MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
When Boise State won the I-AA national football championship in 1980, I was thrilled but also knew that to achieve major national respect the feat would need to be repeated at the I-A level. I remembered a few years before hearing that Coach Tony Knap had told a stunned group of BAA boosters that Boise State would one day become a national powerhouse.
In 2002, I watched with amazement at what Dan Hawkins and his fine staff was doing with the Bronco football team. The Broncos cracked the elite top 25, something I had dreamed about as a fan since I was 10 years old, and finished the season at #12—just 2 spots away from the national top ten!
Heck, I had been to nearly every home game since 1970, had season tickets, a member of the BAA—isn't that what being a fan is all about? Things were great! Then all of a sudden it hit me. Was I doing all I could to help make this dream happen? Sure, the team was playing awesome, but what did I have to do with it? Yelling "That's another Bronco First Down" or doing the "Boise State cheer" sounds good, but it's not going to expand the stadium. It won't help build a new indoor practice facility. It won't get the Broncos rated in the top ten, it won't get them in a BCS bowl, and it won't get them in a more prestigious conference. For these things to happen, Bronco fans had to do more.
I remember Coach Hawk standing up at that BAA meeting and calling for fans to step up for the Broncos. Everything clicked—my own thoughts, Knap's bold prediction, Hawkins' challenge…I realized I wanted and needed to do more—much more--to help the school. With the help of broncogoblue, we started the Blue and Orange Club specifically for that purpose. We formed the group and began recruiting members and formulating ideas on what we could do to help Boise State. We met, created a website atwww.BlueandOrangeClub.org, purchased a Blue and Orange Club banner, and defined our mission statement, which reads:
The Blue & Orange Club comprises volunteers who work with and in support of Boise State University and the Bronco Athletic Association.
The mission and focus of the Blue & Orange Club is to support athletic scholarship funding by accomplishing various goals such as:
- Increase Bronco Fans and BAA Memberships
- Enhance the atmosphere at Boise State athletic events
- Expand community involvement.
This Club is founded on recognition that Boise State has a tremendously positive impact on local communities, businesses and the State of Idaho. By fostering and implementing innovative ideas as well as educating fellow BAA members and the general public to the importance of Boise State and the Bronco Athletic Association, the Blue & Orange Club believes these goals can be achieved and will therefore work to that end.
Group members realize that as fans, we are but a few individuals cheering every Saturday at Bronco Stadium and then going home until the next Saturday. But together, when we network, we can accomplish much more. I'm sure nearly every big school has something similiar. We wanted to start this type of group at Boise State.
The Blue and Orange Club is a small group of dedicated Bronco fans who believe we can make the difference--I believe the difference between the football team being #16 and being in the top 10…. the difference between playing in the Fort Worth Bowl and playing in the Fiesta Bowl and someday, winning that I-A national championship that I've always wanted for my alma mater… the difference between a winning basketball team and a Final Four team... the difference between an up and coming university and a highly-respected research institution.
We are all fans, we all have season tickets, we are all members of the BAA, several of us are regular posters on Bronco Country, but we want to do even more. How about you? Do you share these goals? Are you doing everything you can do to help the Broncos?
I too would like to challenge everyone to step it up for the Broncos. If you're a fan, buy season tickets. If you have season tickets, join the Bronco Athletic Association. If you're in the BAA, consider an additional donation either to the BAA or to Boise State academics. Also, I encourage you to join the Blue and Orange Club. Contact me for further information. Visit our web site and suggest ideas or projects that the group can work on. Together we will make a difference!