60 points!!! Ah, that feels good.
7 points!! Oh… well that doesn’t feel as good.
Fortunately for Bronco fans–Boise State’s score was the more glorified of the two. After what some might call a painful loss in week 4 against Fresno State, laying into Southern Mississippi was too be expected, but still felt good to watch. Winning by such an extended margin was further vindication that as fans, we must live through the ups and downs of a young, but talented; Bronco football team.
When I mentioned a painful loss–that form of explanation does not do it justice and is basically, unacceptable.
I guess that saying “I hate losing more than I like winning” will forever pertain to me and how I treat Broncos football. Who is to blame for this? Well…no one but yours truly, of course—WRONG. Although I don’t know where or when the origin of “Bleed Blue” came about; it has become too far entrenched within my heart and is sewn-in to stay. It’s a fake tattoo I wear… and wear proudly. With that being said, pride reaching that level carries a burden. It drains on passionate Bronco fans such as myself who take losing–about as well as Walter White handles watching a family member die right in front of him (#GoodbyeBreakingBad). “Bleed Blue” is no longer just a slogan or saying, much like it was when first surfacing on social media sites. It’s taken far too literally–more than I could have ever imagined and furthermore, ever hoped for (signified by “pain” in blue bold).
What does it even mean, “Bleed Blue”; a non-sports connoisseur might ask. In the simplest terms with the most convenient definition, it means as fans, we will not give up on the Broncos, period. No matter what happens, we’ll be there parading the blue and orange, shouting our favorite players names, and loving every minute of it.
Now what does it mean without the sugar on top. Let me preface by saying: fair-weather sports fans have it easy. They come and go as they please. Only having a team’s back when it’s convenient and the wins are heaping over the losses. To those who can manage this task- you’re my unsung hero. Unfortunately, that’s not me. And it appears that’s not the majority of Bronco Nation, either.
Diehards, crazies, etc. (whatever you want to call us) on the other hand–feel every ache and wear the bruises associated with a particular team. Not just there in support, it’s much more than that. You stand in silence after a crushing loss; you run and jump aimlessly after a cherished win. In a different context they experience a pain level similar to the flu-it wears on you, wipes a smile right off your face-and undeniably changes you. Some might even say, “Who are you?”
But unlike a real virus, it’s so quickly curable. All it takes is a “W” in the win column and *poof* all previous recollection of the torture has seemingly disappeared. Fair or not fair, you tell me.
As time goes on you learn more about yourself, specifically; your best coping mechanism, whether it be gorging out on a large pepperoni pizza (my personal favorite), throwing nearby objects (I have replaced an iPhone due to a Boise State loss), or the safest of the three; pressing your own real-life mute button . Whatever the preferred coping method may be–the agony you feel on the lows and the excitement you feel on the highs let you know you’re emotionally invested for the long-haul.
I’m still trying to figure out whether that’s a good or bad thing. One thing is certain; it’s not beneficial to your health. The typical warning sign for selected machinery should apply to this form of fan hood-“Not recommend for anyone with serious heart or breathing issues”. Thankfully, I have neither at the moment, but the added stress is not setting up for a favorable future.
If I’ve learned one thing – “Bleed Blue” is not just a motto for Bronco fanatics. It’s a way of life. Something to embrace, but to embrace with slight apprehension the pain I speak of is all too real and after you figuratively sign your name next to the dotted line, there’s no going back. Your heart is forever a shade of blue.
But after all, it’s “just a game”
No…. No…. I don’t think so either.
What we have learned from the Bronco’s so far heading into the bye week:
1. Boise State is still a little-Tricky
There’s very few words I love more than the headlined one above. Something so rarely seen, but if a poll was taken asking what team would most likely attempt that trick play, I’m guessing the Bronco’s would be at the top of the chart-even today.
Known for our creative ways to score, Boise State earned the reputation as “tricky” following the 2007 Fiesta Bowl after shocking the Oklahoma Sooners on National Television. They ran three major gadget plays that propelled them to victory. Ask anyone and they will surely remember the “hook and lateral” and the “Statue of Liberty” play.
A few years from being a decade later, Boise State hasn’t lost the piece of them that makes it so fun to watch-whether you’re a fan or not. The stunt plays have never been the entire offense, but I’m still under the impression Coach Pete and Co. have a whole separate playbook filled with crafty, eye-popping-plays. We’ve been around Petersen long enough to know that he has some MAJOR testis, especially when it comes to dialing up these plays (not just practice them). Also to be much-admired; the way he stands there on the sideline with a poker-face, acting like nothing happened. If we could jump into his brain I figure he’d be thinking something like this-“Just like we drew it up”.
These past few weekends the Broncos pulled out a few of their tricky-tricky-tricky plays (Preparing you for Halloween of course). One being the fumblerooski; ran to complete perfection against Southern Mississippi. Shane Williams-Rhodes (5’6) faked the fumble, snuck right under the lineman, and galloped his way into the end zone. It was one of those plays you rewind and watch multiple times to see how exactly it worked so flawlessly. In the loss against Fresno State, the deceptive and wacky plays were still existent. Early in the 3rd quarter the Bronco’s ran a beautiful fake punt to gain 30 yards and a first down. Later in the contest, BSU converted a rather large two-point conversion off a wide receiver pass/run. Matt Miller took the reverse and barely managed to get around a Fresno defender; evaded a few more, then lofted it in the end zone as he fell down, somehow connecting with tight-end, Jake Hardee.
Whether it be fake punts, wide-receiver passes, fumblerooski’s- the Bronco’s still carry a bag of tricks. That staple hasn’t left Boise State’s game plan, and hopefully wont anytime soon. We all enjoy little tricks here and there, even if were not kids.
2. What happened to Boise State?
Boise State isn’t the same; they don’t have the same phenomenon surrounding them, just don’t shine like they used to. Not as big-not as fast-and DEFINITELY not as talented.
Those types of speculation have become all too familiar in recent weeks. Once you read something so many times you begin to find yourself start believing it, even when you know deep down it’s not true.
That’s the case with the speculations of the “new” and apparently far worse Bronco’s. Yet, I’ve managed to not buy into the bull-s**t, nor should you.
Reading Twitter comments from higher profile writers and analysts has done a doozy on me. I searched and mulled trying to find a suitable answer that would justify all the sneering that the Bronco’s just aren’t the same. Tuesday, Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN College Football analyst) said “I’m wondering if that already has gone up to as high as it can go and is on its way back down”, referring to Boise State’s success level. Thanks Kirk, that didn’t really clear up anything… but I’ve laid out my explanation on why such assumptions exist:
The Bronco’s success was recognized, maybe never fully by the BCS like we would have liked, but critics took note. They did so without admitting it though (Far worse). As a Bronco fan it was expected to always be treated like the underdog. Never given a chance to win, but seemingly always found a way to do so. Critics and experts were so keen to point out certain flaws in the peak of our success. Declining to believe a small school from Boise, Idaho could actually put a good product on the field- A turf-A blue turf; what a joke they said. Behind their phony comments, they were acknowledging and distinguishing us from other mid-major schools.
How do I know this? They made it too obvious. Jumping the gun/showing their hand/ and revealing how weak their analytical skills truly are.
At first I thought maybe it’s because of an offense that is struggling; not very convincing. Nineteenth in the nation for scoring, throwing up four straight games of 40 points, and two of which hitting the 60’s. Hmm… back to the drawing board.
Their big revelation, deciding that Boise State football is now just a dummy rag doll of the once prominent past… (Drumroll please)… The number 2. WHAT? “You don’t have anything better than that?” (I know right…). That single digit signifies how many losses the Bronco’s ended last season with and currently has this year. If one were to say it’s based off the type of loss we had against Washington-that’s just opening another can of worms that is not valid and is purely comical. No matter how great you are, “you’re bound to get bloodied at some point”- Coach Pete.
The two losses per year (so far) are enough to label a team mediocre (I am starting to really feel bad for a team with three or four losses). 90-95% of teams would call a two loss season a major success. That’s not good enough; we are Boise State and are held to a higher standard. A secret standard that is expected if the Bronco’s would like to receive any form of positive recognition or heaven forbid a bowl game other than one in Las Vegas.
College Football isn’t the NFL, meaning players can’t sign lengthy contracts and stay for more than four years. It’s a cycle. Once players get to their peak; they graduate and have to leave. Therefore you’re bound for ups and downs, but if a couple two-loss seasons, are our down; we have it pretty darn good.
Critics are critics, and it would be foolish to think that even an undefeated season would change anything (that’s been proven- EX: 2006, 2009). So instead we’ll just have to live with the sly, cunning, and scheming- evaluators. They’ll come out in bunches to say what we aren’t, but we’ve already made an impression on them and they know it.
Two losses, that’s all it will take.
3. The future is bright
To keep it short and sweet, Boise State’s future is not black-It’s a clear blue. Top notch recruits are becoming more and more abundant. The 2013/2014 class has the making of being one of Boise State’s most elite. It’s not right to fully judge a recruiting class prior to them stepping on the field, but if were going strictly on paper value, the talent is jumping off the page.
Combine the future recruiting class with an already young Bronco roster and there is no reason to waver in your confidence.
Let the cards play out as they will, but expect the Bronco tradition of winning to continue. This program isn’t falling apart; it’s only growing.
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