For WSU fans too much calm, not enough storm

AFTER READING MULTIPLE CF.C stories the past several days on one particular topic, a subject all hardcore Cougar fans have held near and dear 'lo these many years, I became curious as to what the reaction would be. And in my travels around cyberspace, something became both very surprising and very apparent.


Good news, even great news, seems to merit little discussion. But the "bad" news, that's what gets the message boards cranked up.

CF.C this past week or so put up a few stories, as well as some posts on the Luxury Suites, about the incoming Cougs in the class of 2013. All of them but two were already on campus as of early last week, and the two that weren't there were expected in soon.

Not a hint of academic delays in the class. None. Every single member of the class is either there already there, starting things up on that crucial 6-week or so early jump before fall camp, or they will be there soon.

Holy hell. When was the last time there weren't delays, academic or otherwise, on at least a couple guys in a recruiting class?

Better question -- Has that ever happened?!

But as I cruised around the message boards, I didn't see much discussion about that. Actually, I didn't see any discussion about that.

What the hell? That's a huge deal.

Why aren't people posting about it left and right?

FIRST OFF, IN my hopscotching around to other school's boards this past week, I came away with the conclusion this kind of thing isn't unique to WSU fans.

There were plenty of schools' forums to be found where the fans were eating their own, bitterly complaining about this and that and making mountains out of mole hills. And yet a quick Google search revealed recent good news for that school's football program, but there was little discussion about any of it on the forums.

And hey, WSU fans probably have more of a legit reason to squawk than others. It's been 10 years, a frickin' decade, since they were able to make bowl plans and head someplace warm for the winter.

So it's hard to blame CougNation (too much) when a story with good news merits a mere handful of responses, and a story about someone three spots down the depth chart transferring hits 20 replies, most of them negative, in no time flat.

Let me clarify that a bit further. It's understandable. It's still off base, all-in-all, but it's at least understandable given how things have been so rough, for so long.

THE THING IS, I know Mike Leach is going to get the Cougs up and running and going bowling on a consistent basis. The evidence in hand since he arrived in Pullman is definitive. If it doesn't happen this season, it will in 2014. I believe that in the same way I believe I need oxygen.

That offensive line, building that sucker back up, that takes time. It takes a couple 2-3 recruiting classes to – for sure – make a considerable difference. It still might happen in 2013, a bowl game for the Cougs, but it's not as certain as the 2014 campaign is in my mind.

And that primary factor, it's true at other positions too, it's just that the o-line is the most demonstrative example.

BUT I WONDER if we've been so beaten down as a fan base over the past 10 years, we tend to glom onto the (sometimes perceived) negatives with too vice-like a grasp, and give too short a shrift to the positives out there.

The news about the incoming class arrivals, followed by the lack of discussion about the sheer noteworthiness of that, seems to say we are.

But all one has to do is take a look at the level of athletes Mike Leach has already brought in, and is bringing in, if you're in need of some hope and/or crimson positives. The academic side of things with the recruits also offers strong reason to feel good about the state of Cougar Football.

THIS WILL BE a moot subject in a few years' time, I believe. After the Cougs start winning on a consistent basis, the bulk of WSU fans will be smiling more often than not, able to more objectively weigh the positive and negatives.

Oh there will always be those who will read an article about 10 positive things and one not-so-positive thing and all they'll want to talk about is the latter. There will always be the sky-is-falling types, and the Debbie Downers.

But most of us, most of the hardcore CougFans who have suffered through these past 10 years, and longer, will know enough to stop and smell the roses.

Of this, I have no doubt.

William Sherman is a 1991 graduate of Washington State and travels to as many games, home and away, as his family and work schedule will allow. If you would like to submit a guest commentary to CF.C, email us your submission here.

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