I must say, times sure are changing here in the panhandle of Texas. As a lifelong Lubbock resident, I have been brought up to respect those who "pull themselves up by the bootstraps", honor their word, and man up when they happen to make a mistake. However, those values are apparently fading quickly, made apparent by the actions of the Texas Tech administration, Football coaching staff, and local media. Lets take a second for analysis:
Point one: "Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, Tommy and co."
I cant tell you how many excuses that i have heard from Tuberville, game commentators, and local media types concerning the lack of performance by this year's team. If the wind didn't blow, if Leach had left any recruits behind for our current staff, if the fans would just cheer a little louder, if the team was not too "overprepared", if we were all just a little more classy, etc. then Mr. Tuberville would already have us on our way to some "championships"! I am just sure of it! I think that Tommy knows how to recruit and put player in the NFL, he has proven that year in and year out. I cant remember the pirate complaining about a lack of talent here, or the wind blowing too hard. Under Leach, if you dropped a pass, even one, your butt was sitting on the bench for the rest of the game and we might not hear your name for several weeks, if at all. I think that it is rather apparent why Swindall never saw much of the field before this year, despite good size and speed. That guy must dip his hands in butter before he runs out onto the turf. I can also remember him being very critical of Leach after his removal. I wonder if Mike's discipline of receivers that drop passes had anything to do with his outspoken criticisms. Perhaps he was sensitive about his girlfriend's weight issues... I dont know. As far as using the wind for an excuse, guess what Tommy, it blows in Lubbock, quite often i might add. The wind affects handoffs far less i know, so the solution for that problem would obviously be to run the ball more, just like everything else. I heard on the radio yesterday that our current players were basically the bottom of the barrel in the big 12, save for Iowa State. How in the world were we able to beat down teams like Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State with such sorry recruits in the past? Just last year we sent the Sooners packing with a lopsided defeat. The wind must not have blown much that day. The crowd must have supported the team better. We must have been less prepared. OR............... WE OUTCOACHED THE OTHER TEAMS. WE ACTUALLY SCORED POINTS AND MOVED THE BALL. OUR SPECIAL TEAMS WERE NOT GIVING UP TOUCHDOWNS.
Tommy, do the best with what you have. That is all we ask. Red Raiders do more with less. If you need 5 star recruits to compete, maybe you should reevaluate your coaching strategy, buddy. Time to put up or shut up.
Point 2: Honor Your Word
When our new coach arrived, the fans were definitely relieved to hear that our air raid offense would stay intact. Our defense would become more aggressive, our special teams would improve, etc. The new staff would build on the traditions that had put us on the national football map, not completely revise the program from top to bottom. Tommy absolutely kept one promise, though. He would be a salesman. He has kept his word on that one, evident by him looking us straight in the eye and selling us a stinking bag of crap with a pretty little red bow on it. "We wont wear white helmets in games, only in practices". BS. "Our special teams will be better" BS. "I am a defensive coach, and we will improve defensively" BS. Somebody needs to let Tuberville know that any sucessful CEO must have credibility with his employees (team) and investors (fans). I just wish that he had leveled with all of us on that day instead of selling us a bunch of lies. You can apologize for the man all day long, hell i want to as well, he looks great in a tie. But so do all of the other slimy used car salesmen. Now that we have a team chaplain, maybe he can have a talk with our coach about the good lord's feelings about liars. Leach might have used some colorful language at times, but at least he would tell it to you straight, like it or not.
Honor and tradition starts with your word and handshake in West Texas, Tommy. Save your salesmanship for sweet home Alabama.
Point three: Man Up when you mess up
Was anyone else embarassed when we severely screwed up that onside kick? How about not challenging the obvious non-catch in the Texas game? How about letting Arnaud set records against our "SEC style attacking defense"? How about losing to OSU in Lubbock for the first time since 1944? Did anyone see what Oklahoma just did to Iowa State's offense? Remember, last year we took OU apart here in Lubbock. Same Potts, same Batch, same Leong, same Duncan, same Davis. Wow, what a difference a year makes. At least we had a defining win against Baylor this year. Now, thats something to hang your hat on. Tommy, people around here respect honesty and a man who admits when he is wrong. Either Ruffin McNeill is the next defensive genius, or you have failed to put these defenders in places where they can have success. Watch the video from last year. Our "soft big 12 defense" produced turnovers in critical situations and even managed to hold a few teams under 21 points. Take some pointers from the big african-american man. Sure, his shirt came untucked from time to time, and he got rather sweaty, but he got that way high-fiving our players and coaching with passion. You might try that... the fans and team respond to people who appear to care.
I hate to admit it, but Colin Cowherd is right when he talks about small town media not holding their teams and coaches accountable. Every time i turn on the radio or look at the paper i hear people belittling the fans who are upset about what they see happening to their beloved Red Raiders for being petty and not seeing the big picture. These radio hosts know that they will lose the only lifeline that they have to their paychecks, access, if they speak out against the Tech Administration or the new coaching regime. It infuriates me to hear them talk about how we all need to lower our expectations of OUR TEAM. It makes my blood boil when they tell us to just "let the Leach thing go. He's not coming back." If we forget how he was ran out of town, and why, we are doomed to let the same idiots who fired the man for illegitimate reasons continue to make a mockery of our Red Raiders, who if they haven't noticed, are a BIG FREAKING DEAL to the people who call this area home and live and die with their team.
Oh, well. the losses don't hurt as much when you cant see them. Do you remember what Tech in HD used to look like? Oh, yeah. Kind of like Oklahoma State did last week.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors.