BaylorFans, unhappy over football record, protest

Unhappy over what they cite are an unacceptable number of wins by the football team, especially involving conference teams where there are zero wins in the past three seasons, a group of BaylorFans protested at last Saturday night's football game by having a couple of banners flown overhead. Something like this had been in the works for some time, but that first game loss to the CAL Golden Bears by a 70-22 margin converted intentions into action and the messages were delivered.

The first banner flew over the stadium just as the opening ceremonies were getting underway and would make it's first pass during the playing of the national anthem. Of course, Tom Stanton was not even at the game and the football team had not even come out yet, but the messages were intended for the fans and that is who would see them. The first banner read: Tom Stanton: Thou Shalt Not Steele

First of all, the message was vague. I mean, what does "thou shalt not Steele" mean? It seems like the message should have read "Tom Stanton: Fire Kevin Steele," or more to the point, "Tom Stanton: Fire Kevin Steele, then Resign." In any event, there was no doubt that the "group" was showing their displeasure and exhibiting the fact they were willing to pay a price to get their messages across.

The second banner was simply a statement of fact: "BU FOOTBALL IS 14-53 UNDER TOM STANTON." Of course, and most "protesters" are somewhat short-sited choosing rather to focus on the narrow scope than the broad picture, there was no mention of any records from men's or women's basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, nor golf which have improved tremedously during Tom Stanton's watch. Even the fact that a national champion was included in the group during his watch wasn't mentioned. However, keep in mind that these "protestors" are focused on one sport and one sport only, therefore, credit for other accomplishments are disregarded as irrelevant and immaterial.

As far as credit for the exercise, posters on fan message boards say that as many as 6 to 8, or even a dozen participants were responsible for financing the protest, however only one, a Dan Mullins, was reported by the Waco Tribune_Herald as getting the credit. Of course, the Trib would probably hesitate giving any credit to "internet user names" so I suppose if anyone else wants to be identified with Mr. Mullins, they will probably have to come out into the open.

The "program" was short-lived, however as inclement weather set-in, and "Mother Nature" sent plane and banners to the house. Informed sources say that this was just part one in the overall plan of things and that the banners, or other more "direct" messages will be coming soon at other football games, maybe even including the New Mexico game.

As the Bears began to rack up yardage and points, however, the banners were soon forgotten. An under-estimated crowd of 28,375 attended the game, so the banners had plenty of witnesses. The student side looked great with the color "GOLD" dominating the stands. However, one incident in the second quarter dampened that enthusiasm.

After QB Aaron Karas had artfully lead the Bears to an early domination of the Bulldogs from Samford, a new quarterback, Greg Cicero entered the game. From across the field came a chorus of boos, no doubt a reaction to Greg's play of a week ago in California. However, coming from the student section, it made me sick. I can only hope there were some "ex-students" or maybe some "alums" over on that side who were doing it instead of the students. I mean, if it was the students, then it would mean they were turning on one of their own, a fellow student who made some mistakes and had some bad things happen to him in a game of football. I wonder how many QB's, great or otherwise, ever had that happen to them. However, to be "booed" by your own classmates and schoolmates, well, that is deplorable. It's like shrews, or dingo's which turn on the wounded and hurt of their own for their own food.

As many of us on the other side began to applaude in an effort to counter the situation, I looked down on the field to see the coaches and players doing the same thing. And then it hit me - yes, it could very well have been students on the other side booing and hissing when Greg Cicero came out onto the field. After all, they had just been witnesses to an example of what certain groups of "BaylorFans" do when things don't go like they think they should. I suppose they could simply be following an example that had been set for them. They see these "protesters" willing to spend money that could otherwise be spent on much more productive things than "flying-time," so compared to thousands of dollars, what's a few boos and hisses? I suppose when you're going to send messages, you need to be aware of all the ramifications and not just "intentions."

Of course, I and many who will not participate openly for the removal of administrators and/or coaches will be accused of "not caring" or "willing to accept mediocrity" or "being happy with losing football games," but that's just rhetoric by the protestors to justify their positions and minimize those who do not agree with their tactics, their leadership, or their ways. It will be very interesting to see how their intended targets, "the decision makers," feel about being dictated to in such a public and demonstrative way by such a small representation of individuals, especially with the majority of whom are "unknowns" in the background.

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