While players make mistakes, drops, are out of position, or just physically fail, the reality is that if they are making the same mistakes, look disorganized, or confused, that is on the coaches.

I am one of the few people I know who has no problem with what coaches are paid, because honestly, the expectations placed on them are incredibly high. I have always been a fan of Mike Riley, have always liked the way he runs things, the people he surrounds himself with, and the perks of being a Beavers fan with Mike at the helm, such as open practices and access to the team at an unprecedented level in today’s college football environment.

But Saturday was the last straw for me. It is not the players, they are great. It is the coaching. Running plays to sides you are outnumbered in without making an adjustment, running a defense that has your players so far away from the offensive players that they cannot be expected to make stops even on short yardage, poor angles, inability to handle twist stunts, lack of a commitment to running the ball even though your defense is struggling, etc. These are not little things. To hear comments such as OSU’s plan was to throw all day on WSU is not a huge issue to me, until it becomes obvious that your defense is struggling. Then you need to keep that WSU offense off the field.

Beyond those items, my biggest beef is that I cannot bring myself to care anymore. I hear a lot of people saying, “Well, maybe I should just stop caring so much.”  That is the LAST thing that can happen.  We might burn through two or three coaches before we get a winner again, but when a regime has a fan base whose only recourse is to stop caring, it is time to make a change. In 2005, 2006, and again in 2011, outrage by the fan base was met with exceptional coaching and play. Everyone rose to the challenge.

Now, we don’t even have outrage. We have apathy. People looking to drop their season tickets, people making plans for Saturday because they cannot even be bothered to watch the game, and DVRs filled with sitcoms and episodes of “The Walking Dead” rather than football games and highlight shows. I run a blog about the Beavers, and I cannot even write until two days after a game. This blog should be filled with game day and in-game observations. Instead, it is crickets during the weekend because I cannot bring myself to rehash it.

Ultimately, I do not think that passion can be instilled in this fan base again with this regime. It will take a few years of exciting games and sustained winning to bring the fans back, and it is harder and harder to believe that will happen. I wrote in the past that sweeping changes are needed to generate excitement. That is more true now than ever. I am going to the ASU game to see friends and watch my favorite players, but my expectations are not sky high right now. I appreciate and love every person to ever don the Orange and Black for OSU, but if we are going to pay $4 million a year for coaches, I think we can expect a better product. Riley is a great coach and every coach on this staff will find work again because they are well respected. They are just not the best fit at OSU anymore, partly because of morale issues. Just like any job, once your morale is gone or waning, it is nearly impossible to turn it around.

As always, whenever I am negative, I really want to be proven wrong. I have a special form and bib for crow eating, but I don’t think what I am saying is unreasonable to anyone after this year, last year, and every year not 2012 this decade.

Even with this rant, i will end as always with a hearty GO BEAVERS! Beat the satans!

4 thoughts on “Fool me once…

  1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

    Here is where I am having the biggest problem. I will be there Saturday night, and I will drive to Seattle, and set through the 7th night game in 10 games. And I will be at the Civil War, probably well into the night. Even if the Beavers get blown out of all 3 games, which they very well might.

    I will be there because I love our players, and I love our band, and the kids that work as hard there as do those on the team. I will go to see some seniors a few final times, in a season where they deserved better than what they got. Through no fault of their own.

    And I will be back at Reser next year, and in Pullman, Salt Lake City on Halloween, and Berzerkley, and Autzen (if they don’t completely price that out of question). And maybe even in Ann Arbor and Tucson.

    Because there will again be young men laying it on the line for the Orange and Black. And its good to see other great football players as well.

    I’m looking forward, for example, to seeing Taylor Kelly again, and Jaelen Strong. It’s a treat to see the caliber of other Pac-12 players. It would be better if Oregon St. were actually prepared for them, unlike last year in Tempe.

    And I’m looking forward to seeing new Husky Stadium, finally. Again it would be better if Oregon St. were prepared for the game, unlike the last few outings against the Purple.

    But that stadium will still be interesting to experience.

    More and more people are saying no one should attend until some major changes are made. And I get that, in that the message isn’t getting through.

    But why punish the players, current and future, the band, and myself, just because too many of the adults aren’t doing the kids justice with the job they are, or aren’t, doing?

    So how do we get the point across that this isn’t acceptable without simultaneously turning away from the kids? Or depriving myself of the college football game day, which is on balance the best thing in sports.

    It would be a shame on many levels to go back to the dark ages of going to other Pac-12 games in order to avoid uncompetitive games (not that the last 2 home games were; they just weren’t as good as they should have been).

    But I’m not at this point convinced that even after AD Bob DeCarolis’ contract runs out in 2016 will we see satisfactory steps forward taken. I hope I am wrong, for I respect the good things Mike Riley has done. But I also have no basis for such hope. now, next year, or after that.

    Reply
  2. blowcheese

    It is near impossible to be a beaver fan in this state right now. The product on the field is a joke and our rivals are quite possibly the most silly sports entity to ever achieve outrageous success. I wear my old style orange beav shirt down to my gym to work out and the looks i get from duk fans are as if i am crazy. Because no duk fan in his right mind EVER wears the gear after losing horrendously. Which is nice because they are afraid to talk to me, because i am crazy and the last thing i want is some tard with a large Oprah pasted to his forehead coming over to say Poor Beavers and he always cheers for us when they don’t play. GFY.
    So it’s either accept the 98% frustration with the program getting tanked by the same guy who mostly built it or… walk away and go about my life. Sorry i am all in as a fan and right now being all in is intolerable.

    Reply
    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      I agree… my dream is to go in week in and week out and be confident that the Beavers are the most prepared team on the field. I am not seeing that, and that is not the players faults. There is a lot they need to do to keep up and right now, I think they need big changes. What that is cannot be something like “Instilling a few plays” or “Working on speeding up the tempo.”

      But I agree. I am also all in and will take my lumps. I just wish I could give some out occasionally too…

      Reply
  3. blowcheese

    By the way Ricky Ortiz, Steve Nelson are the 2% that are 100% ballers. If we had a team of hard -nosed competitors x20 the league would be ours

    Reply

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