That 2002 Feeling

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Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to give a warning. This will not be pretty. It won't be well-formatted, and it probably won't make a ton of sense. Pot-shots and low-blows are welcome here. You shouldn't consider this a post. Consider it therapy for the incoherent rage I feel toward my alma mater. I leave Mark to write more reasoned posts on the main page. This is pure, unadulterated fanpost venom.

I've begun to think that Baylor fans on the whole are too polite. We have a tendency to say, "Well, they tried their best. We'll get them next time," and then head off to our fraternity parties to drink IBC root beer and flirt with Tri-Delts (Some of you will get that reference, some may not). Why do we give in to inadequacy so easily? Why?

During the ISU game, I had something of an epiphany: It's because I've been trained this way. Like several of the other posters on ODB, I attended Baylor in the early 2000s, which was not a pretty time athletically. I went to every home football game my freshman year, and I left every home game disappointed... at halftime... down by 30+.

During my sophomore year, I didn't go to a single football game, and I was happy. I forgot that football existed, I drank IBC root beer, and I flirted with Tri-Delts. For sporting enjoyment, I put my love into the basketball team. I went to every home game with a big group. We cheered. We harassed opposing players by researching the names of their family members online. It was grand... and then it wasn't.

Everyone knows what happened to our basketball program in 2003. It was a disaster. I won't go into all of the details, because we all know them by heart. What I will say is that for the next two years, I had to watch my favorite players - Lawrence Roberts, John Lucas III, and Kenny Taylor - light up scoreboards and win Conference Player of the Year awards for other teams.

What could any self-respecting sports fan do under these circumstances? I went to baseball games. Our baseball team had a few really great seasons during this time (2005 anyone?), and I put my sports fandom into that. I still do. However, if we're honest with ourselves, college baseball doesn't take a school's brand very far. College baseball is, as much as I love it, the Jon Snow of college sports. He's great, and you really root for him, but when it all comes down, he's the unwanted bastard stuck out in the frozen wasteland.

Now here we are in 2012. Baylor has just come off the most successful year in college sports history, including a bowl victory, an elite eight appearance, a national championship, and a super regional appearance. We're a little over half way through football season. How do I feel? Angry. Disgusted. I've been trying to find targets for my anger, but even that isn't fulfilling. CPB is a very good candidate, but articles like the one that Mark linked to about roster attrition make that less satisfying. I think, "Well, maybe we just don't have the horses, you know?", and then I get even more angry at how easily I choke that idea down.

We're in the Big 12 Conference basement. What's up, Kansas? We're a laughing stock. At the beginning of the season, people picked us to be pretty decent. Hell, Ubben over at ESPN is STILL picking us to win games for some inexplicable reason. And here's our team, proving every pundit right who said that our team was "only RGIII." They've proven it! We really were just RGIII. He was THAT transcendent of a player, apparently. He literally carried our entire team. I hate that thought, but they have proven it to be true this year. That recruiting bump we got from the Heisman? Gone. Top 25 recruiting classes? Evaporated. That fancy new stadium we're building? Wasted. I don't go to sporting events for the ambiance. I go for the product on the field.

Two targets of my anger are Nick Florence and his beard. I realize fully that this is unfair. I know that he is the least of our problems, and that he's basically being forced to carry the offense, because our running game is pathetic. Hey, maybe we just don't have the horses, right? NO! Stop that. We have Lache and Glasco, and that's a hell of a lot more than most teams. So why am I mad at Florence? Maybe it's the idiotic beard. Find a razor, Nick. Or maybe it's because RGIII would have found a way to win in Morgantown and Austin. I know it's unfair. I know. But it's true.

Yet another object of my venom is Ahmad Dixon. Yup. Weird. Here's why: Why are you even here, Ahmad?! You're awesome! You should have gone somewhere where your talents weren't drowned in a sea of crap. And do you know what, Baylor fans? All of the talented defensive recruits are thinking this same thing! Why should any talent on that side of the ball come to Baylor? Even a game changing player would look worse playing in these schemes with this level of talent around him. Why would he chance it?

Mark has already started the "Next D Coordinator" thread, and I love the thought of that. Attrition or not, Bennett has to go. He has simply failed miserably at his job. If a Subway sandwich artist failed at his or her job like Bennet has, they'd have to molest the bread, spit in the drink machine, poop on the cookies, and then stab a customer, all while someone filmed it and put it on national television. CPB has shit the bed at Baylor U.

And then, there's the untouchable Art Briles. Some will say I'm crazy for even mentioning this, but the responsibility for a failed season falls on CAB. If we're using the assumption that Baylor football was all RGIII for the past two years (as this team has now proven), it speaks poorly of Briles. The thought creeps in that maybe Briles rode RGIII's coat tails into our good graces without really being a great coach or recruiter. Sure, he has a history with QBs and receivers, but is that all he can do? Bennett can't build a passable defense with the players he has. Okay, then who recruited those players?

Scott Drew turned around an essentially dead basketball program in only a few years. He recruits the best players, and his teams are ranked constantly with no sign of slipping. If Drew can do that, starting from nothing, there's no excuse left for our football team to make. There is no "wait for next year."

If you've read all the way to this point... thank you and I'm sorry. Like I said, this is more therapy than a post of any sort. I guess what my incoherent rage really boils down to is this: it's the last gasp of me caring at all.

I can feel myself going into that comatose 2002 state, where I forget that college football even exists. I don't want that, but it's happening, like some sort of perennial underdog coping mechanism. The only difference between now and then is beer vs. rootbeer... Who am I kidding? Tequila vs. rootbeer. Beer doesn't even begin to ease this kind of feeling... Oh, and there are no Tri-Delts this time. My wife was a Kappa.

If I'm feeling this way, I know that other fans are as well, and Baylor football can't afford apathy at this point in time. Empty $250 million stadiums are very, very bad business. It's time for Baylor football to do whatever it takes to make this right. Fire everyone if needs be. Baylor owes me that for the four years I spent pretending I didn't care about sports.

Fanposts on ODB are user-submitted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of, SB, or any of the writers, editors, or contributors here.

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