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It’s Sunday… Time for Another Loss Recap

Tell us something, Stan. Anything.

It’s the Sabbath, and it’s in the fall, which of course means it’s time to throw up a post outlining the Cardinals’ most recent foray into football. Perhaps this was the weekend were there would be some silver lining amidst the clouds and storms brewing through the program and fanbase as the Cardinals suited up against the 3-4 Kent State Golden Flashes. Kent came into the contest at 2-2 in the MAC and this was a very winnable game for the Cardinals. It was an opportunity to break the string of negativity, fan ambivalence, and frustration for all who follow. Unfortunately, come Sunday once again, that ambivalence, frustration, and negativity is right back to the forefront thanks to a 33-14 loss in Dix Stadium dropping the Cardinals to 2-7 overall, 1-4 in the MAC, and guaranteeing them another losing season.

So many weeks this season, the fanbase has been pissed. Sour after Liberty. Angry after Purdue. Frustrated after Iowa. Extremely pissed after Western. Flabbergasted after Eastern. Bummed after Toledo. But this week just feels a bit different. Sure there are some vocal folks screaming for the administration and leadership to perhaps wake up Monday with a nice little pink slip, but the overwhelming majority has transitioned from anger to apathy, and that’s a very familiar yet dangerous place to be.

The worst possible thing is apathy. At least with anger it means your fans still have expectations that aren’t being met. They’re concerned about the direction of the program. They’re worried about the progress, or lack thereof, that is demonstrated week to week. They express their anger because they’re vested in the success of the football program. They demand excellence and hold those accountable for the lack of it when it doesn’t come to fruition. That was the last few weeks. But each week that has gone by those loud and angry voices are growing quieter. And that is perhaps far more disheartening and discouraging than the seven losses we’ve been witness to this season.

The Kent game was certainly no easy feat for the Cardinals. The four losses for the Flashes have been to Boston College, Penn State, Miami and Toledo, so this loss isn’t like Eastern Michigan. However, despite their record, this is a game BSU could have won. It was a game they were in. It was a game they saw themselves within one score as the 4th quarter opened. It was a game that was easily within grasp and like so many others over the last two seasons, it just slipped away.

Statistically, this game leaves quite a bit to be desired. Looking at the box score, the only positive was Otis Brown, who led the Cards with 5 catches, 88 yards, and a TD. Ball State struggled rushing the ball, with no one gaining more than 39 yards on the ground. Passing was equally as challenging, as Keith Wenning threw for 200 yards and a TD on 15-32 passing. He also had 3 INTs, and with a sub-50% completion percentage that simply isn’t getting it done. Eric Williams, in his first game back after an injury, also put the ball on the turf in the 3rd quarter on the Kent 34 with the Cardinals down 6. The Ball State defense certainly didn’t make up for the lack of offensive power, allowing 452 total yards and three Kent players to go over 50 yards on the ground.

Is this a team that is simply cursed? Is success even possible? In the second half, BSU’s drives culminated in three punts, two interceptions, one fumble, and one TD. Where is the reckless abandon and passion of a team fighting for respect? What kind of gameplan has this staff decided to push? Some fans may have chucked this season in the shitter, but I sincerely hope the coaching staff who damn sure haven’t earned their paychecks over the last two seasons hasn’t decided that 2010 is a throwaway and simply hope for a better 2011.

The fans are owed better than that. The students are owed better than that. The supporters of this program who have been through years and years of futile efforts, missed opportunities, and heartbreaking failure are owed at bare minimum some passion from this staff. They are owed the feeling (however much bullshit that it might be) that the staff is just as concerned about the direction of things in Muncie as the casual BSU observer. Because from where I’m sitting, the players seem to care, the fans seem to care, the students seem to care, but the coaches certainly don’t seem to particularly give a damn about the shortcomings of Cardinal football.

Do I think all coaches on staff are ambivalent or even unemotional about the way things are going? I do not. But unfortunately, there is a mouthpiece for that staff that we hear, and a whole host of others that we do not. Coach Parrish, at least from outward perceptions, doesn’t seem to have any semblance of passion or anger about what’s going on. Either he’s a hell of an actor, totally checked out, or unaware what the people that he is ultimately trying to win over really want. Perhaps he is pissed. Perhaps he doesn’t want to let on about his frustration. Perhaps he doesn’t want to alienate anyone associated with the program. The time for niceties is over, Stan. It’s time to hold someone accountable. Let us know what the hell is happening. Let us know what you’ll do to fix it. Don’t give us the lip service of how “bitterly disappointed” you are about the state of the program or the on-field results.

It’s time to fix it. I don’t care what it is, just fix it. If it’s an assistant that isn’t getting it done, then fire their ass. If it’s a player that is dragging ass or not bringing what you’ve asked them to, then bench their ass. If you need more resources or better things at your disposal, then ask for them in public so the fanbase at least know that you’re aware of problems and trying to make them right. Let us know. Let us in. Let us attempt to solve this problem as a group. The solution is really quite simple. Someone has to be responsible for this fucking disaster and until we hear exactly what or whom is to blame, we have no other choice to assume that you are in fact the problem. Prove us wrong, Stan. For you, for us, for the betterment of this program before it’s too late for any of us.

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