Washington’s beat down of Boise State — ashamed fans or bandwagon departures?

Posted: 09/01/2013 in college football
Tags: , , , , , ,

Spent an enjoyable 80 minutes in downtown Boise on Sunday afternoon and, yes, I counted how many people were wearing Boise State gear one day after the embarrassing 38-6 loss to Washington. And I didn’t even need to use my second hand.

The count ended at three — so depending on your view, the locals are really ashamed over their Broncos or are competing for biggest bandwagon fan base in college sports history.

If Boise State had beaten Washington, there’s no question that it would have been easier for me to count people who weren’t wearing Boise State gear. There would have been 3,003 folks sporting support of their favorite school as opposed to three very brave souls.

But in the big picture, the 32-point beat down is the best thing that could happen to the city of Boise.

Just Saturday on these same pages, I made a mention pertaining to the lack of buzz over the 2013 season opener, how spoiled Boise State football fans are and how badly the fan base needs a few seven-win seasons mixed in to gain the proper perspective.

The general feeling since I moved to the fine city of Boise is that these folks who have seen so many 10-win seasons during the program’s electrifying run would freak out in despair if they were ever to experience a middle-of-the-pack season – you know, like every other program in American has dealt with at some point.

Even Alabama – which experienced three losing seasons just last decade before Nick Saban rode into town to resurrect the program.

Boise is a very immature city when it comes to sports and the locals have very thin skin when it comes to their beloved Broncos. The university enjoyed unparalleled success after leaving the small-college ranks and joining the big boys and the fan base just doesn’t know how to deal with setbacks.

When Boise State lost to Nevada in 2010 in the infamous Kyle Brotzman game – or is it the famous Colin Kaepernick contest? – the fans whined that the season was a waste.

Really? You can’t enjoy going 12-1?

The following season, the Broncos lost a home game to TCU after 65 consecutive wins on their famed Blue Turf. It sunk in that there would be no BCS bid and there was heavy unrest when they landed in the lowly Las Vegas Bowl.

Yep, another 12-1 season that wasn’t fully enjoyed.

Then last season they lost at home to … San Diego State. Yes, the Aztecs. The program that former California quarterback Dave Barr once referred to as “Stinkin’ San Diego State” when the Golden Bears lost to the Aztecs.

It was the first time ever that San Diego State beat a ranked team on the road in 32 chances.

That defeat was just the fourth for Boise State in a span of 82 home games. So what do you suppose happened two weeks later when the Broncos hosted Colorado State?

Yep, they didn’t even sell out the game. Going 11-2 is apparently a disaster.

So just imagine what happens whenever the inevitable four or five-loss season arrives.

Somewhere along the way, the fans have forgotten they were once a small-college school that regularly lost to Idaho year-after-year before morphing into a national-caliber program that produced one of the biggest non-championship game wins in college football history with the fabulous Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma.

Dealing with hardships and tough defeats and being whipped occasionally are part of being a sports fan. You certainly aren’t going to become a better sports town if all you do is win.

In the short time I’ve lived here, all of Boise State’s losses were by four or fewer points prior to the Washington debacle. That is simply amazing.

Broncos coach Chris Petersen had an 84-8 record prior to being outworked, outsmarted and outcoached by Steve Sarkisian and the Huskies’ coaching staff. That is one incredible mark.

But when things unraveled in the second half against Washington, the social-media stuff displayed just how spoiled the fans are. Former Boise State players were expressing disbelief over the product and numerous Boise State fans showed they had no clue how to handle getting their backsides kicked.

One Boise State fan opined that Petersen was to blame and then was bombarded with rude comments from other Boise State fans. They told him that HE wasn’t a fan, they called him names and one immature woman used the F-word and announced she was unfollowing him.

Wow – how mature. These were adults, not kids in middle school.

Gosh, imagine the low quality of the replies these people probably engage in when they clash with fans of the opposing team. Yikes!

At the end of the night, I was shaking my head over my expressed belief the Boise State fans need to go through some seven-win campaigns.

It never crossed my mind that being on the wrong end of a 32-point shellacking might be just as good a tonic.

  1. James Morrell says:

    I understand your point to a degree, but realize this:

    Losing to Nevada and TCU those 2 years were considered a “waste” by Boise State Fans because by the BCS rules, we became immediately excluded from any BCS conversation. If Alabama, Oregon or any serious team was immediately knocked out of the BCS conversation after 1 loss I bet you several of their fans would lose enthusiasm as well because the major goal would become entirely elusive. The bottom line is that any other serious conference team can lose a game or even 2 and still make a BCS Bowl, so for their fan base, one loss is not a big deal because there is still “hope” to land a serious bowl bid. Whenever a big time conference team gets knocked out of a serious bowl bid situation, how are their fans? Probably not too happy. You and several others act like BSU is the only school with fans who will talk down on the Coach or program, when in reality, every school has “fans” like that. Just because fans are disappointed with the team’s situation does not mean that they don’t support them all of a sudden. When BSU had a rough start even this past year, I openly admitted that the team looked “bad” and wouldn’t be successful. Did that mean I stopped supporting/watching them? No way. I was being realistic. (Somehow they managed to win the Fiesta Bowl again)

    I am sick of hearing the bandwagon criticism with BSU because every team has bandwagon fans. After the first Fiesta Bowl win in 2007 against the Sooners, Boise had a few rough season. And after the Kellen Moore era, they weren’t looking too hot either. To my knowledge as a real BSU football fan, most other fans stuck by the team. It is just hard to realize the fragile situation that with just one loss off of a small missed kick to Nevada/TCU, an entire seasons hopes are crushed by college football rules. That will trigger a bad reaction in any fan base, NOT just BSU. We just happen to be the only team affected by it because we are almost always the contender for a bid to a serious bowl game that gets knocked out because of a petty loss.

    I am currently a student at a different University (grew up in Boise), but under no circumstances will I ever turn my back on the boys in Orange and Blue. #BroncoForLife

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