Let me preface this entire post by saying that I am not a fan of booing college football teams. I've been attending football games at Oklahoma since 1985 and while there have been times that I wanted to let my inner boo bird out, I chose not to. Nearly nine years ago I started Crimson And Cream Machine as a place where OU fans can come, hang out, express appreciation, support, and even frustration for our Sooners. That said, I've tried my best to remain silent on calling for coaches to be fired and player bashing.
Those that know me (or those that hang around here at CCM quite a bit) know that my son is a college football player. Because of that, I can speak first hand of the amount of time and hard work that these guys put in to be a part of the team. They sacrifice relationships and a normal college life in order to fulfill their dream of being on the field during the Saturday's of fall. Nope! I'm not going to boo them.
However, just because I won't it doesn't mean that you can't. Not for a second would I consider myself better than your, or more of a fan, if booing is your thing.
Here's the deal...All that stuff about sacrifice and work to fulfill a dream is true but with that dream comes a few privileges and expectations. While many kids are walking their campuses in the freezing weather that just rolled in, my kid was issued a whole pack of winter gear to keep him healthy and warm. Where did that gear come from? It came from the football program. Did he have to pay for it? Nope! So you'll have to excuse Joe Fan if he feels like free stuff means you probably should play a little better on Saturday.
It isn't easy on the wallet to attend football games at OU either. The Oklahoma football program rakes in well over $100 million dollars per year and Joe Fan foots a large portion of that tab. The expectation that fans will pay $85 dollars and up to attend games at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium should also come with the understanding that the guy forking out the dough also has the right to voice his displeasure. I'm pretty sure that if members of the coaching staff and athletic department had gone out and paid good money for a bad meal they wouldn't say, "Oh well, we're just fortunate that we had the opportunity to eat at an establishment such as this." I'm pretty sure that they'd all voice their displeasure.
You'd expect to have a bad meal at McDonald's but not at Charleston's. You'd expect to see bad football at Kansas but not at Oklahoma. I don't buy into this notion that it looks bad on the fanbase and it hurts recruiting either. I think it shows that the fans are passionate and care. You want them to stand up, be loud and support your team? Well then they also have the right to stand up, be loud, and voice their displeasure.
What do you think recruits took notice of more on Saturday afternoon? Fans expressing frustration or the dung pile of a defensive strategy that Mike Stoops threw out there? I don't want to hear Bob Stoops, Player X, or Joe Fan tell me that the booing was a killer on recruiting this weekend. If you're looking for a killer then let's talk about getting outscored 45-0 after having a 14-3 lead. Yup, that's the thing recruits will be talking about with their high school teammates and coaches more than anything else. It's also what college coaches that are recruiting against Oklahoma will be talking about as well. Besides that, they weren't booing players. They were booing the coaches! You know, the guys that their ticket prices pay the salaries for.
So let's put to rest the debate on if fans should boo are not. Absolutely they should have the right to! I won't join you but I will defend your right to do so.