Ole Miss Football: You Can Be a Fan and Be Disappointed in the Season
The 2016 Ole Miss football season is almost over. It has been a disappointment. However, you can still be a fan and be disappointed in the season at the same time.
Let’s be honest, this season has been difficult to watch. Many fans are disappointed. Watching the Vanderbilt game was an exercise in self-inflicted sadness. The high hopes that the Rebel faithful had entering the game were dashed by the end of the third quarter.
None of the fans question the blood, sweat and tears the players go through in order to get on the field. Those who have never played the game at that level can not fully understand what it takes to get ready every week.
Many disappointed fans can not fathom the countless hours the coaches spend away from their family in order to field a competent team. Nor do they fully understand the sacrifices coaches’ wives make in order to give the fans three hours of entertainment per week.
However, being disappointed about the season does not make you less of a fan. Verbalizing your unhappiness does not mean you do not support the Rebels. It is okay to be mad.
All Rebel fans cheer loudly for the team every Saturday. Whether they cheer in the stadium or at home in front of their television, it is all the same. They rejoice and celebrate with every success. Every upset win, every comeback, every accomplishment is greeted with chants of “Are You Ready?!”.
So if they show emotion with every victory, you have to expect they will show emotion with every defeat. It’s college football in the South. We invest a lot of love and emotion in the game. Ole Miss fans will spend all day in the Grove in order to spend four hours inside of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. So they are invested emotionally.
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Asking the coaches to make better decisions during the game does not make you less of a fan. Wanting the players to give maximum effort does not make you an enemy of the program. The disappointed fans simply expect what the coaches themselves say they expect.
Coach Hugh Freeze spends a lot of time talking about accountability. He requires his players to be accountable to one another and the university. Freeze has no problem replacing those on the team that does not live up to that level of responsibility. Therefore, disappointed fans want the same scrutiny for both coaches and players.
It does not mean that they do not love Ole Miss. It actually means they care a lot. They are just as loyal as those who believe that you should not utter a negative word. Just like them, they want the absolutely best for Ole Miss. They want to see this team compete at the highest levels. The success of this teams means just as much to them as it does to everyone else.
However, they believe Freeze needs to make a couple of coaching changes. They do not think losing to Vanderbilt should ever happen. These fans want to see the seniors go out with good memories of their final year. They expect Ole Miss to be head and shoulders better than Mississippi State.
These fans want the defense to hold on to leads. They want the offense to score points in the third quarter. These Rebel fans want players in the right positions to make plays. They expect the offense to convert on third and short and the defense to get off the field after third downs. Just like the other fans, they want the Rebels to win. Therefore, they want their voices heard.
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