A.D. Bill Moos is trying to change that mentality and we as fans should embrace that change. How much more fun was it to watch the Seahawks this year than the Cougs? I believe they’ve done it the right way, even though they have some cockiness on the team. Everybody knows who I’m talking about, but you need that. Because you see, Richard Sherman came from a winning program at Stanford, in our own conference. He’s proud of being successful and he takes pride in being better than the guy across from him. But so are the quieter, still ultra-confident Marcus Trufant and “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch, also from winning programs when they were in the Pac.
My point is that you need all of those types of characters on a team to be successful and there’s nothing wrong with it. Anyone remember when we were successful? There were always at least a couple spark plugs who ruffled some feathers. Ryan Leaf, Drew Bledsoe, Jason Gesser, Jason David, Isaac Brown, Lamont Thompson and more. All of them were confident, cocky leaders on teams that refused to accept anything less than a winning tradition at this school. While we’re disappointed with the way that Leaf’s life has turned out, we’d never give back his success here and I think we all agree he’s a true Coug.
We need that cocky attitude to return around here. We’re so busy trying not to be Huskies or Ducks that we are forgetting to be Cougs in possession of some pride. Not necessarily in the ways of how we act in our day to day life, but in the ways of how we approach a prideful, winning mentality at our University. How is it that we can say “even if we start winning, we won’t sell out”? And your argument is that we didn’t sell out in ’97? I remember going to at least 1 sellout that year and it seemed we put more fans in Husky Stadium than UW that season as well. There were several sellouts between 02 and 04.
Listen; Being who you are as a person is all fine and dandy, but let’s face it; The time has come to be a winner, for once. Don’t be fooled by each other. The sayings “misery loves company” and “nice guys finish last” are actually true, to a point. Even more true though is the fact that he who does not strive to succeed, cannot hope to achieve success.
For example, I know that if I ran a poll right here, right now asking who the best fans in the nation are (with no specification) and I put Duke, Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State, Washington, Alabama, Tennessee and any other number of perennial winning programs up against WSU, the Cougars would win the poll going-away. But why is it that we’re the only ones that would feel that way?
I’m betting with 100% confidence that there isn’t a place in the country outside of our fanbase community you could go and get told that we have the best fans and most loyal fans in the nation, even in our own conference. Not saying that the term “Go Cougs” isn’t as special as “Go Big Blue” or holding up the “O”, but why are we afraid of what it means outside of Pullman? There’s something wrong with that.
Getting back to that opening pseudo-conversation, assuming you are one of the many fans that feels similar; Think outside of the little loser’s box that you reside in for a moment. Think of the growth that has happened in the past 15 years on the Palouse and in Spokane (WSU’s two most major fanbase outlets to WSU athletics). Think of the many online Cougar outlets now available to keep fans interested year-round and up to date on your favorite team, so that you actually feel a sense of need to go watch them play, even before the season starts.
ACU, CougFan, CougCenter, WSUFootballBlog, WSUCougars.com, Wazzu247Sports and more! Think of the Pac-12 Networks, making the Cougars accessible for every game anywhere in the U.S., therefore continuing to expand the active fanbase. Think of the remodel that truly is making Martin Stadium one of the best and loudest places in the Pac-12 Conference.
It’s all cutting edge and it’s infinitely more accessible to the Coug faithful than it was in ’97. None of that existed! We weren’t playing on the West side every year to get that fanbase involved in the program.
Embrace change people. Embrace success. For once, imagine your team as a perennial contender in the conference and stop being the nice guy who is ok with losing as long as the team put forth the faithful effort to show up to the game. Stop expecting failure and accepting mediocrity out of yourself as a fan.
It might even positively alter the way you approach life. You might actually see yourself take pride in being a person who isn’t afraid of success. We say continually that we have the best fans in the country, but when it comes down to it, we’re pretty fair-weather if you ask me. We have really nice, really loyal fans, but to be the best, we need to help make our team a constant winner! We need to be passionate about getting better and we need to be interested in being loud enough to be worth 3 points to our team on gameday.
That means selling out Martin stadium and rocking Beasley with big crowds. It means staying at the games and cheering on your team till the game is over and amping up for the duration, not just when the Cougs are ahead. It means supporting the other sports in one way or another. It means believing that Pullman should be a place that coaches and players want to come, whether or not that’s actual fact.
It’s starts with you! It starts with all of us.