By Thundering In MD
Maybe it is fruitless, but I am still trying to find positives to blog about. I just wish the Herd would work with me to make my blogging easier. BTW, I took some stylistic cues from Sturt on my number ten, so I won’t be offended if anyone chooses to skim that one. Anyway, here are the Ten Things I Think I Know After ECU:
1. Lovette: plays with heart and speed, both of which are desperately needed on this team. While he led the team in tackles, I thought his best play was the play during the third quarter in which he batted away ball in the endzone.
2. Ward: I was impressed with his YAI (Yards After Impact with his stagnant OL). I am dumbfounded as to why we don’t have ANY holes opening up. Still, Ward was able to pick up some YAI.
3. Newbies: I am glad to see some players getting shots at playing time. While these weren’t cosmically significant catches, I was glad to see CJ Crawford and Hatton make some catches. I hope we will see more from them this year.
4. Smith: speaking of TEs, while I realize that Lee Smith isn’t the most reliable receiving TE in our history, he does play hard on every down and is a good blocker. I was glad to see him have a couple of impressive catches during the game.
5. Holliday: for the first time this year, it looked to me like Holliday was involved in the game and his players were playing with some passion.
6. Discipline: this is the most disorganized team that I have seen since the Bad News Bears. While the Bears were able to pull it together and win, we, on the other hand, can’t even accomplish a fair catch on a punt.
7. Weirdest Call: the fumble recovery that wasn’t. Was there an inadvertent whistle or is there a rule that I don’t know? I just don’t understand the explanation that: 1) yes, ECU’s receiver fumbled the ball; but 2) it wasn’t reviewable because Marshall didn’t immediately recover the ball.
8. Tron Martinez: ran hard and had good ball protection. I feel bad for this kid. Everyone, including the ECU commentators, keeps talking about the WVU game. While leading the team with 29 yards rushing may not sound that impressive in the real world, I think it is a big deal on this team. Moreover, keeping in mind that Martinez finished his high school courses behind bars, I hope others will stop talking about that one football play and join me in rooting for this kid to have a successful career on and off the field.
9. State of the Fans: I am seeing at least four distinct groups of posters and fans. The first group is Mad, the second group is Rationalizing, the third group is Accepting, and the fourth group believes that Team Spirit is the answer.
Please note that I am not advocating for anyone to act any certain way. I am just attempting to record what I am seeing, and blog about my personal feeling about each of these groups.
I feel bad for the Mad Group; they drank the Koolaid and now find themselves frustrated. This group seems to be made up of fans that jumped on the band wagon during the late 1980s and 1990s. So it is understandable, that they have high expectations for Marshall football. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve seen from Holliday’s Herd, I don’t think there is much hope that this group is going to be satisfied anytime soon.
I am rooting for the Rationalizing Group to be right, but I am not currently confident they will be. Earlier this year (when I wrote the “What’s Up” open letter) I was firmly in the Rationalizing group, and to some degree I still am. The Rationalizing Group sees a three year plan; as of now, I see a team that is getting worse with each game. I do like the fact that we are seeing more speed on the field. I just wish they were more fundamentally sound. Maybe that comes with experience. If so, then the Rationalizing Group may have a shot at being happy in a few years. They are just going to be really busy for the next couple of years IMO coming up with rationalizations for the Herd’s pitiful play.
I now find myself in the Accepting Group. This group is probably what Ernie used to refer to as the Faithful. I put myself there because I am not mad (I was during the Snyder years), and I am making a conscious effort not to rationalize. I appreciate the fact that Mike Hamrick did everything that he could to be successful this year. I am also appreciative of the boosters that bought-out Snyder so that we could have a shot at winning. It just isn’t working out. All we have is a Stadium wrapped up like a big present, but there isn’t any present inside.
I also feel bad for the group that believes that Team Spirit will change the game results. I was actually called out by a high school classmate during the UCF game for not standing and cheering. Not surprisingly, she and her family left even before the suspension. Hey, I may not be standing and clapping on every play, but I am there until the video with the images of the 1970 team. Instead of believing that I am the solution, I put it on the coaches and the players to do their jobs in practice.
Until then, I still believe that WE ARE MARSHALL…just not the version that they made the movie about. In the spirit of the “Accepting Group” I say: GO HERD!!!
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