Dear Fellow Hokies,
This is kind of an addendum to my previous post on why fans are crazy. Some of y’all will agree with what I’m fixin’ to say. “Finally, someone gets it,” you might think. Or, “Oh thank God I’m not the only one.” But others are undoubtedly going to be upset and want to punch me in the face. You can want to punch me in the face all you want, but please don’t actually hit me. I might hit back.
So with all that in mind…let me begin.
It’s been rough so far. We all know that. We lasted two weeks ranked in the Top 25. I think we can all agree being ranked #14 was a little generous. Even the games we win make us want to pull our hair out. But I have some issues with some of the frustrations I’ve seen, heard, and read in the last few weeks. So humor me for a few minutes and let’s talk about it.
My biggest annoyances this season are how fans react to losses, and the general behavior I witness at games. We’re all frustrated, and we’re allowed to be frustrated. But seriously, some of the things I overhear at games and read on message boards are really starting to make my blood boil. Things like, “Logan sucks!” “Logan’s stupid!” “Put Leal in!” “God, we just suck,” and countless variations are fired around North Endzone almost every Saturday, and on every social media outlet and message board for several days after a loss. Demands for Leal make me especially angry, but I’ll get to that later.
I can’t take it anymore. I hate hearing people bashing our own players, especially one of our team leaders. It looks bad on us as fans and supporters. I like lurking around message boards–TheKeyPlay is one of my favorites–but recently, I’ve found myself avoiding them. I hide my social media, especially Twitter, for at least the rest of the day after a loss or difficult game.
“Why?” you may ask. Log on to Twitter or any message board after a game, and you’ll see.
Your next question might be, “So how do you deal with the heartache of losses if you don’t vent about it on the Internet?”
Well, some people drink. I hear a rail or two from TOTS will do the trick. I prefer cheaper methods of therapy, like Disney movies and vanilla Coke Zero.
For real, y’all, we’re better than this. There’s a difference between being critical but still supportive, and being critical and irrational, and honestly kind of rude. There is nothing cool or funny or truthful about saying we “suck.” It’s tasteless, quite frankly.
Why? Because we don’t suck.
If we sucked, we wouldn’t be 6-3. If we sucked, we wouldn’t be bowl eligible. If we sucked, we wouldn’t still have a chance to go to Charlotte. The only team in our way is Miami.
So stop saying we suck. There is nothing I hate more than hearing that from our own fans at our own games. It’s disheartening and aggravating.
Also, let’s lay off the Logan hate. While he’s been inconsistent–I will openly acknowledge that–he isn’t the only player causing issues on offense. Several receivers have dropped some easy passes that should have been easily caught. And the kicking and running games go without saying. It’s frustrating, and it makes me miss Danny Coale a lot. I think he and Jarrett Boykin spoiled us. But we can’t bring them back. I like the potential I see in Willie Byrn and Joshua Stanford. I also like that Stanford has the humility to admit that the receivers aren’t performing as well as they should. From a recent press conference, “I think a great deal of the interceptions fall on us as receivers” (from Andy Bitter’s Twitter coverage, November 4). He had other great, encouraging things to say. I’d pay a visit to Bitter’s Twitter page if you want to read more.
It’s not just Logan. Stop playing the role of critic and pay attention to the rest of the game. And stop demanding Leal. It’s not going to happen, not this year.
Roanoke Times beat writer Andy Bitter said it best in his post-Marshall article: “As for the Leal ‘truthers’ out there, give it a rest. Change ain’t coming.” And Beamer confirmed it.
Want more proof that Logan is our guy? Check this out and try to tell me differently.
(Side note: seriously, click the above link. It’s great. Also, this.)
One last note on criticism: the players don’t pay attention to it. They know it happens, but they don’t give it a second thought. So is it really worth wasting your breath and cyberspace?
I know it’s a rough season, and we all knew it wasn’t going to be completely smooth sailing. But as fans, we’ve got to straighten up. Stay for the entire game. I hate seeing fans leave early. If the band, the Corps, and the coaches and other players have to watch it through the end, then we should, too. At least that’s my mantra (admittedly barring the Marshall game, I don’t do cold and rainy after 2011 Clemson; props to those who stuck it out).
All this sounds harsh, but I think we still have a chance to do big things. Two losses do not define our season.
See y’all in South Beach. Let’s go.