19.Dec.2011 Fans Should Admit When They’re Wrong
Over the past two years of writing this blog, I haven't been wrong too often. I'm not saying that to be arrogant or act like a know-it-all jerk. Honestly, anyone can do what I do. It's simply observation followed by writing down said observation.
However, I get things wrong from time to time. Watching hoops last night, it became clear to me I was wrong about Joe Burton. I couldn't stand his game the past two years. Yes, he could pass, but the passes were too hard and resulted in turnovers. Robinson stuck with him. As many of you know, I have had a man-crush on Robinson all along, and even when the team was bad, I was hesitant to criticize him. Mainly because I saw he could recruit, and was trying damn hard to be patient and let those recruits develop. Well, that has panned out nicely so far this year (but Robinson isn't out of the woods yet…let's see how he performs in the conference schedule). Anyway, Robinson stuck with Burton, and now Burton is playing great.
The point is that I was wrong. Even critical fans should look in the mirror and admit this once and a while. The lesson is not only humility, but in understanding why you were wrong, you become even more astute. For example, I saw Burton's "soft hands" and passing ability all along, but I was wrong to assume he would never learn how to take velocity off the passes and play with less overall anxiety.
Here is a great question: could we be wrong about Riley & Co.?
Well, I know Riley will get the team to 8 wins at some point in the future. I think fans who are overly bearish on Riley right now will be proven wrong. Fans who think he'll get the Beavs to a Rose Bowl will also be proven wrong. Fans who believe Riley will cap out at 8 wins in a year or two will be right. So, it depends on expectations. I think Bob D is right in that Riley didn't become stupid overnight. The foundations of the current problems began in 2006, precisely the time I was banned from all popular Beaver forums for bringing them up. Now I see a good foundation via improved recruiting, and like the case of Joe Burton, it'll take a year or two of development before they all reach their potential.
The alarming thing here is that Riley couldn't (and still can't) recognize glaring problems himself. For example, he missed the obvious recruiting problems back in 2007, and without immediate defensive tackle help or a change to a 3-4 scheme, he'll be lucky to win four games next year. So, my criticism of Riley today is this: where is the urgency? Identify that you need two D1 defensive tackles. Then find two legitimate D1 defensive tackles…and pronto. There is playing time to sell. This should not be so difficult. I cannot stress how important DTs are to the future of this program. It reminds me of 2007 all over again when I warned about the lack of (a) offensive linemen and (b) defensive backs.
Anyway, don't want to tangent. The point of this article being I hold myself to the same standards as the people I criticize. I think every critical fan should do this. Admit when you're wrong, understand why you were wrong, and bounce back a wiser and fairer evaluator.