Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Grouchy Obstinate Boosters

Our site has for a long time linked up the two main message boards that provide online Raider nation with the bulk of our Raider nonsense - Rivals' (Inside the Double T) and Scout's (the home of Raider Alley).

In the past few days the Good Old Boys have been out in full force at Inside The Double T. Their season of discontent continues - and it's been an 8 year drought in West Texas as far as they're concerned.

My generation versus the GOB generation is turning out to be an ugly battle. The Good-Old-Boy generation seems to enjoy tearing down the new Texas Tech as they sip on their Natty Light and reminisce about the good old days of the I-formation and the Veer.

It's fair conversation to start, I think. No matter how successful a program may be, there will always be detractors, no matter how valid their claims may or may not be. Texas Tech has always had a bit of an uphill battle to be sure. The South Plains is home to a rugged breed - and that mentality is a great asset in times of difficulty. As it relates to Texas Tech football though, we've been on a pretty sweet little roll of success. I don't think that's a fact that is disputable at all.

So what's not to like?

We haven't won any Big 12 championships to be sure, but it's not like the trophy cabinet was full of SWC titles either. The one Cotton Bowl of that era was only achieved via a tie - and our trip to Dallas was awarded because the other eligible teams had "been there done that" more often than Tech.

Some of the complaints center on our recruiting - though it seems to me that Leach has clearly had a focus to bring in players that have skills that suit this program specifically - even when they may not have the "stars" that recruiting nuts have to have to validate their little lives. Not to mention the fact that Tech has done an OUTSTANDING job recruiting real-life student athletes. A recruit that committed recently had offers from 2 service academies. That's outstanding.

You know, as I recall, Spike Dykes recruited before the days of Rivals and Scout. I wonder how many stars Reagan Bounds would have had, or Tracy Saul. Did guys like that get offers from UT or Oklahoma? I bet they didn't. So how is Leach's recruiting somehow worse?

I have been quite proud that our football players of late have been smarter than average, graduating more than average and have character that is clearly above average. That has been a long time coming - a real shift in the fabric of Texas Tech Football - and may the sole reason I get so frustrated with the GOB crowd. Their implied complaint is that they would gladly sacrifice grades and character to have higher profile athletes to rub shoulders with I suppose.

Maybe instead of "lecturing" us (lecturer), you can kindly give us your recruiting credentials and experience.

As far as I can tell the GOB crowd really can't stand Coach Leach. I'm not just basing this on a few folks who were posting on an anonymous message board - but I believe these folks really do think Tech Football is mis-managed by Leach. Which is a thought that I just can't buy into.

Mike Leach represents all that is new generation about college football - and that just pisses off the old fellers...

Mike Leach is a lawyer, which doesn't help matters, but has a long list of demerits that the old money boosters just aren't ready to accept. Let's see if we can list all of them here and get those boys' blood pressure up a little higher - you know - to mess with their bypass a little...

1. Lawyer
2. Probably a Mormon
3. Never played football
4. Despite growing up in Wyoming - he's just not Texas enough
5. Glamorizes pirates
6. That VanGogh self portrait thing is just odd

We all know that the Spike Dykes days were full of back-slappin' one-liners that we all got a kick out of. They were also the same years that we fielded teams that were flagged by the NCAA as chock full of illegally recruited players.

They were the years where Coach Dykes would glad-hand the boosters and GOB crowd - regailing them with stories of coaching high school football in the backwaters of West Texas and in Midland. Always available for a round of golf or a hand of poker, Spike Dykes was the good-old-boy coach of your dreams. Somehow the old money crowd would gladly write big checks even while Bam Morris was getting thrown in the slammer and embarrassing our school.

I'm not here to beat up on Coach Dykes - rather to bring to light the differences I see in our program as it exists today. And to remind the GOB boosters about how things operate in the 21st century. We do things a little differently today.

And when we do win that Big12 title - will the GOBs slap my back and tell me what a great job we did?


JN said...

I like you last entry on the blog.

One problem though: there aren't any backwaters in west Texas.

Anonymous said...

Is there a major college program in the country where the alumni don't question things from time to time?

And there was no "lecturing". There was a reasonable observation made for the purpose of generating discussion, which is what message boards were created for in the first place.

The "Keep your yap shut and shake your pom-poms" mentality is dangerous to the success of a program.