He Ain’t Wrong: No One Is Right When It Comes To What To Wear
Hi, my name is Fletcher. And I’m usually not wrong.
New WKU men’s basketball coach Rick Stansbury is already making tremendous steps for the program before ever calling a play from the bench.
He’s collected a top-10 national recruit, has brought aboard a pair of talented graduate transfers and is talking the talk at every step, wanting to lead WKU back to college hoops glory.
There also was one other thing that happened that essentially divided WKU students across the board during one of his first press conferences as head coach:
As you would expect, there was a ton of uproar with such a *insert fire emoji* take.
Sure, there was (as there should have been) those WKU students and fans using Stansbury’s remarks as something of a rallying cry. But there was also just as much, if not more, disagreement from those who bleed blue or do whatever it is Cardinal fans do.
Well how can I transfer when I can’t afford to go to UK or UofL?
I’m here to learn, not care about sports.
I grew up a UK fan, why do I have to change my allegiance?
You’ve heard the arguments. I’ve heard the arguments. It’s old, it’s honestly a little lazy, but at the same time, how are you supposed to combat that?
The ire behind Stansbury’s remarks isn’t directly related to the articles of clothing themselves. It’s about the larger picture overall.
I assure you, if you walk around UofL’s campus or UK’s campus, you’ll find apparel of other schools. It’s inevitable. Someone has a sibling who goes elsewhere, a parent is an alum or they just like the fashion of sports (I, myself, am a member of that third category). It’s a safe bet there are just as many students walking around those campuses in other school’s apparel than there is at WKU.
But here’s the difference — UK and UofL games, and campuses as a whole, have that “can’t miss a game,” culture. You think students at either school skip a basketball game because WKU is on?
So why should it be different in Bowling Green?
There’s always been a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to WKU games, especially from a students perspective. The games don’t have the same pep as a Wildcat or Cardinal affair, so students don’t go. But, because students don’t go, the games can’t have the same pep.
It’s a never ending cycle, and its one that needs to end if WKU wants to ever seriously combat holding its own in the state.
Look, I totally understand growing up a fan of a different school, especially in the south. I grew up a huge Auburn fan (my dad attended Auburn for a couple of years). I knew the chants before I could walk and, especially in high school, I never missed a game.
But I’m a Hilltopper now. And exciting things are happening with the red towel waivers.
But the Tops can only go so far with the current fan support. Or, rather, the current perception of the fan support.
Remember when they finished second in the Sun Belt in 2013, but were passed up for a bowl game by third-place Arkansas State? That was because of attendance.
The rumor mills are strong with “WKU to AAC.” But how embarrasing is it going to be to see an empty Smith Stadium or Diddle when playing on national TV more often?
So, here is my proposition, my compromise to you — make WKU football and basketball games “can’t miss.” Jam pack the student section. Sell out Diddle night in and night out. Make 2016/17 one of the best attended years on the Hill. End the double-edge sword cycle, and truly put the Tops in the landscape of the state.
Once the culture of great fans is on the Hill, then I vow to never mock anyone who wears a UK or UofL shirt on campus again. Cross my heart.
Stansbury is right — there is no reason WKU basketball, and with Brohm at the helm football, can’t be huge players on the national stage. But it all starts with the fans.