This post was started on 03/08/12. Hence yesterday is actually two days ago, etc.
Yesterday's loss didn't inspire any parties across the state. I'm sure it was the instigator of a lot of drinking, though. It also inspired the worst in us as a fan base. Before I go any further, it is important that I acknowledge that I'm the guy that GIFs people in unflattering positions and generally takes the low road. So to say that I should never be considered the voice of reason would be appropriate.
Having said that, now would probably be a good time to discuss what's appropriate fan behavior. Because some things I've seen this morning do not fit into the appropriate category for me. It's not necessary for me to link to these things. In the end, they are just examples of the problem. (It's not, however, anything that I've seen posted on this site.) Being thin skinned about geographical fubars and jokes about the state and it's people is one thing. I understand that as much as anyone else from this state. I don't always agree with the lengths people go to in response to that kind of ignorance. But I understand and lines generally aren't crossed.
But when we get to the point where we're tweeting directly to one of the guys on the team, sending emails, death threats, etc., a line has been crossed. Absolutely one that should never be crossed. These are kids or at the most, young men. They chose to come here. They've given of themselves in ways that most of us will never see. Whatever they've received in the way of a scholarship, they've earned. They are going to make mistakes. Some more than others. If you want to look at this year's team, they all can't be Kevin Jones. If they were, Kevin wouldn't be all that special.
No one on the team lost the game all by themselves yesterday. It was a group effort. Calling only one person out is just as ignorant as calling West Virginia, Virginia. It reflects poorly on us as a fan base. It reflects poorly on me as someone that follows and writes about West Virginia sports. Surely it is seen by at least some recruits. It has no place that I want to be associated with.
We're leaving the Big East and heading into a new conference with a much greater reach across the country. If not the general public, then certainly the part of the public that cares about college sports. The things we do and say now as a fan base are going to stick with us. They will be the first impression the folks in the Big 12 will have of us. I'd like for it to be a positive one. We all think of this as a great state, people, and university. Showing the rest of the country the good would be a great first step.
When I first started writing here I needed to be told that I was being too hard on Bill Stewart. That I needed to tone it down. They were right. What I was doing was wrong. To anyone I may have offended, I am truly sorry. My thing with Stewart was, I felt like I was one of the last to jump off that ship. I supported him past the point that most did. And when the allegations of him digging up dirt on Holgorsen came out, I felt betrayed. I felt like I had a license to grind Stewart into the ground by any means necessary. But I was wrong and I admit it. It was immature beyond the point of fart jokes. I'm just glad there were people here to tell me so. Hopefully since then, I've taken a different approach. Hopefully one that didn't drive anyone away from this site. Because my goal when I started here was to bring more people to the site. I wanted to and still want to contribute something different. Not just for me, but so that newcomers can read the reasoned and well written posts my fellow writers put up every day.
Like I stated above, I'm certainly no angel. The delay in posting this article has a lot to do with that. I don't know that what I've said will make a difference to anyone. But I feel like it was something that needed to be said. For me, it's as much a self evaluation as anything. I don't want to call any one individual out. I'd much rather we all take a look in the mirror and try to do a little better from now on.