Monday, October 22, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 43



It's time to break out the cigars

Richard Whitrock

Friends, students, Cougars, lend me your cheers. Students who missed the Cougars' spirit-breaking defeat on Saturday should be ashamed. Have you no school pride?

Our classmates are on the ropes. The Cougar football team just can't get it together, and after Saturday they seem to have lost hope. Once again the team came close -- but no cigar. It needs our help.

Without a winning team, most fans would rather stay at home than don bright red clothing and head for Robertson Stadium. Why should they go if they're going to leave disappointed?

My friends, these hard-working Cougar football players may not have a winning record, but they do have Cougar pride, and it's a shame we cannot show ours. Showing up en masse to the next football game just might be what they need.

We need a screaming scene of red and white, a stadium packed with cheers so loud, those Cougar warriors will have tears in their eyes. It's time we supported our team, and not just in writing.

I realize the next home game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Nov. 17 is the last home game of the season, and we do not have the opportunity to make an earth-shattering statement for this season. However, we can set a precedent for next season by showing our football team we are behind the players, and we believe that they have the capability to accomplish greatness next season both in our own conference and on that national scene.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. You are either with us or against us. Cliched as these statements may be, they are nonetheless true. What kind of environment must these athletes endure when their own school won't even take advantage of free tickets to see them play? What kind of motivation is it when their classmates don't even care enough to sit down and watch a game from the stands?

It's no wonder they have such a hard time when the echo of the band off the empty seats in the stadium is louder than the home-crowd cheers.

Actions such as these work against the Cougars' push to win and create problems that should not exist in universities such as ours.

These guys have the talent. Watching them go ahead during the UT game and seeing them hold the lead for most of Saturday shows that we can win. With players like Orlando Iglesias, Joffrey Reynolds and Lee Ingersoll, every game has the potential to be more than just a win. Cougar football just keeps getting closer and closer, only to fall short at the end. Just like Saturday, all year long the Coogs have gotten close, but no cigar. It's time we give them the push they need and show up next game in droves.

In fact, we should all show our willingness to help by bringing cigars. Show your Cougar pride and let the football team know we have faith in them -- the cigar is close enough to achieve.

Whitrock, a freshman university studies 
student, can be reached at

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