I am not certain if my semi-routine mentioning of being a Florida St. Seminole fan for years rubs some the wrong way or not, but I feel the experience taught me a number of things that are now applicable as a Boise St. fan as well.
The time and place where I had to defend FSU the most were my High School years of 1990-1994 in a small town in Central Florida named Deltona where I was surrounded by Gator and Hurricane fans. Gator fans were venomous and Hurricane fans were full of bravado...there didn't seem to be many Seminole fans.
Most people who know anything about the 1990s Seminoles know they set a CFB record for consecutive top 5 finishes. They established the gold standard for program excellency and consistency and they did it against some of the toughest schedules made in CFB at the time (prior to joining the ACC).
What a lot of people don't know is that the early 90s, while tremendously successful seasons, were heartbreaking ones as well. It seems like every year, I would talk my Seminoles up to my friends at school (all of them Hurricane fans since that was the faddish team to go with) only to lose to the Hurricanes via missed field goals (popularly known as Wide Right I and II, you can google it). On years FSU miraculously beat Miami, they would lose to Florida. Every Monday I would return to school to pay up bets I could hardly afford to cover and face an onslaught of ridicule and I Told You So's. The mocking would last the year. The one year FSU did win the National Title it was mired in controversy and scandal as they lost to Notre Dame that year, barely beat Nebraska for the Title, and had a scandal involving several athletes.
Losing to the 'Canes was especially hard to take because you could look at your team and just know within yourself that they were the better football team, You could review the game in your head and know they played a better game that day, and you could watch your sideline and your coach and know that Fate was against you. But that didn't change the fact I had to pay up on bets, it didn't change the fact I had no leg to stand on in arguments, the fact remained that FSU lost and Miami won and that was the plain truth of the matter...I had to accept that the wrong team won for the wrong reasons but it was reality.
Because I faced this year in and year out in an intensely hostile environment I learned to look beyond the Win-Loss record for why I liked Florida St. Believe me, when you see the coach of your favorite team call a gameplan that is far more conservative than their normal style, and you witness the frustration on the kids faces, it becomes quite tempting at that age to find a new team to root for. But every year I would break down the positives and the negatives of those Florida State teams and end up sticking with them.
It was then that I learned you should like a team for what they stand for, not just their record. That Head Coach, the key players, and the team as a whole should represent qualities that you yourself want to represent. They should have character and toughness, class and humility. They should play with good sportsmanship, overcome adversity, and bounce back from heartbreaking defeats. They should be as American as Apple Pie, as consistent as the Postman, and as hardworking as the country boys on our great nation's farms and ranches. They should never quit, never give up, and never go quietly into the night. They should be resilient, tough, and honest. No one is perfect but winners will always get back up and fight back.
We lost tonight to a Nevada team whipped into a frenzy and ready to take their stand in the national spotlight. That doesn't change the fact that Coach Petersen and the Boise St. Broncos team play this game as it should be played; principled and without fear. Winning isn't everything, who you are and how you go about your business is much more important. We have many famous examples to prove that; places like Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, The Alamo, and Iwo Jima. Events such as The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King's I have a Dream speech, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. All of these places and events were a result of strong character and triumph over great adversity. IMHO, those characteristics are modeled in the program Chris Petersen has built. It's more than a Rose Bowl or National Title game, it's an inspiration and example of how things should be done.
These are the reasons I like Boise St. They are reasons that transcend a Win - Loss record, they are why I support this team, and they cannot be defeated on any battleground, field, heart, or mind anywhere in the known universe...these reasons are bullet proof.