The last 18 months or so have been a fairly rough time for me as it relates to being a Ute fan. Honestly, it has a times left me questioning if I have a place among this fan base. And for my haters out there, no I’m not whining or threatening to leave or any other way you’ll interpret this to go off on me. Just some thoughts I’ve been having for awhile and I think its time to get them out.
A good place to start is with the Utes name and the drum and feather. Now I don’t have a problem with the Utes name really, but I think its time has come and gone. Brad Rock and Gordon Monson have written both very good columns on reasons behind this, especially Rock. I think the drum and feather is stupid and always have. It is a rip off of the Redskin’s logo and the University did it because it was cheaper at the time than getting their own logo. That is what high schools do.
But is it really a reason for vitriolic hatred? Is it really reason to send me emails and tweets and post on message boards that I’m not a Ute fan.
I think the greatest question in my mind is for the bitter anger that people feel for Jim Boylen. Boylen is extremely well thought of by nearly everyone in college and pro basketball, except by Utah high school coaches and Utah fans. And what for exactly?
When Jim came to Utah he had a unique situation to deal with. The APR was so low we were in danger of losing a scholarship. So Jim couldn’t make wholesale changes, he had to play the hand he was dealt. A hand that included several players that Ute fans claimed sucked and weren’t D-1 material. Jim made them MWC champions.
Then somehow fans wanted him fired the next year. Yeah he made some mistakes, but who the hell wants to fire a coach the year after he won a championship. Especially a coach who lost almost all his scoring and rebounding. Then he tries to fix the mistake and Ute fans are pissed about that. Not to mention ignoring a shocking rash of injuries (Foster didn’t practice, Jay Watkins missed most of the year, JJ O’Brien missed half the year, Clyburn was hurt half the season and missed several games at the end) not to mention a personal tragedy for Jim and his family.
I don’t think Jim was ever going to be Rick Majerus. Hell even I said I could deal with someone new if there was a clear plan and the coach was a clear upgrade. But at worse Ute fans should have treated Jim Boylen like Lynn Archibald, a very nice guy who wasn’t a great head coach (although I’d argue this but that’s for another blog post). Instead the hatred for him is just vile. I think the worst of it is, the absolute lie being told about Jim telling players to leave.
Turns out many feel defending Jim Boylen makes you not a Ute fan.
Next if you point out some of the awful stupid idiotic things Larry has done since he became head coach, it makes you not a Ute fan. Not working your ass off to keep talent in the program is inexcusable. Running a guy like Dom Lee in August when you don’t have better options is inexcusable. Even running Chris Kupets when you don’t have a better option is inexcusable. These things aren’t on Jim they are Larry, but pointing them out makes you not a Ute fan.
Pointing out, that of the 973 things that got Utah into the Pac 12, 967 of them had nothing to do with Chris Hill makes you not a Ute fan. Pointing out the idea that we had to let basketball die in order to get into the Pac-12 is really stupid makes you not a Ute fan.
I think Crazy Lady sucks. This makes me not a Ute fan.
I suppose the whole point of this is, if you get told enough times that you’re not a Ute fan, it’s only human nature to wonder, maybe I’m not really a Ute fan.
I’m not really sure I have an answer here, but I know I’m at a crossroads and sometimes it helps just to write some things out to find an answer.
So thanks for listening.