Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Year, Same Dissapointment

Every year, with the return of fall, comes the same dissapointment with Idaho football. It wouldn't be as bad if there wasn't the damn marketing coming out of the school towards the alumni, "This year, it will be better", "This year, we have Erickson", "This year, we won't suck as bad".

And every year, the season starts out with a glimmer of hope. Last year we stayed close to WSU in the opener and lost a squeker in the second game to UNLV. This, along with the marketing hype, led us alumni to believe that we might have a chance against UW. UW was awful, it hadn't won since the start of the 2004 season. In our hearts we knew we were bad but not as bad as we had been, right? There was hope and optimism in Husky stadium that we could actually beat these former national champions. That hope was quashed as the huskies gave us a complete thumping. We left the dawg house with our tail between our legs and went off to another season of failure.

This year, our season began with a close game with Michigan State, close enough to reaffirm the marketing campaing and the knowledge of Erikson's return; this year we might be winners. But, alas, the second game against WSU reminded us that we are still the Vandals, the bottom dwellers of Div - IA football.

I still have hope though. This might be a wake up call, a call to arms, and Erickson might be the one to marshall the boys into action. Or, Erickson, might just be trying to weasel his way to the panties of some PAC 10 school? Only time will tell.

I think the lossess are tougher on people of my age than other Alumni. When I was in school the Vandals weren't a bad team. We had a winning record, we were beating Bosie state, and we had back to back wins over cross boarder rival Washington State. In fact, we had won a bowl game shortly after our introduction to Div I football. It all ended when Coach Tormey bailed on the team to take the head coaching job at Nevada. Nevada?

We asked ourselves that same question, whey would someone jump from one smallish state school to another. It's not like he left Idaho for Washington, or Arizona, or Colorado, or Michigan, or some other winning "player" in Div I. Instead, he left for Nevada where he truly felt that he could start his way up the career ladder (nevermind that it was the same rung he was already standing on at Idaho). Anyway, it turned out to be a dumb move, just as we thought it was, and the poor bastard is know an assistant coach (that's a demotion from head coach, by the way, despite the location) at Washington.

We hired an untested alumni, Cable, to take the regins of the program and he proceeded to run the team into the ground. Why, at that time, we just didn't give the job to Kramer, the U of Montana coach, who was a Div II national champion and really, really wanted the Idaho job, I don't know...

So, here' to another season. My only wish for the season is that we are prepared for BSU (I'll be in Moscow for the game), after several years of having to go to Boise for the game the Broncos finally have to come up to Moscow, and it would fitting justice if we could win over them at home.


Phil said...

Hi! I agree with you... It's hard to stomach the disappointments, but I'll always be there, rooting for the Vandals. It's about more than just the football. It's about the experiences I had as a student at what I consider to be one of the best rural residential colleges in the country. I loved my time there... It set the tone for the rest of my life.

I'll tell you one thing, though... I've read all the interviews and stories about Dennis Erickson. He has clearly stated many times that he will be at Idaho until things turn around. He has stated that he may make Moscow his last coaching stop. Repeatedly he has said that he will see this thing through, to get us back on track, even if it takes 3 to 5 years. So, if he pulls a fast one on all of us and bails out after just a year or two, I'll never forgive him. And I'll never forgive the Idaho athletic community, from the administrators to the fans to the boosters. I'll most likely be done with Vandal football if Erickson leaves us high and dry, or is forced into doing so because we don't step up and improve our facilities.

The big question in the immediate future is what they are doing about a new stadium. I'm expecting plans to be announced this weekend on whether they will expand the Kibbie Dome or explore building an outdoor stadium. Whatever the plans, they need to get it going and get the UI to a point where we don't need a savior coach to get us back on our feet.

Oh, and Tormey left for Nevada (even worse than going to New Mexico), and his replacement was Tom Cable. Cable's the one who ran us into the ground. He was a terrible head coach. Nice guy, but unable to organize and lead. That's what I like about Erickson... He's a leader, and he knows what he's doing. Really, if he can't get the Vandals winning by next year, I don't think anyone can.

Thanks for letting me type all this!

Matt said...

Thanks for the comment, Phil. I'm not sure why I typed Holt...I knew it was Cable. And thanks for correcting me on Nevada vs New Mexico....I'll make the corrections..

I think we might hear something during the homecoming or BSU game about the plans. I know they are unveiling the revamped marketing campaign (new logo for the school, etc..) at one of those games, maybe the stadium plans will be included?