This thought process was sparked by BSUflyboy in an understandably frustrated comment. Please read this comment before going on as it sets the basis for what I am about to share with you all. Link Here
I am a firm believer in drawing parallels between large scale events and small scale events for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of each. The operations of an atom reflects the design of the solar system. The same element in a boy that leads him to stand up in defense of a classmate against a gang of bullies is the same element that drives a man to set himself against the forces of tyranny.
I also wish to say that this comment is indicative of a common point of frustration that we all share. Everyone has felt this way at one point or another and everyone will feel this way again in the future. My summarized answer to the inquiry is as follows...
Yes, but it is important that we do so in order to keep the question open for debate
Before I continue, I want everyone to understand that what I am about to write about is of the utmost seriousness in nature. This is real life, far beyond the entertainment of football. But it also has parallels to what we face as Bronco fans, albeit on a much much more insignificant scale. It is my opinion, that the little things in life are where we develop our character. Our character is what the major decisions of our lives and how we act in the most crucial of circumstances is predicated upon.
I pose the following questions; Does anyone really think our players learn only about football in this game and under this coach? Can we learn something of great value on the scale of life, whilst engaged in the insignificant details of something on the scale of entertainment? I believe the answers to those questions are NO and YES respectively.
At this time I will relay some information about a man who pursued justice and truth at a time when justice and truth had many interpretations. Join me as we head to Linz, Austria circa 1959.In 1959, Simon Wiesenthal (the Jewish ex Concentration prisoner who survived the war and became the most famous and successful Nazi Hunter ever), was working desperately to bring former SS man Franz Murer, who oversaw the liquidation of nearly 80,000 Jews in the Vilna ghetto, to trial.
This was a time when many of the surviving Jews of Europe were fleeing to America and the fledgling nation of Israel in order to escape lingering persecution and rising new threats. Rather than join the thousands headed towards flourishing communities swelling with tremendous national and ethnic pride, Simon moved his family from Germany to Austria...an area teaming with anti-semitism still and all but devoid of other Jews, in order to pursue his interest in bringing escaped war criminals from the Nazi regime to justice. It was 13 years after the war had ended and the Neo-Nazi movement was gaining serious credibility along with it's main foundational reasoning; that the Holocaust had never really happened.
About this time, Simon gave his daughter a book to read in addition to her schoolwork. First published in 1947 at a pedestrian 1500 copies, it had not gained any great esteem yet. Those who were familiar with it felt it was largely Jewish propaganda, based loosely on a few facts, but primarily fictional for sympathetic and narrative reasons. Simon's daughter, after reading the book and being moved to tears, suggested it to her teacher as a book the class should study. After reading it herself, the teacher agreed to share it with the whole class. Every day, a student would be selected to read a chapter to the rest of the students.
At the same time, Wiesenthal (after tremendous reluctance on the part of the British and against active resistance from pro-Nazi political interests) was able to successfully bring Franz Murer to trial. Murer had already served time in Soviet Russia for crimes against Russian POW's and much available testimony could not be used again due to double jeopardy rules. In a political climate that heavily favored Murer, Wiesenthal was still able to gain 17 eyewitness testimonials against Murer. These accounts were completely separate from his other crimes and centered on crimes committed against Jews. One witness in particular, a man that had watched Murer put a bullet in his son's skull not two feet from where the man had stood, came prepared to assassinate Murer in front of his family in order to ensure justice. Simon talked him out of it, insisting that the most important thing was that the question remain open, that the rising claim the Holocaust did not happen remain challenged in public. Simon insisted that ultimate judgement would be rendered by God. He argued that Judgement and Vengeance were not their tasks to accomplish and they must not equate themselves to the Nazis. He said that if the Jews were ever to equate themselves with the Nazis in their methods of seeking justice then they would lose credibility as a people, the world would forget what had happened, and it would open the door for it to happen all over again.
Back in the classroom where Simon's daughter was, many of the children claimed that the story was mostly made up, that their parents had told them all of this was trumped up, that the Holocaust never happened, that the bodies in the pictures were made of paper-mache, and that no one would ever be capable of such a thing. A nice story but, in the end, a work of almost pure fiction. The name of the book was The Diary of Anne Frank.
Back at the court room, Murer was found Not Guilty on all 17 counts after the Defense mercilessly exploited the eyewitnesses (all of them surviving Jews who had witnessed their family executed by Murer). Franz Murer walked and lived as a free man until his death in 1995. Wiesenthal, though, had accomplished his primary goal; keeping the realities of the Holocaust at the forefront of public opinion while directly contesting the claims that the Holocaust had never happened with overwhelming evidence and emotional appeal.
Simon later tracked down and found the Gestapo man who had arrested Anne Frank with the same zeal he had pursued Eichmann. Some of his team questioned why he would expend such resources on a low level policeman who probably wasn't guilty of an actual convictable war crime. Simon was insistent on his belief that the mission was to challenge a world who wanted to forget or, worse, remember it differently. Finding this man and illiciting a public confession helped shut down the growing belief that The Diary of Anne Frank, and other books and accounts like it, were nothing more than a forgery.
My point is that, against a system of obvious vested interests and biased perceptions, it just may be that Boise State and Bronco Nation's most important role is not that of Mighty Vanquisher, Heroic Defender, or Saintly Liberator. Perhaps, our most vital role is simply to Hold the Line and Fill the Gap.
Maybe we don't go to the NCG this year, that doesn't change the fact that we have helped forge an enormous change in CFB culture and perception and that we continue to be the central beacon of enlightenment in a system of thought that resides beneath the shadow of assumption and inaccurate perceptions. Boise St. is the question that won't go away, the challenge to all the assumptions concerning recruit ratings and SoS, the catalyst to the age old question "what if...".
Bronco Nation's job is to present the argument against the prevalent pattern of thought. No one force's another person to change their mind, that is not what we are working towards. We are here to keep the question open, to provide sufficient time and evidence, so that people have an opportunity to decide for themselves before being sucked back in to the "blanket statement" assumptions due to a lack of evidence, a lack of public outcry, a lack of opposing voices, and a lack of conviction...We are the voice that keeps the question open.
I hope I have made a valid point that can be used for further thinking the reader would like to engage in.