That was the phrase bouncing around the crowd as they filtered out of Arizona Stadium after the Wildcats' 21-16 lost to Colorado State.
The next day, a local sports columnist proclaimed,"Those who still believe this is a team destined for the Rose Bowl could fit comfortably through the middle of a Cheerio."
Just a few weeks ago, everybody was talking about the number one Sports Illustrated ranking, the invincible Desert Swarm and the Rose Bowl. Then with one loss, the football team "sucks." One of the bandwagon's wheels has become wobbly and some of the fair-weather fans have fallen off.
Now this isn't a "Rah! Rah!" editorial, it's more just an observation about the nature of sports fans. They can be a fickle bunch.
Everybody loves winners, but few people love losers (unless those losers are the Chicago Cubs). Since the football team has started winning two years ago, people who ordinarily wouldn't know a pigskin from a sheepskin have caught Wildcat fever. It's nice that the team has attracted new fans. It's just hard to understand why people lament how bad the football team is, whenever it begins to sputter. Sometimes students lose sight that the players on the field are 20 and 21-year-olds with the same insecurities and problems off the field as any student spectator. Give the players a break. Imagine making a mistake in front of 56,000 people and being labelled "a loser" or "choker." Not a very attractive prospect. Does one mistake or one bad game warrant a slew of criticism? Of course not.
On the other hand, it's hard to understand people who treat UA football games like life and death situations. It just isn't worth it. Do you as an individual have any control over the course of the game as you sit in one of the nose-bleed seats? Of course not. If your team wins, that's cool. But if your team loses, getting upset is pointless. There are so many problems with the world, that dwelling on a UA football loss is waste of time (unless you wagered your life's savings on the game).
Recognize football for what it is Ä it's a game. For the fans, it provides entertainment and excitment and for the players it gives them scholarships for school. For the talented, lucky few it also gives them an opportunity to get noticed by NFL scouts.
Even though a questionably heavy emphasis is put on UA football and athletics in general, it is one of the few things that bind the campus and community together. The games probably are the only times which a significant part of the student population comes together for a common cause. It's too bad that such support can't be rallied for saving departments or fighting for more state funding for higher education.
So Bear Down Arizona. And if you have problems bearing down, well, try your best. We're just there to enjoy the game.
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