The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Be true to your school


Last updated 9/27/2018 at Noon

Do you ever have a problem cheering for your favorite team? As Major League baseball winds down and the Mariners are eliminated from the playoffs, as fans we still want them to win don’t we?

I was listening to the game on the radio on Sunday and still hoped for some success as if the game was one that really mattered in August. I still want them to win. I know there are some that couldn’t care less but a win is a win and I still want the M’s to win.

For those fans of college football that hired new coaches after less than stellar seasons for a year or two and have not seen the kind of success that they were hoping for I can only say be patient.

Teams like Nebraska, Tennessee and UCLA are reeling after taking their lumps against teams that they were supposed to beat and lost to then get demoralized against more talented opponents. Tennessee fans left the game early in droves last Saturday.

I’m sure they didn’t get into their fancy motor homes and go home. I’m sure they went to their fancy motor homes to drown their sorrows.

There were some high profile hires after last season with hefty contracts to protect the hires from getting axed in the first four weeks of their first season on campus.

Fans get impatient especially when their beloved team has been mired in futility for a couple of seasons and truly believe the guy they hired that had great success as a head coach at a lesser known program or the coordinator that could do no wrong at the high profile program because of the massive amount of talent he had to work with is now having problems getting the team to the finish line with a win.

There are several ways that coaches approach the situation they inherited. The type of offense and defense that the coach wants to implement may not work with the players now on the roster.

Chip Kelly has been playing freshmen at UCLA figuring that in a year or two he will have his players running the show and they will be able to play his up tempo style and put big numbers on the scoreboard.

Another philosophy is to have a mix of old and new and maybe red shirt a few kids to bulk them up in the weight room and dining room. True success will normally still take a couple of seasons before the winning begins.

Offensive and defensive schemes are easy to teach but may not be easy for players to digest. Understanding the speed of the game and adapting on the fly takes experience. Just because a young player was great in high school doesn’t mean they will be awesome as first year players. Some of them still need grooming.

There is another way that a few coaches have tried with varied success and that is picking up players from Junior Colleges (JC’s) that have two years under their belts against some pretty good talent. This philosophy actually worked the best in the days when freshmen were not eligible to play at the four-year institutions.

The JC’s played a nine game schedule against some very talented foes. At the four-year institutions the frosh teams were limited to a four game schedule or so.

Junior Colleges had an abundance of talent and JC ball was a lot of fun to watch on a Saturday night. But when the NCAA allowed freshmen to play it limited the access of big talent and many JC programs went away and are no longer in existence for a variety of reasons.

Kansas State become a college power back in the 1990s with a lot of talent coming from the JC’s so it can be done but having a kid around for four or five years is the preferred method.

If the team you follow is trying to rebuild with a millionaire dollar coach and they are still losing by embarrassing scores understand that the miracle fix won’t happen overnight.

There will be a lot of swearing and grimacing and even a few “I can’t watch this, I’ve got to get out of here before I (vomit, explode, do something stupid or fill in the blank statement)!” as you walk out of the stadium.

But if the coach has won before and has been able to recruit great talent there is a good chance it can happen at the place he is right now.

So like the Beach Boys once sang, “Be true to your school” and the good times might just roll again soon!


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