Okay loyal reader(s) I’m back!!! Yayy!!! I left off with our season-changing 49-10 (I mistakenly called it 48 in my last post) over Memphis in 2004. We went on to win three more in a row to get bowl eligible. We then lost to Louisville in the only game Gino missed in his career due to injury but came back to beat Marshall 32-14 in the New Orleans Bowl.
I vividly remember the day of the New Orleans Bowl because we had a huge snowstorm in Cincinnati and I spent two hours shoveling snow just to get out of my driveway!! I remember watching that bowl game on ESPN and just feeling a huge sense of pride for the players and coaches and the great feeling I had to be a part of it no matter how small it was.
You see readers I was extremely proud of the fact that I did not give up on this team. The players, coaches, administrators, other staff and fans did not give up either and I’m glad we have that in common. Guys, I had a choice that rainy night in October. I could have stayed at home or gone to a sports bar and watched the SEC or whatever and stayed dry.
But when I bought my season tickets in August I made a commitment to stick with this team through the good times and bad. The fact that I fulfilled my commitment was one of my proudest achievements throughout my tenure as a season ticket holder. I’ve previously stated that I never missed a home game between 2000 and 2007 and had to leave early only once (Rhode Island in 2003). Back then Bearcat Football was one of my top social priorities. Every August in those years when I would get my notice for season ticket renewal I would ask do I have the time and money to do this. Will my work schedule permit me time to go? Were there any other issues that would prevent me from getting season tickets?
If I could answer these questions in a positive manner then I would head down to the ticket office or send in my application and get my tickets. I would then let friends and family knows that these five or six days in the fall I would be in Clifton and if they needed anything they knew where to find me. I must say that my friends and family were most supportive during this time, and for that I am always truly and forever grateful.
Doing this was also a valuable life lesson as well. I was raised and truly believe that barring any unforeseen circumstances you always fulfill your obligations and commitments, whether they are of a social, personal or a business nature. It is just what productive citizens do. You feel better about yourself, and people will truly respect you whether they agree with you or not. This commitment to commitments has really benefited me in all other areas of my life as well. It has added to my personal, social and business relationships in a very positive manner. For this I have Bearcat Football to thank for this, and in the future no matter what I am doing or where I am UC football will always have a special place in my heart.
I would now like to offer some opinions on fans in the sports world. I am going to focus on fans that attend live major sporting events, such as D1 college football or basketball or professional sports such as the NFL, NBA or MLB. I get irritated to no end when I hear media types or players, coaches or other people comment on how fans need to act.
I get offended when these people criticize fans for not being loud enough, for leaving early, for not going, or for not acting in a way that pleases them. I have two words for these people. STOP IT. STOP IT NOW!!! What a lot of these people at times lose sight of the fact that without fans that their lives would simply not exist. A lot of these fans have had to make sacrifices, sometimes major sacrifices, to get tickets and pay for parking and concessions that are really out of their price range.
But they do it because they love their sport and their team. It is a huge part of their lives, and when those “culturally significant” don’t respect that, I have a real big problem with that. I am talking about the types that make a significant living in the sports world, primarily professional athletes, coaches, and media types. To those people I would say be grateful to whoever pays a ticket to go see your sport play. They are the ones braving the elements while the media get their own heated and air-conditioned press boxes with free food and drinks.
And you know what, there are some fans who don’t want to stand up and cheer all the time. Some people after a hard day or week of work just want to sit there and watch a live sporting event (I include myself in this category). They want to watch the game with their friends or by themselves without the other drama that goes with it. This is not to criticize those who cheer the whole game or paint their faces or bodies or yell and scream or really get into it. Those fans are great, the best.
And they are really necessary to teams for a true home court or field advantage. But again, not everybody wants to do that. So respect the ones that don’t while loving the ones that do. I would also advise those players, coaches and media types to read tweets and blogs of these fans. Some of them are very knowledgeable, and you may pick up something that will benefit your team. I have to go now. We will pick up this discussion with my next post.