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Muncie Painted Red, Promo Video Released

Pete Lembo at fall camp preparing a menu of whoop ass

When Pete Lembo was hired, one of the main things he spoke consistently about was improving the connection between his squad and Joe Q. Fan. It’s probably safe to assume that Coach Lembo had access to the internet at Elon and could see a few things notable about the fan experience with BSU football. Notably, that unless the team was undefeated, large passionate crowds were not quite the norm. Additionally, there just wasn’t a fire or fervor for BSU that managed to reach outside a small but dedicated fanbase. Let’s be honest… one of the reasons this blog was even started back in the day was to at least make the football squad look somewhat division 1 in the blogosphere world. Until Lembo, it was a bare bones football operation for quite a few reasons, not all of which are direct results of folks associated with the program.

To generate fervor, you need interest. To generate interest, you need coverage. Before Lembo, The Star Press was ultimately the only game in town outside of the campus’ Daily News. There’s one message board of note. There’s one blog of note. There isn’t a large groundswell of regional support for the Cardinals. Fans still chuckle about the losing streak in the late 90s that the creators of this site were a part of. BSU football just sort of existed. When they were outstanding (the one year they were outstanding) lots of people cared. Fans packed the stands, games were on television, The Star Press couldn’t publish stuff quick enough, our site numbers went through the roof. Life was good. As we’ve discovered, that seat at the big boy table was short-lived.

We all know how the story went, and to rehash it in detail is simply too painful. Nate fumbled, Hoke left, Stan gets promoted, Tulsa stomps ass, North Texas stomps ass, pretty much everyone stomps ass, damn near everyone got injured, fans start infighting, Jason Whitlock was hungry, the message boards turned into a dumpster fire, etc. But… even in their darkest hour the Cards still beat Buffalo. So, we got that going for us, which is nice. The other nice thing is that cocoon of awful looks to finally be cracking up and letting whatever is inside it see the light of day thanks to Lembo. Whether it’s a beautiful butterfly or Wilfred Brimley skinny dipping in the ocean, I have no idea, but let’s hope it’s more monarch and less man ass.

Whatever the results are on the field for Lembo this fall, no one can say that a lack of people in the stands or a lack of interest in the program is not for a lack of effort on his and the team’s part. Take yesterday for example at the annual Paint the Town Red Day in downtown Muncie. Years past it was more of a tasky type of event that I can only imagine players and coaches felt obligated to attend. Granted, I can’t say I wouldn’t feel the same way if I felt like the overall community didn’t seem to give much of a rip if we won, lost, tied, or played tiddlywinks with our buttcheeks on the 50 yard line at halftime. Lembo hasn’t let the apathy from the fanbase creep into the program, though. Rather than a small group of Cardinals, the caravan Tuesday was everyone. Every. Single. Player.

The numbers of fans who showed up wasn’t nailed down in the Star Press’ recap of the event, but the fact that the label of “a small group of fans” was given, I’ll go ahead and assume that the players outnumbered the fans. So be it. What the hell, Muncie?! Unless East Central Indiana has gotten a whole lot better since I was last there, I’m pretty sure a free hot dog and some pop is enough to draw a crowd. Regardless, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built. The same goes for football programs and their interest. What starts with coach’s newsletters, summer jobs in the community, quite an increase in the media relations efforts to keep the fans connected, and bringing an entire team to a community event will hopefully lead to more asses in the stands come Saturdays in the fall. Guess what that leads to? More money from attendance to invest in the program, which leads to better facilities and goodies, which leads to better recruits, which leads to better talent, which leads to more wins. Those wins create interest and even more asses in the stands, even more money in the coffers, and pretty soon Coach Lembo is swimming in football revenue Scrooge Mc. Duck style. What’s the element that’s missing from the above equation? Wins. Quite simply put, no amount of newsletters or hot dogs is going to trump losses. The vitriol spewed by those upset may not be quite so acerbic, but the team and staff won’t get an absolute pass because they sent out a newsletter or shook some hands.

Three weeks, boys and girls, until we get to see the entrée of BSU football. The appetizers have been intriguing and now it’s time to see if Chef Lembo can actually knock out a main course, with a dessert of a bowl game. Hey… a guy can dream, right?

LINKS FROM THE NEST

  • The promo video for the 2011 campaign has been released. You can check it out here. Not Earth shaking pants wetting awesome, but I can’t say I remember this being an annual thing before Lembo. So, good for them.
  • Tom Davis from the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel clocks in with a column about team chemistry and confidence. It’s a good read and frankly, Davis is defining himself as the authority on the 2011 Cardinals.
  • The annual Fan Jam is set for August 17. More free food and giveaways, and quite a bit of stuff for the young Cardinal fans. Also, a chance to mingle with the players. Fame and fortune to anyone who gets video footage of Lembo’s opinion of OTP.
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2 Responses

  1. How crappy and lazy has The Star Press gotten when a newspaper 70 miles away is eating their lunch in terms of covering a team in their hometown?

    Oh, wait, let’s write another b.s. article about presidential salaries that proves we don’t know the difference between base comp. and comp. + deferred and contractual bonuses.

  2. Not going to BS… I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after the creation of OTP, the Star Press stepped their game up. I’m hopeful with Tom Davis’ coverage it gets that much better.

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