Tale of the Tait
• Recorded on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017
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The point was made half way through about the double-mindedness of fans who wanted losing scores to be less lop-sided. When we got a closer score, however, we are still dissatisfied. That's true, but we're leaving a couple of major things out here. "Number 1" (ala Stephen A. Smith), it should be understood that the greater even-handedness of games were expected against teams like Kansas State. Like OSU. Like TTech and Baylor, who in past seasons could really have run up the score but quit due to either an invisible mercy rule or the good graces of opposing coaches who realized that they had to beat Kansas by 50 so that they dont give ammunition to sports journalists who would raise their eyebrows and pen befuddlement in their columns, but once the margin of separation was achieved they shut it down. It should NOT be implied that Kansas wanted those more even scores against Central Michigan, and especially on our home field. "So that's number 1...number two...(to continue with the Stephen A. impersonation). Part of the problem is this annual hyping that goes on about the football team. In some ways, they're realistic. Dorrance Armstrong, for example. Steven Sims, for example. Joe Dineen, for example. But in other ways, the predictions that come pre-season elevate fans' expectations, and we really have nowhere to go but down from them. Daylon Charlot? Torneden? And yes...Peyton Bender? I mean let's be fair: we didn't know much about Peyton at all playing on this level, and yet the buzz around him all but declared him as Todd Reesing's heir apparent. Bender might still improve, granted; and I hope like ALL fans that he does. But his struggles against CM were due in some cases to a porous offensive line and--get this--in many other cases showed a QB without the poise we've come to anticipate from the articles we've read.
It's like this yo-yo, where we are treated to lofty expectations only to have reality repeatedly yank them away. So you've got now the perfect storm of high expectations coupled with the loss against a team you should really handle easily if your program is on the way up, and...you guessed it...disappointment ensues.
The injury on top of all of this insult is that the FANS get blamed so frequently. I'm like, "Is this some sort of parallel universe? What the hell's going on here," or "You're kidding me, right? Where's the camera?"
A number of seasons ago I campaigned for more preseason critique of the football team to the effect of just giving a realistic view of where we were. I remember suggesting then, much as I am today, that realism (or substitute skepticism) is NOT the same as pessimism. The two may be related, but they are not one and the same. I and others got hammered for holding that opinion. And yet the lesson of history proves us right: it is better to take a wait and see approach on unknowns before getting excited about them. The reason why the Armstrong prediction, the Sims prediction, and the Dineen prediction did not disappoint is because we saw their product on the field last year. But while Bender, for example, is clearly a more accurate passer than Cozart could ever hope to be...his performance is nowhere near what was implied from preseason writings.
Again, I dont think its fair to criticize the fans because they are reacting poorly to a more even-handed but losing score, considering who we played against and the expectations of the fans--assisted by the kusports columnists--going into the game.
Yes but without hype is there any hope! I attended game 1 and it became abundantly clear that the season is going to play out poorly. I expected that both Alabama transfers would contribute heavily and that appears not to be. We also are in grave trouble considering our top diffence makers are not making plays and some aren't even playing at all!
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