Sometimes you don't know what you got 'til it's gone. Sometimes you knew what you had, but are sad to see it leave.
And sometimes, people who comprise a tiny percentage of the population make just enough "noise" on the Internet and on the Radio to cause even sane people to question themselves.
NOTE: I sincerely apologize for previous use of the word "Idiot". I had finally read one too many cruel posts about Coach Pete. I felt compelled to not only protect the integrity of Coach Pete, but also to protect the uniqueness and integrity of Bronco Nation itself - both of whom I felt had been unjustly damaged in recent days. However, nothing excuses labeling a group with such a word. And for that I am truly sorry.
Given the system within which he works, Coach Pete is making what he believes to be the most ethical decisions he can. Unfortunately, he is unable to make everyone happy As he navigates his new position, there are three things he is trying to balance.
- Well-being of Prior Verbal Commits
- Well-being of Current Employer
- Well-being of Prior Employer
The well-being of each is of great significance to him. Of course, there are many other factors he is considering as well: well-being of prior players, new players, his family, himself, old fan base, new fan base, etc. Given these constraints, Coach Pete is doing the best job he can.
Hearing some of the negative comments thrown at Coach Pete has been surreal, disappointing, bizarre.
The amazing fans of Bronco Nation I'd spent so much time with and embraced through the years... on the road... in the rain... in the snow... in the heat and humidity... with the parents of our young men... with the coaching staff... surely this was not them?
The fans I got to know so well... fans that focused on friendship... on long discussions... on having fun with fans from the other team... on life after football...
The fans who stood up en masse to defend and protect Kyle Brotzman after his Nevada nightmare would never say such things, would they?
These were not statements from those fans, were they? From our amazing, super, friendly, supportive fans? From the true core of Bronco Nation?
No. They wouldn't. They couldn't. They didn't. And they won't. Because Bronco Nation knows the truth. They have paid attention. They have lived through many, many years with Coach Pete. And they remember.
The media clings to controversy. Controversy sells. And it takes just a few knuckleheads to stir up the pot enough to get those radios tuned, those TVs watched, and those pages clicked.
Yet when one listens carefully through the noise... when one takes a true scientific approach to what's being said and by whom... one realizes our true fan base overwhelmingly supports Coach Pete. Every day, the comments on the radio run at least 10-1 in favor of Coach Pete. As for those who don't even call the radio station or post online? The "silent majority" looms even larger.
Talk to your true fan. Talk to your season ticket holder. Talk to your fan of 10+ years. Talk to your lifetime Idaho resident. Talk to someone who has listened to Coach Pete, who has watched Coach Pete, who has played for Coach Pete for years on end. Talk to someone who actually knows Coach Pete. Talk to someone who knows how much Coach Pete loves his young men and has done for them. Talk to someone who knows how much Coach Pete loves Boise State and has done for it. Talk to someone who actually knows CFB recruiting... who knows recruits get attached to coaches above all else, much less the system being run.
Because they will tell you just how special Coach Pete was to Boise. Just how special he still is. Just how special he will always be. This is a man who won two - TWO - Paul Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Awards. Yet he stayed at Boise, passing up AMAZING offers from around CFB so he could continue to build the program. Did he leave immediately after Kellen left? No. He stuck around. To provide stability, to provide a base.
And yet, he has a life too. He has a right to pursue it. To chase his dream. To live his own life. He gave us far more than we ever expected. Far more than any college football coach has given to its fan base in modern times. To not be grateful is... well, his core fan base is grateful.
Is he perfect? Not even close.
But is he a man of exceptional integrity, who lives his life guided by Faith? Is he a man driven by helping young men become the best they can be? Is he a man whose primary focus - (along with winning) - is developing young men? Is he a man whose players will routinely answer the question, "What do you remember most about your time with Coach Pete?" with, "He taught me how to be a man"?
Yes to all of these. And luckily, his core fan base already knows it.