Wilson: Hoosiers have to deal with success better

29 comments by   |   Monday, October 7, 2013 - 4:11 pm EDT

One of Indiana coach Kevin Wilson’s long-held criticisms of his team has been that it doesn’t deal with success well.

Even going back to his first season, when the Hoosiers finished 1-11 and didn’t have much success at all, Wilson saw his team struggle for consistency. Players that had one good day of practice felt good about themselves and then couldn’t reproduce it. If a player put together two or three decent performances, enough to catch the attention of the local media, That player would vanish the next time out. Collectively, if they so much as played a heavy favorite to a closer loss than what was expected, they couldn’t sustain that level of play the next week.

Last season, the Hoosiers posted back-to-back wins twice, but followed each of those with a painful loss. After defeating Massachusetts 45-6 at Foxborough Stadium, they returned to Bloomington and lost to Ball State for the second straight season. Later in the year when they posted back-to-back wins over Illinois and Iowa and had a chance to take control of the Big Ten Leaders Division in a game against Wisconsin — a story line that made the Hoosiers a national curiosity — they were pounded 62-14 by the Badgers at home and dropped the next two games to end the season.

The goal now, of course is to reverse that trend. Saturday’s 44-24 win over Penn State ranks as the biggest in Wilson’s tenure and one of the biggest in recent IU history. The Hoosiers goal is to build on it instead of fall back. 

“It is good to have one game of success in the Big Ten,” Wilson said. “We haven’t shown we can back it up and do it again with another good week of preparation, the appropriate mindset that we need to then go out and execute again.”

Wilson said part of the problem is that when the Hoosiers win, especially when they win a big game, they get attention on campus they don’t usually get, and that causes them to suddenly believe they’re better than they are. Senior wide receiver Kofi Hughes agreed and expanded on that in detail.

“I think our team has had a little challenge with dealing with success in the past,” Hughes said. “Whether it was last year when we were kind of in a position where people are thinking, ‘Oh, the possibility of a Rose Bowl,’ and things like that. And you saw what happened with Wisconsin. We completely laid an egg. Then we beat Bowling Green and then everyone’s kind of giving us a pat on the back again. We didn’t play nearly the way we should have against Missouri. You see this going up and down kind of thing. We gotta know how to just completely forget about a win the way we forget about a loss. That’s something that I think our team has to mature and learn over time. … We’re a really young team still, and I think it’s hard to be on a campus where you’re not used to getting any attention at all. As soon as you get a win, you’ve got a lot of guys who do want to pat you on the back and say, ‘Hey, good job.’ You’ve got kids coming up to you on campus or professors saying, ‘hey, good job,’ who have never talked to you before. It’s kind of hard as a human not to pay attention to all of that. It’s a big distraction, but at the end of the day, a team that hasn’t won a lot in the past like we haven’t, it’s all a part of the process of becoming a (established) program, I think.”

Wilson said he saw a little evidence of that effect between the Indiana State win and the Navy game.

“I thought that first week at Navy, we got a little, laughing like it was easy,” Wilson said. “Towards the end of the week, just were in a good mood. You need to have some confidence and feel good, but I don’t know if you’re in a good mood when you’re getting ready to throw your body around and smash people a little bit. There’s a way a guy goes in the ring. He’s feeling good, but I don’t know if he’s a Chuckles the Clown kind of guy.”

Getting past that sort of thing, Hughes and Wilson said, comes down to maturity.

“You really just gotta tell yourself that we’ve only played, what, five games, and that we have such a long way to go,” Hughes said. “You really can’t harp on last week. We gotta take on each week as an equal challenge. Coach (Kevin) Johns does a good job of telling us receivers that, ‘hey,’ after every game on Sunday, he’ll say, ‘Good win,’ or ‘bad loss,’ whatever it is. But, ‘We’re back to 0-0. And every week we’re trying to go 1-0.’ … I think that this past weekend was a huge step for our team. It really proved to our guys that we are good. We know that we’ve put in the work and that we’ve put our team in position to have a chance at being a great team this year. But I think that this past weekend was the first physical sign that people could see, ‘Hey, we could really do something here.’ Hopefully that’s going to make everyone more hungry and not just excited that we beat Penn State. I think it’s more than that.”

– Wilson’s football expertise comes entirely from the offensive side of the ball, and even since he’s been a head coach, he’s never been afraid to admit that and he isn’t necessarily trying to alter that reality.

It’s his contention that every coach sees the game from the vantage point of one side of the ball or the other. It’s not that offensive coaches don’t understand defensive football at all or vice versa, but it’s extremely difficult to see the game from the other side’s point of view, especially for coaches who have spent decades as an assistant on one side of the ball before becoming a head coach.

“I’m not a defensive guy,” Wilson said. “(Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops) said all the time, ‘Eh, don’t listen to me, though.’ He’d be like, ‘Eh, I think this, but don’t listen to me.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, here’s what I think as an offensive guy.’ But I don’t have that view. When you’re looking at a picture, there’s different views people have. Randy Walker had an offensive view of running a program. Coach Stoops had a defensive view. I saw some of that, but I’m still an offensive person. I’m trying to be more of a head guy.”

Asked he could ever truly see the game from the defensive standpoint, he said he doubted it.

“I don’t know if you ever do,” Wilson said. “To me, you’re gonna see it the way you see it. Shoot, there’s a lot of times my eyes go in the box, because I was used to being a line coach. I coached quarterbacks, but I watch their feet. I didn’t watch them through. I don’t teach throwing, I teach their feet. There’s your read, and do you get your body aligned like a golfer. Because I don’t understand that. I can’t sit behind a quarterback and say, ‘You should throw it here,’ because when they start moving that way, I never saw that. I saw what guards and centers see. ‘Hey, here comes the blitz.’ I saw that. You have visions. You have things you see. To me, you got your view. My thing was, I don’t know if I’m ever going to see things, but there’s a presence I think our team needs to play with as a complete team.”

And up until Saturday’s win over Penn State, he didn’t see that kind of presence on the defensive side of the ball. So especially during the bye week, he made more of a point to spend time working with defensive coaches and defensive players to get the defense operating more towards his liking. In some cases, he offered general criticisms about effort and “presence,” and in others he pointed out vulnerabilities he saw as an offensive coach that he would attack.

“I was just trying to organize the practice where I had some time to get on their field with them,” Wilson said. “Sometimes I just go with the quarterbacks. Coach Johns has quarterbacks and receivers. Carter Whitson, the young (graduate assistant) does a great job as a receiver guy helping him. Sometimes I was just over with those guys. So we tried to work practice where, I’d kind of go over there because I’m a line guy. I kind of stood right where the umpire was, right between the linebackers and started yelling a little bit. ‘Let’s go, get the call, get lined up.’ I don’t have any defensive answers, but there’s an attitude and an effort I think we need to play with. It was bothering me, that I just didn’t see us playing as clean as we needed to be. The effort and that wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t what I thought we needed. I didn’t give them a bunch of answers. I did look and say, ‘Here’s what I think they’re doing.’ Here’s how he’s gonna attack you as an offensive coach, because I do study offenses. I’d sit there and watch Michigan State, ‘Ok, you’re going to get this or this.’”

Wilson said he thought the defensive staff met his demands. It certainly showed in the statistics. The Hoosiers were one of the 10 worst rush defenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision heading into Saturday’s game but held the Nittany Lions to just 70 yards on the ground.

“We talked last week about some more defensive confidence, being a little bit more vocal,” Wilson said. “being a little bit more simple so our kids weren’t thinking. That’s all I talked about with those guys. I tried to get into a couple of meetings and have an offensive view of what I think and what I wanted to see. Then I went over on the practice field a little bit just to have a little presence, but I didn’t give them any answers. I said, ‘Here’s what I think you need to do, now you figure out how to do it. Coach Mallory and his guys did that, not me.’

But, Mallory said, Wilson’s perspective helped.

“He’s involved in the offense, he’s involved in the defense, he’s involved in the special teams,” Mallory said. “He manages the team. He’s like a lot of the great head coaches I’ve been around. They know what’s going on in all three phases. I think it’s great from a defensive standpoint that you’ve got a guy like Coach Wilson who has a great offensive background and he always will give us insight on what the offense sees. To me, we learn a lot as a defensive staff because now we can see through their eyes through their vision, how they see our defense, how they’re gonna attack our defense. It’s great to see that perspective from coach. But no, he’s a head coach, he’s involved in all three phases, and that’s how a head coach should be.”

– This Saturday’s game at Michigan State marks the Hoosiers’ first road game of the season after going 3-2 in five home games. Hughes said, the Hoosiers are very much looking forward to it.

“Me personally and a lot of guys that I talk to, we love it,” Hughes said. “We love going to other arenas especially playing in Big Ten play, just because their environment is a lot more hostile and a lot more, there’s so much more energy than there is playing at Memorial Stadium. Which is obvious, no offense to our fans or anything like that. But you go to Michigan State or you go to the Horseshoe and you feel that. You feel it the whole game and we thrive off of that. I think I speak for our team that that’s not an intimidation factor, it’s something that we love and at the end of the day makes us play better.”

– Right guard David Kaminksi injured his knee in Saturday’s game, but IU coach Kevin Wilson said he’s not sure how bad it is yet.

“David got a knee injury,” Wilson said. “I don’t know if it’s a surgical knee and we’re waiting to get an MRI read. I didn’t hear this morning. He didn’t practice.”

Wilson said right tackle Peyton Eckert is still having the same problems with his injured back and therefore is out again this week. The redshirt is becoming more of a possibility.

“If he’s on the field for one play, it’s a year,” Wilson said. “He’s doing some very, very light stuff. He’s just got a sciatic nerve, L5 S1 deal. It just has not responded. We’ll see how that thing goes.”

 

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29 comments:
#1
Podunker
Monday, October 7, 2013 - 5:27 PM EDT

Wilson “made more of a point to spend time working with defensive coaches and defensive players to get the defense operating more towards his liking. In some cases, he offered general criticisms about effort and “presence,…..”

“The Hoosiers were one of the 10 worst rush defenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision heading into Saturday’s game……”

“I don’t have any defensive answers, but there’s an attitude and an effort I think we need to play with. It was bothering me, that I just didn’t see us playing as clean as we needed to be.”

I found the above comments to be very interesting. I’m not sure very many head coaches would be as forthright in their comments about what they know and don’t know. Whatever Wilson or the defensive coaches did differently in preparation for Penn Sate, they should continue doing it.

As for the point made about last year’s victories followed by a blowout loss to Wisconsin, it was unreasonable for anyone to think at the time that IU was going to be competitive with Wisconsin last year. I like Wilson’s message about dealing with success better, but last year’s loss to Wisconsin had nothing to do with IU’s players being over confident.

 
#2
Austin
Monday, October 7, 2013 - 8:49 PM EDT

Podunker, I would have to politely disagree with your comments about the Wisconsin game last year. Personally, I don’t think it was unreasonable for anyone to think that we couldn’t challenge and compete with the badgers. The Hoosiers were playing some pretty good football and coming off of a 2-game win streak, most importantly, a 2-game B1G win streak. If you can recall, IU was hanging tough with the badgers up until the half. The D came out and I believe forced two or three consecutive 3-and-outs and cut the deficit to 17-14…then with something along the lines of 13 seconds remaining in the half, the D had a huge breakdown allowing either Ball or White to run up the gut for a 70-something yard TD to end the half..and that really took the wind out of the sails. After the game (possibly after the season, I can’t remember), Kofi Hughes admitted that they got caught up in what could have been if they were to beat the Badgers and that most of the team weren’t focused on the game plan and were instead thinking about everything else except that particular game.

This team (as well as last year’s team) are/were capable of great success. They have shown they can play with anybody…and also shown how awful they can be. But, if they can play with some consistency and with the effort they displayed against PSU, there’s no reason to believe that our Hoosiers can’t compete with anyone remaining on the schedule. With that effort and execution, all things are possible again.

 
#3
Podunker
Monday, October 7, 2013 - 10:08 PM EDT

Austin, I appreciate your optimism and positive attitude about IU football. And I agree that this year’s team is capable of success. Maybe not “great” success, which I would define as a Big Ten Championship, but certainly success. But IU’s defense was no match for Wisconsin’s powerful running attack last year, which may have been the best in the country at the time. There were not too many objective prognosticators that gave IU any chance of beating Wisconsin last year.

I do night like Wisconsin, so nothing would please me more than to see IU beat them, like we used to when I attended IU. But realistically, our young and someone undersized defense is a year or two away.

 
#4
Hoosier Clarion
Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:58 PM EDT

Besting Wisky w/Ball last year was asking way too much.

 
#5
Austin
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 12:44 AM EDT

It was a tall task, no doubt about that. But, that kind of attitude is exactly what CKW is trying to change here. He expects nothing less than greatness out of them and so should we. It is not asking too much of them to go out and put themselves in a position to win those big games. I guarantee that they expect to have a chance to win each time they take that field. If any of those players (and this goes for any player on any team) feel that they have no chance to win a game, then quite frankly they don’t deserve a scholarship. Us as fans, myself included, need to hold them to just as high of standard as the coaches do.

 
#6
Wolfem
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 5:51 AM EDT

I would like to see IU football have as much success as possible, but lets keep it in perspective. Whenever IU begins to achieve some level of success the fan base begins talking about going to a bowl game. I fully understand setting goals and about reaching ones potential but I wish the Hoosiers could keep that tucked away until we’ve won six games not before. While it sounds so clicheish let’s play the next game and see what happens afterward… “Play ‘em one game at a time”.
I am extremely encouraged by the huge improvement made by our defense as shown against Penn State. CKW talks about attitude on the defensive side of the ball. In the few games I’ve seen IU would play well but then have huge break downs on D. Simplifying the defensive language, reads, positioning and communications was obvious against PSU. Too bad IU didn’t recognize that earlier. Missouri was beatable, but can’t change that now. Lets keep improving the defense and see what happens.
IU has the capability of beating MSU this coming Saturday. I certainly hope we do! The Hoosiers will need to steal a game or two against upper echelon teams. Last season they had leads against MSU and OSU only to falter down the stretch. That is encouraging. If our defensive can stand tall and make some stops against MSU our offensive should be able to take care of the rest of it. Go Hoosiers, beat the Spartans!!

 
#7
Hoosier Clarion
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 8:24 AM EDT

Austin, Attitude and optimism are what I’ve been living on for over 6 decades while enjoying IU FB. With few positive headlines to read. I am all in with Coach Wilson. But if you ask him who he would have bet the rent on in last years Wisky game we both know what the answer would be. Also consider who you would have hung that wager of rent. Attitude carried them against Wisky until something big broke against them(the TD just before the half). That is when they needed talent and experience to carry them by that failure, which they did not have and are today still woefully short of. Attitude and optimism are no relation to being realistic. I think they have just enough grit this year they can beat the Spartans but it is going to be a sizable chore(IU will need many O possessions to accomplish it)I expect they will play at breakneck speed to extend the game. POTFB!

 
#8
Austin
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 9:38 AM EDT

I’m not saying that it is realistic for them to win every game. We are not loaded with talent like the powerhouse programs are. What I am saying is that it is not unrealistic to expect them to put themselves in a position to have a chance. They are talented enough to be able to play with anybody. Will that happen when they play with the effort that was displayed against Mizzou? Absolutely not. If they can repeat the effort and execution they displayed against PSU, they can hang with anybody.

 
#9
Podunker
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 11:44 AM EDT

Austin, I admire your steadfast belief in IU football. But IU simply does not have the manpower on defense to “hang with anybody.” They just don’t. In football, sooner or later, the laws of physics take over, and the bigger, faster and stronger players usually impose their will on the smaller, slower and weaker players. Throw in experience, and you have to formula for dominance.

Many Hoosier fans are optimistic that some day IU football will get there, but we have to be realistic and admit that we’re not there yet. Schools like Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan don’t have football teams, they have well-developed, well managed football programs where, for the most part, physically mature upperclassmen are the starters on the O-line and D-line, and each year they recruit and sign four and five star talent to be physically and mentally developed into effective parts of a well designed machine. If you look at the typical recruiting class for those schools, 4 and 5-star talent is the norm and 3-star talent is the exception. With schools like IU, its the reverse. Those schools are like factories that produce solidly engineered football machines. And the men responsible to keep those factories running smoothly are paid $3 to $4 million dollars (in some cases, even more) a year to do so.

Hopefully, before I die, IU will be able to “hang with” any of those programs. But realistically, we can’t do that yet.

 
#10
Hoosier Clarion
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 12:02 PM EDT

Actually it is only the Buckeyes who have more 4* & 5* recruits as the norm vs. 3*. Meatchicken and Wisky will have as many 3* as the norm as they do 4* & 5* combined.

 
#11
Harvard for Hillbillies
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 1:04 PM EDT

Clarion’s posts seem so much more grounded in truth…And even if not wholly grounded in truth regarding the climb for IU football, at least they are not the monotone defeatism I read in (fill in blank__________) in the typical visions of the typical Hoosier football fan.

Hopefully, before any of us die, we have more fans like Clarion. I wish many fans of IU football could have followed Clarion’s consistent and healthy message on Hoosier Scoop. He has a internal motor, a constitution, that refuses to go where the weaker find comforts. He sees the positives in individual’s on the roster and the opportunity to embrace what is good in the program and its coaching staff rather than obsess what others in the conference currently possess. He is realistic and upbeat without being the melodramatic defeatist.

Not saying that his opinions are any better or that all his facts are not influenced by any bias held tight to the vest. Only saying that he’s essential on our sideline during the more difficult days and the tough losses that will inevitably come. He will keep his head and not search for witch hunt parties. He will refuse to let the ‘pit of negativity’ pull him back in. Wish I could put a damn chrome helmet on him and transfer his mindset into every Hoosier on Wilson’s roster.

 
#12
TsaoTsuG
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 2:08 PM EDT

I completely agree. HClarion’s view seem anchored in a factual knowledge of what this staff seems to be doing, a historical reality that is not denied and a hopeful optimism polished by steady improvement in recruiting, coaching and the growing interest in the Hoosier program.

I particularly liked HC’s opening line,”[A]ttitude and optimism are what I’ve been living on for over 6 decades while enjoying IU FB.” Yet, HC’s comments all carry and transmit a hope that we just need to ‘maintain an attitude’ that we are closer with every game, that we need to decide on a course and stay on it with grit, intelligence and the clarity that we will not abandon it with each loss. The one remarkable factor that scars Hoosier football is that, since Coach Mallory, we have routinely fired every coach (except for the tragic death of the much loved Coach Hoeppner) hired to repeat that era within 3-4 years. And now, the same factions that have weakened and brought down the chance to build a solid foundation are at it again; and, unless we join HC in his ‘attitude and optimism’ they will once again betray the Hoosier banner with their pessimism and their lack of understanding that only a steady vision, determination to finish and consistency is the only strategy that wins when the adversary is one’s self.

Great message HC (HfH). Great attitude! Hope it doesn’t take six decades (I don’t think it will), but if it does…I guess we will be ‘the few’ still fighting…with attitude.

 
#13
TsaoTsuG
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 2:14 PM EDT

HfH…great message in your #11. Believers wanted in this battle.

 
#14
Southport65
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 2:29 PM EDT

HH, You are right on when it comes Clarion’s remarks and answers. He is a steady rock that from time to time we need to listen to and lean on. We may not always agree with him but he is a man who you can choose to agree with or agree to disagree with out being mean or result to name calling. We just need about 100 more like him.

 
#15
Keith
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 3:38 PM EDT

Man, I haven’t posted much in the last couple weeks but what I’m reading in this string is nothing short of AWESOME. Comments and opinions continue to vary, but the respect for the opinions of others 180 degrees. We all have a common denominator, and that’s to see IU football successful this season and beyond. Some of us wear a badge of optimism, some cloak our comments in analysis and facts & some can’t shake the historical tack of pessimism. I fully understand and appreciate each category of Hoosier fan.
As this coaching staff and program continue to grow, we as a fan base are becoming more adept at recognizing their progress. Resulting in our various factions uniting under the Crimson and Cream. I love it! Good day folks and Go Hoosiers.

 
#16
Podunker
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 7:48 PM EDT

Keith, if you’re an IU football fan, you are, by definition, an optimist. If you’re a Cubs fan, you’re an optimist. The problem with IU football is that not enough people in The Hoosier Nation are football fans. Oh, they may become football fans again some day, but right now, too many of them are still in a funk.

For the Bowling Green game, I hitched a ride with an old friend. He has the big RV and a nice parking spot. In order to appreciate what I’m about to say, you have to understand that while we were in college, my friend never missed an IU football game in Bloomington. Not one. And he took road trips to watch IU football play at KY, WI, OSU, IL, NW, MI, and MSU. With the exception of MN and Iowa, I think he attended every home and away football game played during the four years we were in Bloomington.

While driving to the game, I asked him, “Do you think Wilson is going to build a winning program at IU?” He responded, “IU will NEVER have a winning football program.” Thinking that was an extreme, I challenged him on that, saying, “Hey, we used to go up to Madison and Evanston and watch IU beat the hell out of the Badgers and the Wildcats. If they can build winning programs, IU can too. What happened to make you stop believing it was possible?” He responded, “IU football happened.”

He’s just one man, but at the time, I could not help but think, “that’s the problem. There are too many Hoosiers with that attitude, and they just don’t believe its possible any more.” And the other problem is that my friend is a very successful man, in the midst of his prime earning years. And you can bet he’s not making big donations to IU these days. It was very sad to hear my formerly-passionate-IU-football-fan friend say those things. But at least he still goes to the games.

 
#17
Harvard for Hillbillies
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 8:02 PM EDT

Much like football programs, “successful” is a very relative term. I would suggest your friend take a closer look in the mirror. He ain’t getting any younger and his attitude will soon be feeding the worms.

 
#18
4thuluvuvthugame
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 8:13 PM EDT

I don’t care about people who are now over the hill, and disenchanted from years of losing…they are losers. I care about a new generation of winners. Bye, bye losers. Take your loser attitude far away in your RV, along with your (potential) booster money, and just…GO, already! We’re done with you. Now, for the rest of us who enjoy watching an exciting team (win OR lose), who understand that sports is educational (that’s why we have it in schools, by the way), and who care about these kids like they were our own family, let’s go get ‘em!

 
#19
Harvard for Hillbillies
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 9:54 PM EDT

Much like the “Me World” of a child, some just never leave the ‘booster’ chair.

Football is not for the rest of us…Football is not for the college student basically borrowing the price of a mortgage to get an education..Football is not for the parents that keep the doors of IU open by working their many working class a$$es off to send their kids to a place that may provide open doors in a world they had always known shot.

Sports is simply for the cynic with his fat wallet that makes him a fat expert. Bottom line is that sometimes those so arrogant to think they’re supreme ‘winners’ and conquerors their inheritances or self-proclaimed amassed fortunes, sorta love kicking the dirt in the face of anything they see as the ‘loser.’ A real winner is not thy cynic, but the successful person that is not threatened by a world order being turned upside down and better days finding those they can no longer demean.

 
#20
4thuluvuvthugame
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 1:26 AM EDT

There’s philosophy in there, Brother…I sense it. Here’s mine: Football is for people who love to see character; true character on display right in front of them, and in abbreviated time. Without sports, you might have to observe someone for years to witness their character come through, and you probably wouldn’t have the proper vantage point. The stadium is a crucible for character, and I’ve seen an awful lot of it in IU football over the years. Interestingly, this display of character doesn’t seem dependent on just the two letters “W” and “L”. I feel sorry for people who look at the world like that; I really do. Our guys ALWAYS put up one hell of a struggle, and I love them for it. Go Hoosiers.

 
#21
Harvard for Hillbillies
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 2:59 AM EDT

The stadium is a crucible for characte

Nice. Enjoy your point of view. Refreshing. Keep it coming.

Do keep in mind that teams also develop a character/personality all their own. There’s almost something spiritual in how teams can build a fire of belief and brotherhood. Individual talent can be so terribly wasted in the absence of emotional depth and camaraderie in sports. When you constantly flip talent and coaches, it can disrupt the synergy and chemistry. I often feel that the true spiritual rewards of sport takes nurturing and evolves as each athlete selflessly forgets himself/herself and becomes the immeasurable force of bonds and goals transformed to team. It’s the energy where a group believes more in the ‘we’ than the ‘I.’ It’s never solely about talent and individual perfection in the art of sport. As you grow old, the things you’ll remember as an athlete are the days you felt most immortal because of the teammates that played beside you.

 
#22
Harvard for Hillbillies
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 3:22 AM EDT

And the strange thing is…When the team emotionally grows in depth and players begin to lose their inward focus because of that brotherhood, their own talent levels escape the pressures and burdens of ‘self.’ In the process of being selfless, their own talent is freed and flows with a comfort level that would have never otherwise been released. It’s sad that so many sights of young athletes are always set on the “next level” their individual dreams. Those mindsets that dominate the drumbeat of sports today may be exactly what’s destroying a talent that they’ve never tapped into before. If they could just relinquish and break free those chains, lose themselves in the emotions of ‘together’ a goal, they may just find their individual games be transformed to a highest natural level through the collective purpose embodied in the soul a jersey.

 
#23
Podunker
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 1:04 PM EDT

4thuluvuvthugame, the problem with IU football is that too many of those “over the hill losers” in their RVs have already taken your advice and “just gone away” with their booster money. That’s the problem, sir. And if the remaining “over the hill boosters” like my friend decide to take their booster money and their RVs “and just go,” Memorial Stadium’s attendance per home game would average about 20,000 people on Saturdays, and IU’s Board of Trustees would soon begin considering dropping the football program (I exaggerate, but you get my point).

I don’t think the legions of students and young adults partying in the fields across the street from Memorial Stadium are providing much support for IU football. A lot of them don’t buy tickets, or can’t be bothered to enter Memorial Stadium during the game. And I would wager most of them have never donated a dollar in support of IU athletics.

If you love IU sports, and especially IU football, you better hope people like my friend don’t follow your advice, because there might not be enough people coming up behind them with the means or motivation to fill the void that would be created if they did. While my friend’s negative attitude is symptomatic of the larger problem, I don’t think the solution lies with trying to replace people of our generation with people in our children’s generation. Based on what I’ve seen and heard of their collective attitude about IU football, their attendance and support at IU games and their collective financial means are even worse. My daughter (now an IU alum) had dozens of friends at IU who graduated without EVER attending a football game in Memorial Stadium. What’s worse was that some of them actually celebrated their disdain for IU football and boasted about never watching a game in Memorial Stadium. As I said, at least my “old” friend still goes to the games.

 
#24
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 3:10 PM EDT

Harvard and 4thuluvuvthugame…incredibly good exchange between the two of you. I especially enjoyed ’4thuluv…’ recognition of ‘the philosophy’ that has always been at the heart of your (HfH) thoughts on sports and his ability to define and recognize ‘character’ as the soul of competitive athletics.

More than anything, I loved his opening phrases and the fact they were directed at you- ‘There’s philosophy in there, Brother…I sense it.’

He’s (4thuLuv) hit it on the head on several counts. First it says everything and provides the recognition why you’ve (HfH) won over many of us. Second, it absolutely captures what HClarion said yesterday, ‘Attitude and optimism are what I’ve been living on for over 6 decades while enjoying IU FB. And, what defines this “Small Band of Brothers”- you can beat us in a game, …but we are eternal(ly) Hoosiers!

(I was going to add a line about RV and those who gave up long ago because they still see ‘character’ as a source of returns; but…then I thought ‘why stain this great union of thought. Thank you HC, thank you Harvard and thank you 4thuluvuvthugame). Don’t you guys ever die.)

 
#25
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 3:37 PM EDT

4thuluvuvthugame- I do think you are right to a great extent, about a frustrated generation that simply surrendered and now is overwhelmed by the bitterness of having done so.

Do know, however, that there are some old ‘f_rts’ still breathing who share your passion, will never give up and who are solid and great, passionate fans of the Hoosiers who will never give up. And, because of their loyalty, faith and commitment we are happy and refilled with vigor in the knowledge there are generations like yours and HfH coming behind us.

Hope to read you a long time. Go Hoosiers!

 
#26
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 3:42 PM EDT

Oops! Brain f_art from an ‘old f_rt’- “never give up” repeated; thus making it sound like a linear sequence of ‘f_rts’

 
#27
4thuluvuvthugame
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 10:04 PM EDT

Certainly there are old farts that are still true and passionate…probably most of them (and I’m one). The “Loser” epithet was intended as an exhortation for the others to get ahold of themselves…to snap out of it and get on board. IU Football “happened” to me, too…and I love it. I really can’t wait for Saturday.

 
#28
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 11:37 PM EDT

Completely agree with you, especially about the ‘Loser’ id. For way too many years we did it to ourselves. Now, it’s time to focus on preparing to win.

 
#29
4thuluvuvthugame
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 7:59 PM EDT

(Hoosiers by a touchdown on Saturday…And Michigan gets clobbered by Penn State….just sayin’)

 


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