first, allow me to apologize for the length of this article up front. Secondly, please understand my sincerity here. I am so not trying to toot my horn, or say I've got it all figured out, or be self promoting in the least...But I do think I'm on to an important concept here that can really help a lot of people in the fanbase gain the right perspective of where Boise St. is as a football program.
Below is a response I had typed out to someone who was a little under the weather concerning last year's shortcomings. I feel these are normal feelings to have and that we were all real heart broken over that. I also think our program has not fallen off the track and that the overall goal is still well within sight.
I hope the response below helps paint the word picture of why I think we have tremendous reason to be excited as Boise St. fans and the importance of having a long view and wide angle perception of our favorite football team as a whole when it comes to gaining the full appreciation of what exactly it is that makes Boise St. such an exciting team. Why more and more people each year, and across the nation it seems, want to know "What's going on in the Treasure Valley, and where exactly is that anyhow?"
Keep in mind, I do not deal in facts and figures much...rather, I tend to be good at grasping the more ethereal and intangible things that are happening. I cannot give you an airtight case full of numbers and trend analysis of why Boise St. is awesome, I leave that to the statisticians and lawyers in our ranks :p However, I have always been sharp at catching the nuance, color, and context of what is happening on an emotional, psychological, and human interaction level. I hope this strikes a chord with you guys.
I know I keep hammering this but I just think thi sis the key thing we need to understand…
What is happening at Boise State is a PROCESS…that word, in big flashing, neon lights…PROCESS.
This is what we should emphasize within the fanbase. It is an awesome thing to witness, but it takes time. Perception lags behind Facts by a good amount. Just like a Volccano, Earthquake, Cat 5 Hurricane, or F 4 Tornado, the awesome jaw dropping spectacle is simply the result of a lot of equally fascinating things happening before that.
I watched this happen with the FSU Seminole program. Bobby Bowden took that program over in 1976. FSU had gone a combined 4-29 in the 3 previous seasons. Bowden and Miami Hurricane coach Howard Schnellenberger started having boxing matches to try and bring fans in to watch the Seminole – Hurricane games. Things were slow and there wasn’t a whole lot of reason to believe football could ever be much of anything in a backwater state made up of mostly marshland, swamps, and mosquitos.
By 1989 the Miami Hurricanes, via legendary coach Jimmy Johnson, had practically redefined the game of football. No longer were you looking for huge behemoths and a power running game. The name of the game now was speed, speed, and more speed. Similarly, the only team that seemed able to hang with Bowden’s Seminoles nationally was Johnson’s Hurricanes. No one across the country had an answer to the combination of size, speed, and swagger coming out of the state of Florida. Yet, the prevailing thought for a long time, was that size and strength was still the way to go and these Florida schools were running gimmick schemes with basketball players…a fad that would eventually be broken and done away with so the Ohio St.‘s, UT’s, and Alabama’s of the CFB world could get back to winning championships.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s Hurricanes and Bowden’s Seminoles continued absolutely dismantling teams from the South East, Mid West, North, and West Coast with an ease and swagger that dared other teams to try and make a game of it.
From 1990 to 2000, some 24 years after Bowden had taken the program on, Florida St. went on to produce the longest streak of Top 5 finishes, a record that hasn’t even been sniffed at since as far as I know.
The point is that we are Boise State fans. Our program has been at the Division I level for what, 18 years? We have a small school that isn’t very well regarded academically, we don’t have a large alumni base, we don’t have huge amounts of federal dollars coming in for research, and we have the smallest football budget in the NCAA FBS by an embarrassing amount.
Five years ago, we had been around long enough to gain everyone’s pat on the back and atta-boy attentions and affection. Now we are popular enough and dangerous enough to have earned everyone’s ire and get under people’s skin. Eventually we will have their fear and respect but that is in the future, not now.
It is a process…we aren’t UF, we’re not UT, we’re not tOSU, Michigan, or USC. Heck, we’re not even Oregon or Arizona St. We are Boise St. and we are brand spanking new. You have to see things through the correct lens.
How often do you get to watch a maturation process? How many times can you see a star born? We see stars go super nova all the time, we watch meteors crash to earth routinely, we see the end of things.
Right here, right now, you get to watch something come into it’s own. This is the MOST awesome time to witness a program. It’s not the very beginning, it’s not the very end. It’s not the laying of the foundation, a critical but boring and time consuming process. It’s not the middle of a golden age, it’s not the end of a dynasty.
Boise St. is in the apex of it’s LAUNCH into a full blown national powerhouse and YOU are a part of that. You’re at the games and in the bars. You’re on the forums telling everybody this thing is for real.
DUDE!!!! You are a prophet! Take a second and let that sink in…you’re the fiddler on the roof man! You’re at the rooftops yelling to the savage and ignorant that our time is now and no one can stop it. You’re the sign in the sky of things to come, you’re the guy in the forums telling all of Atlanta that despite what they THINK will happen, THIS IS HOW IT IS! Take solace in that and breathe easy. Knowing that it may not have been last year, it may not be this year, but sometime during your life, down the road from now, you will be able to sit down with another football fan and tell them “I was there”, “I was a part of that”, “I watched it happen”.
This is special guys, but you have to let it all develop if you want to reap the rewards of being present when something great happens.
I Wall of Text like it's the in thing to do
"...and just things really starting to unravel now for Utah..." Herbie, BSU vs. Utah, 22 Dec 2010